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Ari : Back to Back Breaks
Diary entry posted Thu 10:53am 6 September 2007

I came across this site a few weeks ago and thought I’d share my experience. On 4/9/05 I was hit by a van and was thrown about 20 feet. I tried to get up but couldn’t. Within a short period of time, I heard sirens. Still not comprehending the seriousness of the situation, I thought, “are they coming for me?” Well, they were.

They carefully placed me in the ambulance. I was wearing a nice suit and coat at the time and remember the EMT guys briefly debating whether to cut my clothes. The guy with the big scissors won. Strangely, though I had suffered numerous orthopedic and internal injuries, I was not in too much pain. I attribute this to shock and adrenaline rush.

The EMT guys were real professionals. One of them had the good sense to notify my wife and even drove her to the hospital. Another came back to visit me after my seven hour surgery just to see if I was okay.

I was diagnosed with a very comminuted displaced fracture of the proximal left tibia, a transverse fracture of the mid shaft of the left humerus, dislocation of the right acromioclavicular joint, fractured ribs and a collapsed lung. In short, I was a mess. To make matters worse, my leg was in the beginning stages of compartment syndrome, a potentially limb threatening condition.

However, I had an excellent OS who put me back together. He used an IM nail and 2 screws to reduce my arm and a nine-hole plate to reduce the leg. An IM nail, similar to the one utilized for my arm, could not be used for the leg due to instability. He also performed a procedure, known as a faciotomy, to relieve the pressure in my leg and restore uninterrupted blood flow to the leg muscles.

After 10 days, I was discharged from the hospital and immediately embarked on aggressive PT. After six weeks, my arm was declared healed and my shoulder started feeling a bit better. I was then given the green light to use crutches.

On 6/21/05 I was WBAT and graduated to one crutch for support. In July, I graduated to a cane and eventually tossed it by mid month. I started going back to the gym in August. Nothing crazy, only twice a week and supervised by a friend who happened to be a fitness expert. I also continued PT and found the ultrasound massages extremely helpful in reducing pain and swelling and restoring range of motion.

After about a year I felt strong enough to resume my normal daredevil activities. I scheduled a family vacation to Israel. On 4/16/06 almost a year since I was run over, I went mountain climbing leaving my wife and kids to relax at the hotel. While climbing, I slipped and fell a good distance landing in about two feet of water. I took one look at my right ankle and knew it was broken. I’ll skip the details of how I was extricated from the location (which is a story unto itself) and fast-forward to the hospital.

After taking x-rays, I asked the technician if it was bad and he answered in Hebrew the word “charah” which means “sh*t.” I was diagnosed with a trimalliolar fracture with dislocation and torn ligaments. The orthopedic doctors in Israel are excellent but I opted to play it safe and return to the States to be treated by the same OS who worked on me the previous year. Needless to say he wasn’t too happy to see me and I believe he called me a “bloody fool.” He scheduled me for surgery on 4/19/06. He reduced the fracture with 3 screws. About six weeks later, I had a second minor surgery to have one taken out. (It was a temporary screw for stability.)

After 11 ½ weeks, I was WBAT and again graduated to one crutch. After six months, I was running pain-free.

In April 2007 I went vacationing in Israel again. Over the strenuous objections of my wife (who threatened to divorce me if I had one more accident) I went mountain climbing on the same mountain and this time, I am happy to report that it was without incident.

Just a bit of advice to all those who are currently recuperating from their fractures. It DOES get better and it’s a TEMPORARY condition. Don’t be afraid to ask your OS questions and if you don’t feel right about something, its okay to get a second opinion. Take your PT seriously. I personally found ultrasound massage therapy to be very therapeutic. Use ice and anti-inflammatories to keep swelling down, eat healthy and most importantly, keep a positive attitude. You’ll be fine.

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 Thu 10:53am 6 September 2007
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