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shattered knee - first crash

Discussion in 'Face Plant' started by brandonmccann, Sep 29, 2015.

  1. brandonmccann

    brandonmccann Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2012
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    So, I had my first crash about 6 weeks ago. I was on my Shiver, going around a small curve coming to a stop. There was sand in the road from construction nearby and I lost all of my front end. I was going slow enough by then that the bike pretty much just fell right over. Unfortunately my knee was there to break the fall(literally).

    The bike was on my foot, and I couldn't move. Shortly after a woman stopped and helped lift it up enough for me to slide out. I knew something was broken, it felt like when I had broken my toe in May. Eventually the paramedics arrived and took a look at my leg. Where there was once a kneecap, there was now a valley. So they loaded me up, and loaded me up with some painkiller and took me to the local hospital.

    At the first hospital, the Dr. didn't think it was broken and instead suggested it was merely inflammed. So I had my Xray, and during my Xray the tech tried to BEND my knee ontop of a 10 inch foam triangle to take the Xray. Which, he didn't have to do but tried to anyways. As you can immagine, it was excruciating; More than the break itself. He argued with me that I needed to bend my leg and wouldn't believe me that I couldn't. Eventually he just left me there holding my leg up and told me he "Hoped it didn't fall." Really, really terrible experience.

    Long story short, they had to transfer me out of town to a better equipped hospital where I had surgery the next morning. My kneecap was broken into 4 pieces, and pieced back together with 2 screws and 2 wires. I've been stuck in bed for just about 6 weeks now, with many more ahead. And then therapy after that. I really hope that by the first of November I can get around with a cane.

    I do want to say, though, I'm a bit disappointed that the one place I didn't have any protection was the one place I got hurt. After my injury I've seen a lot of bikers with the same injury, and it baffles me that no one says to protect your knees. There's even not that many products outside of buying individual pants to help.

    *The bike came out on top and only needs a new turn signal.

    Capture.PNG
    #1
  2. SquidRavioli

    SquidRavioli Beer Snob

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    Thank you for sharing, what sort of pants were you wearing at the time of the accident?
    #2
  3. highlight

    highlight Adventurer

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    Sorry to hear about the accident and glad that it was not something worse. Hope for timely recovery.

    Are you saying that you did not wear a riding pants with knee protector on it? If you have worn something like a pair of riding pants or jeans that have inserts for CE approved knee armor on it will it help or completely saved your knees?
    #3
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  4. kohburn

    kohburn Long timer

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    #4
  5. gullywasher

    gullywasher Vicarious Adventurer

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    I was doing some light dual-sporting in Utah last week when the guy in front of me went down during a pretty long and steep (for adventure bikes) hill climb. I came to a stop, but I began sliding backwards as the brakes wouldn't hold the bike on the steep, loose surface. Unable to find purchase with my stubby legs, I went down with my knee landing right on a large rock. Fortunately, I was wearing off-road style knee/shin guards. Had that not been the case, that simple, slow-motion fall would have ended just like yours.

    Heal up!
    #5
  6. FredBGG

    FredBGG Long timer

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    One should not assume that just because gear is described as having CE approved knee armor that it will actually work or be effective. Most gear simply does not keep the knee pads sufficiently in place.
    #6
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  7. FredBGG

    FredBGG Long timer

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    There are heaps of knee protection products. From pads all the way up to carbon fiber knee braces.

    Too many people think helmet and jacket are all you need.

    Proper pants and knee protection as well as serious footware are essential.

    Also keep in mind that most motorcycle gear, especially most touring gear, is pretty much rubbish.

    I broke a knee skiing when I was 12.... I was on a ski lift when I was hit by two dumb girls who lost control of their sled and hit me when I was in a v shaped gully with no where to go.
    I know how painful a broken knee cap is..... mine was "only" broken in two.
    My knee got better, but it took loads of physiotherapy and yoga. I still have to do some specific stretching/yoga for the knee 40 years later or it stiffens up and gets sore.
    But the good thing is that with the right exercise it's good.

    Personally I use at least Leatt knee braces under heavy riding pants or full Motoport kevlar pants or suit. I prefer to wear my brace under riding pants. They are tight and comfortable enough, but that way they stay wear they belong.
    #7
  8. adaycj

    adaycj Been here awhile

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    I've heard this said, but I can't imagine a proper knee pad in a proper fitting pair of pants specific to the application completely moving out of place. Shouldn't this also be true of elbows? This seems even more unlikely because the scenarios listed so far in this thread describe low speed impacts where the knee was (could have been) damaged by a single impact. I can't move the elbow or knee pads far enough out of place using my hands on my jacket and pants that they wouldn't work. I can imagine immense twisting forces that could dislodge them (and the pants entirely, and even knee pads entirely), but at that point I think the connective parts might become the limitation anyway. Any direct experience?

    In the case of the OP even a Kleenex box taped to the knee might have been better than nothing. Sorry you are hurt, I hope you recover fully. I have crash tested the hell out of my knee pads off road. Considering all of the rocks and trees I've bashed them against, they are the difference in walking away vs letting the radiologist cause you pain in a great many cases.
    #8
  9. brandonmccann

    brandonmccann Adventurer

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    Thank you all for the well wishes. And I was wearing just normal cargo pants. I didn't even slide, just fell right over.

    Regarding protection, I know there are a few potential options, but nothing that seem to be just right. Icon makes some leather kneepads with D3O protection and a nylon slider, but it's only CE 1. Dainese makes some kneepads for the same price, no slider, and are CE 2. However, the Dianese ones just look so thin. I also had thought of a brace, but could it be worn outside pants? Regarding braces, I was looking at the EVS Axis Pro or the Revit Tyronic. Both are expensive but if it's something that I can put outside my pants and will prevent an injury like this my money's on the table.
    #9
  10. bluestar

    bluestar sheep shagger

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    Well there you go. You made no effort at all to protect yourself in the event of a crash and paid the price. Just about all street motorcycle pants offer some protection from injuries like yours. Not trying to be harsh but you have to do what you can to protect yourself. I hope you recover soon.
    #10
  11. brandonmccann

    brandonmccann Adventurer

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    unfortunately I can't afford a pair of 4 season pants for everyday of the week. Not to mention the fact that I have yet to read an article that points out motorcycle pants as a critical protective element. Not saying there aren't any, I just have yet to come across one. Even the MSF school never mentioned it. Boots, gloves, helmet, jacket. Not blaming anything on that(or lack thereof), it's just that no one says how simple it is to shatter your kneecap when you go to stop on sandy asphalt.
    #11
  12. bluestar

    bluestar sheep shagger

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    You couldn't afford a pair of pants? I'll bet this accident costs you more than even an expensive pair. You don't need multiple pairs, this one here goes over your regular pants, has CE rated armor in the knees and while they may not have completely prevented your injury, you would have had a much better chance.
    http://www.revzilla.com/motorcycle/firstgear-ht-overpants
    #12
  13. FredBGG

    FredBGG Long timer

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    MSF School....... their courses are a bit of a joke.

    Just got worse in California... looks like CHP went with Lee Parks..... Just take one look at the gloves he peddles and it's quite clear he has rather poor understanding of gear and can hardly be honest about safety. He peddles his deer skin gloves that have no steel or composite protection and even claims they are great for track use..... Also bullshits on his site about how bad everyone else's gloves are.

    I bought a pair and after sending in a tracing of my hand that said they would cherry pick a pair to match my hand.
    Neither came close to fitting and the difference in the right glove compared to the left glove was ridiculous. Real junk.

    Really pathetic if you consider he trashes other manufacturers gloves. He even criticizes gloves with carbon fiber knuckle protection when his gloves have no knuckle protection. He claims the carbon will shatter and cause injuries...... Well if top of the line carbon composite shatters it means the impact would have been sufficient to totally shatter the riders hands if there was not protection.
    #13
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  14. Falconx84

    Falconx84 Lurker

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    If you can't afford the gear, you can't afford to ride.

    I'm not exactly well off, so when I started getting serious about riding, I started here on ADVrider and bought some decent used gear. My main commuter suit is an Olympia "Stealth" in high viz. I think I paid >$200 for it shipped in the Flea Market. It's mesh and when paired with another FM deal -- heated jacket liner ~$60 -- it's good for almost a full 3 seasons.

    My other suit is an Olympia Phantom - again, less than $200 shipped with a full insulated liner & heated jacket it's good to less than 20 degrees F. I'd probably be comfortable in lower temps but we have always have snow/ice when it's that cold so I don't ride.

    Both of the above are one-piece that fit over street clothing and both have served me quite well over the past several years.

    If used isn't ok -- check www.motorcyclegear.com in the closeout section. That's where I bought a few jackets/pants before I discovered the wonderful world of ADV


    Gear aside, wish you the best of luck with your recovery.:kurtFollow Doc's orders. My Dad shattered his knee back in the 70s and still has issues today. Medical technology has improved greatly since then, but it's only as good as the patient :nod
    #14
  15. acejones

    acejones Long timer

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    There are all kinds of knee pads that will fit under your pants, over your pants, and inside pockets in your pants. all you need to do is look on the internet. You may also want to consider elbow protection.
    #15
  16. mceee

    mceee Welcome to the dark side!

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    I normally ride offroad, and alway's have my EVS knee and shin guards on. But it's true, they do slide if you land wrong. I've been down many times in the dirt, and they alway's take the first point of impact well, but will slide to the side if it's a high speed skid. I've also found that they suck to wear without having some type of padding behind the straps, I use the EVS long socks that go up to my mid thigh and they work well. I'm glad you are doing better and wish you all the best.
    #16
  17. CheapoWes

    CheapoWes Been here awhile

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    I had my first big off in the dirt last weekend. I "tweaked" my knee a bit but already almost 100%.

    I have MX boots which I wasn't wearing because I convinced myself its too hot(It was hot/was wearing hiking boots).
    I have no real "armor". I have klim pants for rash and a joe rocket padded jacket for the same reason(that I wear 50/50 because of heat).

    Things have to change for me and reading this thread has me thinking what if.

    I hope you have a speedy recovery, sorry for making this post "about me" but if it makes you feel any better your thread will make at least one person a bit safer in the long run.
    #17
  18. brandonmccann

    brandonmccann Adventurer

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    Then that's great! I thought I had thought it out enough before I got my bike but I suppose I left some gaps that I will soon fill.

    And for the record, I've invested quite a bit in protecting myself. I'm not trying to boast, but I've spent well over $1,000 to get everything that I do have. It just doesn't entail anything for my legs because I never saw my knee slamming into the asphalt. I knew a bad stop could hurt my foot, and invested in boots(a woman failed the MSF course because she fell over and broke her ankle), but never expected my bike to hammer my knee like it was some weird, useless nail made of bone. The only place that isn't armored just so happens to be the one place I injured.

    **Dr update** Had my follow up today. Bone's healing well, started bending my knee. Therapy starts next week, should have the brace off in 3 weeks. Hopefully I'll be back on sometime in January. Just like every year nearly. I bought it on a January, someone ran it over and I got it back on a January, and now I'm wrecked and hopefully will be back on it on a January.

    ***Edit***

    I really want something that can go outside of my pants so that it's easier to take off, but so far this seems to be the best option. I suppose I can just think of it as part of my underwear: http://www.revzilla.com/motorcycle/forcefield-grid-knee-protectors
    #18
  19. Guano11

    Guano11 Stop me if you've heard this one....

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    The folks in our little work-related riding group all have "real" gear. Two weekends ago, new guy joins us, first street bike, he's wearing jeans. Sure enough, FNG gets into a little gravel on a 40mph curve, stands it up to brake, and goes down. As this ride's designated medic, I'm looking him over extra closely, trying to assess what he doesn't see/feel in his adrenaline state.

    Uh-oh. His pant leg is torn wide open at the knee.....

    "No big deal" he says, & opens the torn pant leg. He'd been wearing knee pads under the jeans all along, firmly strapped to his knees -- Mtn bike pads? Roller blade? Dirt bike? CE-approved? Who knows, but they were hard plastic backed by firm foam & most certainly did the job in this case. Muscled the bike out of the ditch, duct-taped his pant leg closed & rode the remaining 2 days.

    Days prior, I personally offered him my older 'Stich for his use, thinking he may be a bit naïve on the gear part. Turns out he was of the right mindset. FNG was a "These oughta work" kinda guy; he certainly wasn't dependent on a bureaucratic certification & approval process to analyze the pros & cons of different types of foams, plastics, retention systems, accident scenarios, etc. I will say, however, that most of the rest of us made sure he was aware of the 3-day ride's risks; there was a fair amount of gentle mentoring beforehand; FNG was receptive and good with his own decision-making.

    If there's a moral to the story, I guess it's "Mitigate the risk however it makes sense" and "Doing something is better than nothing". For FNG, it didn't have to be pricey, over-analyzed or flashy. Heck, the pads probably came out of a dusty cardboard box from somewhere deep in the bowels of his garage.

    And they worked when they needed to.

    Here's to a full & speedy recovery! :beer
    #19
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  20. CheapoWes

    CheapoWes Been here awhile

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    That seriously looks good.

    Did you do the wheels or are they made that way?

    I saw a guy riding the trails in hockey gear a few weeks ago.

    As someone who played hockey as a youngster I think he'll be just fine.
    #20
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