Broken backs and recovery. Talk to me
Broke two neck vertebra playing rugby and surprisingly was up and about and fairly fit within 3 weeks, but it really depends on the type of fracture, it is not something to rush back in to.
Personal advice, listen to the doctors and the timescales they give, NHS physios are great but limited time wise, so if you can afford or have cover, get a private physio on board as they will be a great help and with any break, i’ve always upped my protein and calcium intakePosted 9 months agouwe-rMember
I have had 2 separate breaks, both compression fractures so not as bad as yours. You can be up and about fairly quickly but I have long term muscle problems which is generally what gets to people, i get a sore and stiff back now especially down one side. The bones will heal but the muscles can be more tricky. Give it every chance for long term recovery.Posted 9 months ago
Sounds very similar to the injuries I had in a road acccident back in summer 2005. Fractures to L3, L4 & L5.
Was out of hospital as soon as they could get me fitted with a brace and transported home (this was delayed a bit due to being in France and Bastille day getting in the way!).
I was on my feet as soon as the brace was fitted and reasonably mobile, although I couldn’t bend or sit down for about 3 months (both due to doctor’s orders and because it hurt like hell to try). I had some leg injuries at the same time which restricted my mobility somewhat.
Once the legs healed-up, I felt pretty decent. Climbed Ben Lomond with the brace on and got right back into hill-walking as soon as I was out of it (10 weeks). Also started indoor, top-roped climbing as soon as I was out of the brace (doctor encouraged it).
Mountain biking and snowboarding took a bit longer as the back generally felt good, but any kind of jarring was painful. You would have felt great for a week, then just take a heavy step off a curb and get shooting, intense pain through the lower back.
I started gently, flat cycling as soon as I was out of the brace and did some VERY mellow MTB rides that Autumn. I had cancelled my New Year snowboard trip, but ended up sneaking back on it for a few days because I managed to get the doctor to say the magic words “no further treatment required” just before Christmas (what he actually said was “no further treatment, but take it easy and build back up slowly over the next 6 months”). We got good powder on the snowboard trip and the bottom of every powder turn hurt but I had a massive grin on my face the whole time.
After that, I got back in shape fairly quickly, even did 2 more snowboard trips that winter (including climbing Mont Blanc and snowboarding down), but I had to work hard to get fitness back after the enforced lay-off and had to do a load of core-stability work as my back/abs were shot after 10 weeks in a brace.
Long-term, I’ve had no hassles. I moved to France 2 years after the accident and started a chalet holiday business. I’ve been a bike guide for the past 10 years and have just become a top level snowboard instructor. I have no hassles whatsoever that I can definitively link to the injury. After a long bike season or hitting a lot of jumps on the snowboard, I do get some stiffness/minor pain in the lower back, but I’m not sure that anyone else who’s pushing 40 and trying to do what I do wouldn’t get the same!
Drop me an email if you want, stevo at whiteroomchalet dot comPosted 9 months ago
Continuing my prolific use of my local hospital I am currently flat in bed after being T-boned by a car driver last night who looked right through me before pulling out. Stable anterior fractures of L1 and L3 vertebrae. Should be in a brace today and there were rumbles about sending me home over/after the weekend.Posted 9 months ago
So those of you who have had similar, how long before you were back to riding and fitness?welshfarmerSubscriber
Mrs Farmer broke a couple of lower vertebrae falling off a ladder while caving in France. She landed on her rucksack which unfortunately had a hard plastic container inside 🙁Posted 9 months ago
Was in intense pain for a few days before we finally went for XRay-at which point the Consultant said nothing wrong, go home and take some pain-killers. We asked him if he was sure so he had a second look and noticed 2 broken verts! At this point he then demanded she stay in the hospital 🙂
Anyway, we didn’t stay, just went to sports injury clinic, was fitted with a brace, and she was out running within a couple of days (wearing the brace). Long story short, full recovery was made with only a very small period of pain and inactivity in between. Small disclaimer: Mrs Farmer is hard as nails and one of the fittest people you are likely to meet. 🙂globaltiMember
GtiJ compressed a vertebra skiing; was kept in the Orthopedic clinic in Moutiers for five days while the admin staff rubbed their hands in glee at the fees, then was sent home with a plastic brace. Orthopedic consultant and my cycling buddy, also a Dr, looked at the x-ray and both said: “In Britain you’d have been sent straight home and told to take it easy!”. Anyway he made a full recovery.Posted 9 months agograySubscriber
I broke my T12 just over a year ago, and had scaffolding put in from T11 to L1. The metalwork was taken out 3 weeks ago now. Here is some of the tale:
Short version is that it was really bad for a week or two, then improved steadily for a few more weeks, then improved slowly over the next year. 6 months after breaking it I was road riding pretty reasonably. A year on I was barely compromised. Have been knocked back a bit by the recent surgery, but it’s all good. Was back on the turbo before the wound dressings were off. Hope to ride outside next month.Posted 9 months agoShackletonSubscriber
All of the above sounds familiar. I broke mine playing rugby ~20 years ago aged 15 (compression fracture), took 4 weeks until I was doing stuff gently on a bike, 8 weeks for impact (running, off road biking, etc). Probably a bit soon but I was 15…..
Wife broke hers falling off a horse (stable L1 fracture I think but can’t remember whether it was anterior or posterior). Was on the turbo after 6 weeks, mountain bike at 8 weeks over hexham common and riding in the alps at 12 weeks (oddly enough with Steveo above of Whiteroom fame). Whether that was totally sensible is open to debate but nothing bad happened.
No brace for either of us though which probably helped gauge what is ok and what is not and allowed us to move around more.
Best advice from mine and the wifes experience would be to get physio as soon as you can for as long as you can. Both of us have fully recovered from the actual break but both still have constant residual muscle/back pain, flexibility and posture issues that could largely have been avoided if we had done proper physio at the time.Posted 9 months agoBeagleboySubscriber
I crushed my L1 vertebrae down to about 50% of it’s original height while snowboarding Feb 16. I was in hospital for 10 days then in a body brace for about 7 weeks afterwards. Once out of the brace, I reckon I was back doing gentle road rides within a couple of weeks. I was probably a good couple of months ( four months post accident), before I felt confident enough to head out on the mountain bike again. My back coped with it admirably, my mind not so well, oh and I was taking a rather scary amount of painkillers.
A year or so down the line and I’m riding the trails harder and faster than ever before, although a lot of that is probably down to the new bike I treated myself with once I was up and about again! Like someone said earlier, the only real problem I have is a slow build up of pain in my lower back when riding till it gets to a point where I simply have to stop for a few minutes. This is more evident on long draggy climbs when pushing hard on the pedals, where I quickly get to a point where the pain just gets too much and I have to stop. Brilliant excuse mind you. 😉
In the long run, I’m riding my bike as much as I used to, and having every bit as much fun as I used to. I just have to take more frequent, short stops, to let the pain ease away.
Really hope you get well soon, and if you want to blether a bit more about this, my email’s in my profile…I think..I’ll just go and check! 😀
Craig, the guy who broke himself trying the most awesome snowboarding trick ever…no really it was awesome…it wasn’t the snowboard equivalent of bumping down off a kerb, honest!Posted 9 months agoshermer75Member
I haven’t broken my back but the usual healing times for fractures means that you should be able to do most stuff by 6 weeks and be fully healed by 12 weeks. You may still be getting pain for a month or two longer, this seems to be a feature of broken backs in particular. I’d imagine that they will be very keen to get you on your feet as soon as possible to prevent the musclees supporting your spine from becoming deconditioned.Posted 9 months ago
Sandwich yes I was told that both fractures were stable.Posted 9 months ago
I’m concerned about the affects it will have upon my existing chronic sciatica due to dry L5/S1 disc but I guess I won’t know until I get up and about.
I don’t do well with confined spaces and being bed bound currently is getting to me. Just about dealing with the brace.Nipper99Subscriber
I compression fractured T1,2 and 3 vertebra (high speed otb) – was in hospital for 4 days to see if they had stabilised then sent home in a brace that I had to wear for 6 weeks or so (I cut the strapping off the brace after – industrial Velcro good for bikepacking). I was off the bike for a couple months – still aches from time to time and I have a terror of otbs.Posted 9 months agomarksnookSubscriber
I fractured L1 and L2 hitting a rock snowboarding in the back country, I stupidly didn’t go to physio and was snowboarding again within 6 weeks. I have full range of movement but muscle problems are the worst part. I’m told this could have been helped/prevented by good physio. The one thing I would suggest is don’t do anything too soon. I stretch and do back exercises every day .
Hope you feel better and are on your feet soon. Just don’t rush!Posted 9 months agoferralsMember
Cheers mate, yes she’s fine, hope you guys are all doing well – at least your off nappy duties for a couple of days 😆
4 months till cx season so fingers crossed you’ll be back by then. I’m going to miss the first race – didnt expect it to start so early so am on holiday.Posted 9 months ago
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