Wheelie for...Well, That Wasn't for Safety.

Discussion in 'Face Plant' started by Rex Nemo, May 4, 2013.

  1. Rex Nemo

    Rex Nemo horizon calling

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    I was out at Metcalf OHV Park with my DR350, toodling around and enjoying myself. My sweetie on her DRZ250 was playing in the beginner area, getting familiar with the bike and the dirt again after her broken ankle in December.

    I was a little bored but didn't want to abandon her, so I worked my way through the drills in Doc Wong's adventure riding class--small tight circles and figure 8s, stop-n-go, stand-and-balance, sliding the rear tire when braking, sliding the front tire when braking...and lifting the front end and doing small wheelies.

    I am a relative newcomer to wheelies, and the DR350 is underpowered, so I took several gradual attempts at clutching it up in 1st gear to get the wheel off the ground. About the 3rd time I popped a slightly larger wheelie, I felt the rear tire slide a bit in the soft dirt. Novice reaction: I turned the front wheel slightly with my sudden increase in tension on the bars, and chopped the throttle. The result was predictable: the bike came down onto the canted front wheel and flopped over onto its left side. Normally not a huge deal, but as I hit the ground I felt the footpeg strike the left foot like the Hammer of Thor; an unforgettable impact that reverbrated through my entire body, and makes me shiver to think of.

    I rolled away and limped over to a picnic table, removed my helmet and used it to prop up the foot. My sweetie got help loading the bikes, gently put me in the truck, and drove me to the hospital.

    Verdict: I'd shattered the foot. Xrays showed Lisfranc dislocation; all the metatarsals broken, 2 and three crossed under one another, 5th metatarsal comminuted (turned into gravel), and second and 5th toes dislocated. My Gaerne MX boots basically barely held in the mess of bones; the 1st metatarsal was tenting up the skin on the instep. :puke1

    Whoa. On top of that the foot swelled horribly and I showed symptoms of Compartment Syndrome, so they performed emergency surgery, wired the bones back together, and cut three long incisions to relieve pressure. 5 days later I'm still in the hospital, rather stunned. Looking like at least 8 weeks off my feet; I promptly lost my primary job as a moto mechanic in SF. :cry

    Anyone else had this type of injury? How was your prognosis, physical therapy, and recovery?

    I want to live to hike, ride, jump, and do wheelies (more skillfully) again!

    I will post x-rays when I get them; meanwhile here are are couple of external photos of the foot with the Lisfranc displacement injury

    Day 2, incisions with gauze packing still in place
    http://rexnemo.smugmug.com/Other/Broken-Foot/i-mLmTpZF/0/M/IMG_2684-M.jpg
    With gauze packing removed
    http://rexnemo.smugmug.com/Other/Broken-Foot/i-GQqg3FP/0/M/IMG_2688-M.jpg

    Unwrapping, Day 3: the external tops of the wires from the CRPF (Closed Reduction Percutaneous Fixation, or K-Wires) stabilization, capped in yellow, are clearly visiblehttp://rexnemo.smugmug.com/Other/Broken-Foot/i-PSmQZxf/0/M/IMG_2702-M.jpg
    View from inside surface of foot, Day 3
    http://rexnemo.smugmug.com/Other/Broken-Foot/i-vRLWJJp/0/M/IMG_2703-M.jpg
    Day 4, Gauze removed in preparation for re-packing
    http://rexnemo.smugmug.com/Other/Broken-Foot/i-gSQjPft/0/M/IMG_2705-M.jpg
    #1
  2. Vanishing Point

    Vanishing Point A very sad panda

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    I've been meaning to learn how to wheelie. After seeing that I think I'll just stick to leaning in corners.
    #2
  3. joef

    joef Been here awhile

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    wtf looks like it hurt like hell, speedy recovery
    #3
  4. Mr_Snips

    Mr_Snips Husky BRAAAAAAAAP!

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    Exactly what boots were you wearing?
    #4
  5. Truckin_Thumper

    Truckin_Thumper low profile

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    [​IMG]
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  6. hardwaregrrl

    hardwaregrrl ignore list

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    Wow! Holy SHite....:huh Man so sorry that happened to you. Glad you're alright. But, what asshole let you go because you messed up your foot. Not cool....really sorry about the job. I certainly wouldn't want a shop like that working on my bike....loyalty is gold. Heal up quick.
    #6
  7. psmcd

    psmcd Long timer

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    Anyone else had this type of injury? How was your prognosis, physical therapy, and recovery?

    I want to live to hike, ride, jump, and do wheelies (more skillfully) again!


    Really sorry about your injury and job Rex.

    In my early 20's I wrapped my foot around the peg by hitting a rock crossing a wash. Didn't even go down till I stopped/dropped. Bent steel shank in boot. Foot felt like bag of bones so wrangled bike and bump started down steep hill and rode back to hare scrambles pit. Was afraid to remove boot cause it seemed best splint so got ride home to remove and discover damage. One toe punched out bottom of foot, cast severe ankle sprain and a few cracked bones between. Several severe injuries including huge puncture and metatarsal break to that foot/ankle since and I'm still hiking/biking at 61. (slight benefit of ortho surgeon for pop)

    Lower extremity injuries can be super serious due to limited circulation and hydrostatic pressure. Swelling is your enemy and compartment syndrome is the worst. Proper icing and frequent elevation are essential. Long sitting in chairs and cars very counterproductive so be creative and don't let friends or others derail the elevate to heart level program. Until the compartment and swelling abate you need to let the foot dictate your behavior as much as possible.

    The great thing about professional physical therapy is they'll have a better idea of your limits and help you work to and through them. But there's way more you have to do on your own. The trick is to do as much as possible without re-injury,followed with ice and elevation for as many weeks (months) as necessary. Stoic is no antidote for swelling.

    You might be a candidate for one of those little knee scooters for the first while here. Good luck, fast healing and return to full mobility.
    #7
  8. Rex Nemo

    Rex Nemo horizon calling

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    Gaerne GX-1s.

    [​IMG]

    I had hoped for a little more protection from them, but I can see why the injury occurred anyway--the footpeg struck the boot just behind the toe section, in the soft flexible area over the first metatarsal. It's a tough place to armor.

    The Bohn compression suit I was wearing protected well against the site of secondary impact--I got a bruise and a slight laceration on the left elbow, but it was quite minor.

    Thanks for the detail and encouragement, pmscd. I'm thoroughly committed to whatever rest/PT I need to do to regain function down the line. Your injury sounds very extreme, and I'm glad to hear you recovered and kept on enjoying the ride. One of my first instincts was to pull off my helmet and elevate the broken foot on it, and my girlfriend wisely insisted that I keep the foot elevated on the ride to the hospital, despite my groans of protest; the emergency room staff said that alone improved my outcome. And I'm looking forward to the knee scooter!

    And I found another thread involving a similar injury (Lisfranc displacement): http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=830324&highlight=lisfranc

    Mighty interesting that Lisfranc displacements first became known as an injury to Napoleanic-era cavalrymen--falling off a horse and getting the midfoot caught in the stirrup also broke and dislocated the foot in a similar way to modern dirtbikers and football players. Of course I'm a heck of a lot less likely to get this sucker amputated!
    #8
  9. davidji

    davidji bike curious

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    Ouch. When I first saw the photos I thought you got impaled by a peg. Too many holes tho. Heal up!

    Don't know if it's the right part of the Bay Area for you, but SOL in Oakland has excellent PTs. They also have locations in Santa Cruz and Walnut Creek.
    #9
  10. psmcd

    psmcd Long timer

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    I had hoped for a little more protection from them, but I can see why the injury occurred anyway--the footpeg struck the boot just behind the toe section, in the soft flexible area over the first metatarsal. It's a tough place to armor.

    Yea, armor can be an abused concept, we remain mortal. Along with that boomerang bent shank - the steel toe of those ancient boots I mentioned was caved in.

    And I found another thread involving a similar injury (Lisfranc displacement): http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=830324&highlight=lisfranc

    Mighty interesting that Lisfranc displacements first became known as an injury to Napoleanic-era cavalrymen--falling off a horse and getting the midfoot caught in the stirrup also broke and dislocated the foot in a similar way to modern dirtbikers and football players.

    For your bed-ridden, recuperation enjoyment, I once suffered a horse related displacement. First by the tree branch under which my horse chose to bolt and join his buddies. Fortunately I was a mere 5yrs old making my legs too short to reach the stirrups and render me vulnerable to that horrific Lisfranc scenario. But the displacement was incomplete as my pop had thoughtfully knotted the reins such a small boy might drop. The branch induced get-off entailed my foot hooking through the reins for the subsequent Lisfranc-like drag scene. Horses of course lunge/run faster to escape such commotion. I was saved from being trampled in the ensuing sprint by the rock that hooked the back of my head. I was launched free and unconscious, in possession of my first concussion and a growing wariness of horses.
    #10
  11. psmcd

    psmcd Long timer

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  12. road_apple

    road_apple Hit the Trail

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    Have patience this will take a while. I did this much less severe with three piggies as a result of a school wrestling accident. For the Equipment Nazis out there no I wasn't wearing WWF-approved wrestling shoes...(Geesh! it's like you guys own Harleys of something). My opponent didn't like that he was headed rapidly out of bounds and promptly sat on my foot. Years later it still hurts if I walk all day. It will drop at the end of the day to the point of almost tripping which lets me know I should stop. Hope you heal up, don't get discouraged and keep it up!(to prevent swelling). Medical opportunities are much better today than yesteryear. Try a Trials bike when the time comes to get your props back, they build skills and balance at a slower speed, less weight and lower COG.
    #12
  13. NJ-Brett

    NJ-Brett Brett

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    That's NASTY!

    I smashed my big toe on a rail road tie when I was about 17, and of all the broken bones and smashed Knee's, broken spine, etc, that toe gives me the most pain.

    You must have missed the part where you let the bike go and jump off when a wheelie goes bad...

    And yes, your boss/job sucks.
    Very bad karma on them.
    #13
  14. Cale_Kat

    Cale_Kat Been here awhile

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    And the Ugly Foot Pic Award goes to...

    I honestly don't know why anyone does wheelies.

    Sorry about the lye, hope you heal quickly and ride again soon. Good of you to stay with you girlfriend, your heart, at least, is in the right place.
    #14
  15. atgatt

    atgatt Been here awhile

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    Ouch! That looks like it hurt! Hope you are getting some good drugs! :lol3

    Those boots look pretty good to me so I don't think you could have done much more to protect yourself. Hope you get back on your feet as soon as possible! Good luck.
    #15
  16. benzbaron

    benzbaron Adventurer

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    May 2010 I had just changed the muffler on the Blast to a real quite muffler, well coming home I down shift and rev the engine to get up my steep driveway. Well I didn't realize I had the engine at such high rpm and I let the clutch out and splat. The bike took off and I dumped in the driveway hard. 3 metatarsals broke and one thumb broken. Oh the joys.

    Just take it easy and don't be in a rush to try and walk on the foot. Just give it time. I dumped in May and think I my foot was out of the cast and into moon boot in August or September but I don't remember it that well. My two biggest friends were cold ice for my poor foot, and cold beer for my head. Oh and once you get it heeled up and out of a cast putting the foot in the ocean/cold stream feels nice.
    #16
  17. Toto

    Toto Been here awhile

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    There is only one good compartment syndrome to have, and it is not in your foot...unless you are really lucky:evil

    BTW, hope your feeling better soon:eek1
    #17
  18. Zane Neher

    Zane Neher Been here awhile

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    Never had afoot injury from a failed wheelie but my knees aen't what they use to be. ACL, MCL and miniscus in both kness were murdered.


    I did stub my pinkie toe yesterday and felt like I should end it all, can't imagine how you feel.
    #18
  19. Wintyfresh

    Wintyfresh Adventurer

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    I suffered a lisfranc dislocation a little over a decade ago. My foot was held together with pins while it healed, and I was on crutches for months. While the whole thing was vastly unpleasant, the good news is I don't have any remaining hardware in my foot and now only think of it when the weather's about to change.
    #19
  20. slowpoke69

    slowpoke69 Been here awhile

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    Sorry to hear about your injury, you'll probably heal just fine.

    I had a school bus pull out in front of me 3 days shy of my 21st. birthday. Severe crush injury both feet, severe bilateral sprain both knees, and severe cervical strain.

    Thank God I was a rock solid 225 lbs. Amazingly, no breaks, just a MESS O' PAIN!! Totally ruined my birthday plans too!:rofl:rofl:rofl

    The EMT warned me that my injuries were severe enough to warrant amputation, I told the doctor to kiss my ass, if it falls off fine, otherwise don't F with it.

    They had to drill through my big toe to relieve the pressure, my buddy said it was the size of a baseball.

    The moral of the story is I still have both legs, and drive big trucks for a living.

    There's a reason they call it 'practicing' medicine. The doctor doesn't know everything.

    Despite the above fact, do MOST of what he suggests, unless you really feel it would be detrimental to your well being.

    I wish you a speedy recovery, and get back on the proverbial horse, don't let this stop you, I did for a few years, and regret it.

    :clap:clap:clapHAPPY THOUGHTS FOR YOUR RECOVERY!!
    #20