23
Oct 2003

Not recommended injury

Not recommended injury

EDIT: the post I made a year after my accident may be interesting too.

A little over two months ago (August 17th) I broke my back quite badly in a kite mountainboarding crash. I landed very hard on my arse after my bar (which controls the kite) got caught on my harness. My L1 vertibrae burst into my spinal column damaging my spinal cord, but thankfully not severing it. I spent two and a half weeks in Glasgow Southern General Spinal Injuries Unit, which is an excellent facility by the way, where I had an operation to stabilise my back with two plates and four pins.

By all accounts I’m super lucky to be able to walk and should make a pretty much full recovery, even if it takes a year. I’m at the stage where I’m starting to feel like I’ve got a back again and I’ve got another eight weeks of wearing a space-age-looking back brace before I can start to get my back strengthened up. The surgeons are very non-commital (fair enough!) about how long it’ll get to back into sports and I’m just going to take it as it comes.

73 comments

  1. Reading all of your stories I can totally relate to. On 12-31-04 I was in a truck accident In Glamis, CA. I had a burst fracture of t-11 and an open compound fracture of my right tib/fib. After an 8 hour surgery on my back and 3 surgeries later on my leg,lots of hardware,I have just started walking about 3 weeks ago. I am 28 years old and never imagined anything like this ever. My back is very sore every day. Its been a long recovery and I can’t wait to be able to run and walk long distances again. Stay positive and patience is very important. :)

  2. Hi All,
    It was so nice to read things from people who have been going through the same things I have been feeling. I had a burst fracture of T-12 with compression fractures above and below from a car accident on 2/15/05. Surgery gave me 2 long rods and 10 screws. I also was in a brace for 4 months. Wondering when I’ll ever feel “normal” again. So far, my doc has only given me permission to take walks. Very frustrating as I was quite active prior to the accident. As one of the other writers stated, there’s not much information out there for those of us recovering. Thanks for the information and good thoughts.

  3. Wow. I feel so incredibly lucky! You all deserve medals for your courage and strength. Exactly one month ago, I crushed my L1 vertebra while at a family reunion. There was a trampoline with big nets around the sides and padded springs and I thought to myself “Wow, a safe trampoline! I’ll try it!” Well, I landed wrong, and took a cheery, morphine-enhanced ambulance ride to the hospital. I spent three days in the hospital, and then a week in terrible pain without much movement. Yesterday I met with my doctor and got a new round of x-rays and I am recovering well. He estimates I’ll be in my velco back brace for another six weeks. I am a doctoral student and teacher, and I got the go-ahead to return to school in two weeks. All along, I’ve been feeling so lucky to avoid surgery and paralysis, and after reading the postings on this site, I am now certain that I’m one of the luckiest folks in the world. I will keep all of you in my thoughts and wish for your full and quick recoveries.

  4. Bret the beast

    Real cool site. Good to hear my injury isn’t nearly as bad as others. I am in excellent shape, I am (was) an extreme sports enthusist at age 41… Snowboard Boardercross racer, Wake boarding etc. After 18 seperate bone breaks, I’m finally hanging up all high risk events. 3 weeks ago I compression fractured my T-12… of all things teaching my kids to Kneeboard… Fast Big air behind a big boat and short rope, Stuck the landing but hit flat and heard the crunch. I was in the San Juan Islands with no cell coverage. Had to ride in a boat 10 miles in rough water (tear jerker) to Friday Harbor and fly to Seattle via helo at a cost of $11,200 US. I consider this my worst bone break and most painful. The lesson: I would suggest not jumping the wake on a kneeboard after the age of 25-30, there just isn’t enough shock absorbtion. I’m a college teacher (obviously not English) so I’m back today to work. still on light meds and wearing the super hero style back brace. My only concern is I have chunks of bone floating around T12 and the Doc says no surgery. I am feeling a lot better after reading your success stories, thanks.

  5. I am 18 and I broke a bone in the lower part of myback last april – i fell out of a second floor flat and landed on my bum but it crushed my bone in my back! i didnt get an op but was in hospital for 2 weeks then had to wear a brace for 6 weeks. i still get sore backs now a year on and wondered if anyone had any tips or advice to stop it getting sore – its mainly sore if i sit for long periods of time.

    kelly

  6. All – Just fishing for some info on possibilities with my nephew and hoping for some hints on where to search or who to talk to and some encouragement. I am not personally injured, but my nephew just was and I really would appreciate your input. Briefly the situation is this: My nephew was training in South America with the US Ski team and had a horrible crash a couple days ago. The L-1 was crushed and he had a surgery that put in a plate from L-2 down below the L-1. He has total paralysis in his left leg but perhaps some limited feeling there and he has no bladder control at all right now. Its a very early stage after the surgery (just two days) and the doctors are very guarded in their discusion on the prospects of the extent of his recovery. He won’t even be able to travel home for almost two weeks. The family is all scared to death over this and I am trying to do basic research just to help us all back in the states get ready with plans for therapy and get some of our fears alleviated if there are good signs. My biggest question other than where to do some research that is not bogged down with medical jargon that I cannot understand has to do with his paralysis and lost bladder control. Its only one leg that is affected so I am guessing its a huge sign of hope for recovery with regard to walking again and having control of all of his plumbing. Is this false hope? Does it make a difference that only one leg was affected. If anyone can email me at bruce.r.yolken@boeing.com I would so appreciate your input. PS – he is only 18, maybe that will help in the healing?? Bruce

  7. im a L1 burst fracture in a motorcycle accident im walking now after 3 months never had to wear a back brace doctors say in a year i will be fully recovered

  8. Hello from rainy England ! I have a friend called Jeannette that has broken her neck and damaged her spinal cord in a trampoline accident, 8 weeks ago. she has now realised the trauma and is getting very low. I am researching different cases to give her some hope, it is c5 and 6 she has damaged and now has a metal plate in her neck. she has movement in left hand but nothing in legs or neck down. I would be extremely greatful if you could give some hope for her

    Thanks alot (by theway I think you havea great arse)
    Maxine

  9. Yea! A whole thread about broken backs! I’ve got compression fractures on t4, t5 after falling on my head (I’m too embarrased to say how;) I have been very lucky so far, weened myself off meds several times to see how much pain I was in. Once it was livable, I quit them altogether. I have also weened myself off the brace though I still wear it when driving or when excercising (mildly). This is all against my doctors wishes but the fact is Im listening to my body(eg loose the drugs as soon as its a real option) and only push myself gently, though do push (IMHO). Ive gain some of the muscle back (boy i was sore after my first light weight lifting (and it was very light!))The body is both fragile and amazingly resilient. Good luck too us all

    mrThatcher

  10. Hi Mark. Thank you so much for such a wonderful website. It has helped me more than you know.

    I was riding a horse when a cat screamed—scaring the horse. He bolted—heading towards the wall at a full gallop, I turned the rein, and he did a 180. I was tossed up in the air violently and fell down about six feet on my back. I was in so much pain, but I drove home by myself!!! That night, I went into shock, but didn’t realize it. Fortunately, I made it through the night.

    The next day, I went to my doctor, who poo pooed it. “Just a muscle spasm”—she said. She didn’t even take x-rays!

    For four weeks, I walked around with a broken back and didn't know it.  Yeah, I was stretching--and doing everything you should do,  thinking I had a muscle spasm! I'm so lucky, as I could have done a lot more damage.

    I finally went to an orthopedist who found compression fractures in L2 and L4. And.. all of my discs are herniated. It was too late for a brace.

    Now I’m three months in, and wondering what the future will be like. My physical therapist is telling me that I won’t be able to jog, ride horses, or anything with high impact. She also doesn’t know if I’ll ever be out of pain.

    I know I should be greatful that I’m walking… but I’m an athlete, and I’m so depressed. The future is so uncertain. I just want some answers so I know what I’m facing, but neither my doctor nor my PT seems to know.

  11. Hi Mark,
    The best day really is when you go a whole day without thinking about your back. I had that day quite a while ago but I just wanted to email and let you know how much you have helped me with this whole thing. It has been over two years and I have been riding the bike and back into pretty good shape.
    Thank you Mark!

  12. Wow, Meredith, I’m touched! Thanks. The truth is that had intended to write much more about my back, but I found that writing anything about myself takes a lot more effort than I expected, nevermind something as significant to me as breaking my back.

    Getting fitter and realising that you aren’t as held back by your injury as you thought you might be is a wonderful experience. I’m really glad things are starting to work out for you.

    For me, it’s all too easy to forget about what has happened and I’m glad that I get reminded of it every so often. It might sound strange, but as grim as the whole experience was, I don’t want to forget what happened. I want to remember how sore it was and how scared I felt. Of course, I don’t want to be haunted by these thoughts (I’m not – I’ve quite come to terms with it all), but I don’t want them to fade from my memory either – it has been such a major event in my life.

    Hope life keeps getting better for you. Give me a shout if you’re in Scotland – we can trade more injury tales!

  13. Hi Mark,

    We’ll be in Scotland in the beginning of September. Can’t wait to see all the sights! Maybe we’ll run into you.

    Take care!

  14. Hello Mark and others who have posted to his site.
    I found this was the only really user-friendly place to read other’s stories similar to mine. I wanted to share my story and maybe it will help someone else in some way, if even to make them feel more fortunate :)

    In May of 2006, I slipped on a step at church and landed flat on my bottom, just like I was sitting in a chair. The impact travelled up my spine and I immediately laid on my side to alleviate the pain. The EMT’s carried me down the stairs with one holding my ankles/legs and the other behind me under my armpits. BIG MISTAKE. They should have put me on a flat board immediately.

    Once I was at the hospital, the nurse doing the X-ray asked me to “skoot” myself from the bed to under the x-ray machine without assistance since they were “under-staffed” that day! I was also asked to do the same for the CT scan… which came back with a T-12 BURST COMPRESSION Fracture. They immediately immobilized me and iv’d and cathederized me and put me on a helicopter to go to a major medical center in Dallas.

    I was stable and on a self-administered controlled-dose morphine machine for the next 4 days. Stayed in a 45 degree angle with all my church clothes on still… waiting my turn to get into surgery. There were others whose situation was more critical than mine (motorcyle and auto accidents) kept bumping my time back. I lived on Ensure mostly during this time. I managed to lose 20 pounds after the accident. Recovery and pain medicine takes away appetite. I would recommend that people be patient with your new found ‘skinny-ness’, my family was overly concerned. I gradually found my appetite and have since regained it. Albeit, I think my recovery would have been quicker had I not gained so fast. The additional weight on my back made it harder on me.

    I have harrington rods from T-10 to L-2. They used donated cadaver tissue for my multi-level fusion. One year later and I’m still dealing with pain. I did the turtle shell brace with the 3-straps for many months and a shower chair, and a walker. I also acquired a tool that allows me to pick up things without bending over. You don’t realize how much to bend to do little things around the house, until you can’t do it!

    I kept thinking at a year I would be recovered, but it just not has been that way for me. They did a bone density scan and that came back normal (or within range). I finally sought a new specialist. When you are getting x-rays and such, ask for copys of your films of your X-rays or CT and MRI’s if possible. They were worth their weight in gold for subsequent Dr. visits. Also, it was nice to show my family and friends the injury and surgery hardware after.

    My new Dr. determined that I had “non-union” of my fusion. And I had two choices, new fusion surgery using my own bone tissue (extracted from the hip), or a device called a bone-stimulator. My insurance covered the bone-stimulator since my fusion is multi-level and it had been more than a year since the surgery. Billed insurance for $5200. ouch.

    I do the bone-stimulator machine everyday for 30 minutes and it is basically like a big plate with a velcro stap that uses an electro-magnetic process to stimulate bone growth. I just put it on the bed and lay on it and watch tv. It provides no sensation and I feel nothing. It has been almost 2 months and the jury is still out on how successful it is. They told me I would know if it was helping in 6 months… and the device basically permanently turns itself off after 9 months. I suppose this is to prevent you re-selling on ebay ;)

    So here it is 15 months after my surgery, and I still cannot make it through even a few hours of the day without having to lay down and take the weight off my back. I’m hopeful though.

    Anyway – I hope my story helps.
    Adena in Texas

  15. hi about 4 weeks ago I slipped tree steps and broke L1 to L4 needless to say how pain it is for the first week all head is pain killers which made very sicke I started to have heable tablet cellary with deavel clow 3time a day and rest doing this I am me pain free now I going walking in a pool and sana and hot spare 3 time a week hope this will help you as I as would like to start racing my bike in jan next year all the best joe

  16. I was just searching the net here to try to figure out how long i’m gonna still be in pain, when I found this site…how interesting…I am not the only one…although i’m still wondering how much longer i’m gonna have to deal with this pain and if it will ever go away…tomorrow would be nice…on May 20th 2007 I was in a car accident, the two seater convertible was upside down and I had to be extracted out…don’t remember a whole lot except every time I woke up I was in extreme pain…felt like I couldn’t breath…diagnosis was a compression fracture of my T-8 lucky me i could still move my legs…I didn’t need any brace or surgery…lucky me again…I was in the hospital for 9 days don’t remember the first week…pain management was alot I heard about…anyhowow its been 4 1/2 months now I’m still in physio, which I found has helped me a great deal I can situp, stand and walk longer…but sometimes lately I feel like i’m in a rut i’ve gotten to this point but don’t seem to be getting any farther…i’m in a back to work program ,which I truly enjoy, not yet doing my regular job as a truck driver yet but I am helping out in the office 6 hrs 3 days a week… looking for the end of all this and trying to keep my chin up…I’m was an active 39 yr old female and desparately wanting that back again…the driver didn’t have a scratch,lucky him…wishing all of you a complete recovery, thanks Tammy.

  17. Hiya.Was Just Reading Your Post On Your Back.Just Over A Year Ago I Was In A Car Crash And Sufferred With A L1 Chance Fracture And It Was Also Collapsed.I Had A Operation And Had Metalwork From T12 To L2 And I Had To Wear A Back Brace For 3 Months.I Had The Metal Work Removed From My Back 11 Months Later And My Back Still Isnt Back To Its Normal State.I Often Get Bad Back Ache And Loose The Feeling On One Side Of My Back.Im Also Left With A Scar Like Yours.Best Wishes Zoe xx

  18. Hi Mark Great site helping loads of people nice work im also keen mountainbiker/surfer/mountainboarder and the last couple years paragliding all great until 14nov 07 i was playing around doing low level 360 spins and i miss jugged my height and distance from the hill ending in me ploughing in to it i remember a flash of light when i hit and then trying to get my breath as i was rolling around in pain i realized that id dislocated my right foot and broken something as it was just hanging of my leg and i could feel a very sharp pain in my back where id crushed/fractured my L1 i had a couple ops on my leg with some metal work but they decided not to op on the back not sure why as the L1 looked all twisted in the x-rays, ,im 40 years old and never broken a bone so not sure what to expect im still wearing fibre glass body brace and haveing screw out the leg next couple days,, stopped taking pain killers as they are doing my head in,, starting to loose the plot, back still hurt’s like hell.. ,,spent time looking on line for a good ending to a story about a back injury and was getting well bummed about it all but after reading all your stuff im feeling much happier about getting back to it,, im really sorry to all these people suffering with back problems I hope others get as much help as I have from your site cheers Mate o here’s a poem that I found that is also quite helpful,,,

    So if you think your beaten you are.
    If you think you dare not, you don’t.
    If you like to win, but you think you
    cant its almost certain you wont.
    Life’s battles don’t always go to the
    strongest or the faster man:
    But sooner or later the man who wins,
    is the man who thinks he can!

    If you are at the mountain mayhem 08 or the UCI in Fort William come say hello I will be on the Buff stand cheers. Henry Stark.

  19. Hello all,

    What a relief it was in finding this website… I feel it has been really difficult find people in the same situation or people that have shared experiences similar to mine. Like us all we have questions… is each day with a broken back a normal day and should it be this way after a week, weeks, months and years? A big thank you goes out to Mark and you all that have written entries on this website, where you have shared your own painful experiences in order to help others…I hope I can do the same…
    Well I was on a snowboarding holiday with a big group just getting some practice in before heading off to Banff in Canada with my husband on our honey Moon!!! Then towards the ending of the holiday I had my accident (eight weeks ago today, 24/01/08). I really do not have a great understanding about how it happened I just went off the edge of a mountain falling about 15-20 ft where by a tree broke my fall, I landed in a tree sure as he**! breaking my back… Wow that pain. I know, that is one think, you will understand, THE PAIN… Although Pain told me one thing I was not paralyzed. I am an intensive care nurse and was constantly trying to analyze the situation and see if I would survive this accident while lying there for 1½ hours before the helicopter came. Luckily my husband seen the fall and came to look for me, finding me at the base of a tree, I was flown to hospital and operated on within 24 hours. I can’t really tell you what type of break it was apart from it was an unstable L4 break and it hurt, I never really asked what break it was as to me they just need to do what they needed to do and I just needed to get through it also it was an Austrian hospital with a great language barrier.
    Following surgery whereby they put a metal plate and screws in my back and all the usual stuff, catheters, drains, iv s and so… the pain was very strong and my back was very uncomfortable but the first week is a little vague I was off the pain killers quickly due to problems with my liver (That could not tolerate the medicine) and I had Post traumatic pancreatitis, meaning that I had to stop eating to give it rest and then flush it with IV fluids. Any how I was in Austria in hospital 2 weeks then flown back to Denmark with my Angel wings… (The one and only Plastic corset) I started to stand about 6-7 days after surgery, which was emotional and physically hard (low blood pressure was a big problem for me) wow that feeling of feeling my feet firmly on the ground was a big step forward, surely I need physical support but day by day I became stronger and started walking alone… although that feeling of having metal plates in my back never really disappears I still feel it there and I hope it will go away one day or I may have it removed…Have any one advice on having the metal plates removed, Shall I Remove it or Keep it?
    I think it is important to listen to your body, slow down or lye down if it starts to ach give it rest and be prepared to be patient, try to avoid sitting down as I feel this causes most discomfort. AND in respect to the brace well I was told not to wear mine…..!!! when I came back to Denamrk. As this will weaken muscles and cause a longer healing process (I have had surgery, so they say it is stable, I should JUST not do anything that causes pain) This was very confusing as Austria told me to keep it on AT ALL TIMES…. but I have listened to my body and not used it after 5-6 weeks from surgery, it was hard the first week and a bit but now it is getting easier… I have current discomfort, but no pain as such and I take only a little anti inflammatories. I really look forward to doing physical things again like sport in general and I hope we make our honey moon this Winter which will be a year after the accident.
    It all sounds a little positive but that’s the way I deal with it. Each day I say to my self 15times that “My back will get better and better day by day and it will be stronger than it ever was before”. I also work with visualization, whereby I am in a relaxed position like a day dream and I invisage my back healing and then that it is healed and that I am doing all the things I want to do again, (Barbara Berger, 1995 rewritten in 2007, The road to power, fast food for the soul) This is a recommended book and technique, it seems to help me may be it will help you too. I just know I am willing to try anything to help the healing process also apparently bananas help stimulate natural tryptophen a growth hormone to help healing (Dr. John M. La Tourrette, 2008) well I eat two a day!!! (Just in case) (http://www.ultramind.supportgroup.ws/broken_back.htm)
    I look forward to that day when I get up, have a normal day and I have’nt thought about my back….(I’ll let you know when it is, When was yours?) Myself and them close to me have learnt many positive things from this terrible experience, I have met some amazing people along the way and this experience will make a positive difference in my future life, Sure I get down days, but we just gota rest then get back up and fight harder …Good recovery to you all, I have be touched by each and every one of you.
    Love Victoria (Welsh, but living in Denmark)

  20. Update: It has almost been 2 years since my fall – and I wrote earlier that I was subscribed a bone stimulator to help fuse my non-union t-10 to L-2. Well, I did it for 9 months and not really feeling any different, in fact, I was sure I was getting worse until the last month of treatment – so I asked if I could get another unit, and the Dr. set it up for me to get a new unit for another 9 months of treatment. I still am unable to stand/sit upright for any extended period. On a recent plane trip, I was in tears on the plane, as you have to have the seats almost completely upright. I was in terrible pain. Hydrocodone doesn’t offer any help, and just keeps me awake at night. My Dr. subscribed a different drug, Tramadol – but it makes me forgetful and unable to function, so I don’t like to take it. I will ask my Dr. for an alternative on the next visit. My neurosurgeon will not see me unless another Dr. prescribes another surgery – is that dumb or what? I’m at a loss as to what to do – I cannot continue to live like this. I never thought it would be such a long painful 2 years. I’m wondering if it will ever get better. The back Dr. that I see is not sure what to do, we did a steroid/spinal block to determine if my hardware is my problem. It didn’t help, in fact I was worse off pain-wise for about a week after. He still thinks removing it might give me relief. My last set of films show that the bone is still fractured. I’m extremely scared to remove hardware if I’m still broken… has anyone had their hardware removed?????

  21. stacey nieznany

    I would just like to first say that thank god my breaks arn’t as bad as some i have read about here. On March 8, 2008, my children were running in and out of the house, it had just snowed the night before. They had tracked snow in the house on the tile in front of the door. I hadn’t noticed this. I came down from upstairs and as soon as my foot hit the tile down came my big fat 36 yr old butt on the tile. I knew as soon as i hit that it was bad. I could literally feel and hear the bones ing in my back. It was so loud my son sitting on the couch heard them break. not kidding. I immediately screamed for help, i knew i was in trouble, i got on my knees and crawled about 3 feet. My mom was there at the time and came running, I told her to get a pan quick, the pain was so bad i started throwing up. after about 3 min. i was able to crawl and get on the couch and lay on my back. The ambulance was called and away we went to the hospital. Heres where it gets interesting, I was put in the er on a bed laying flat. They came and got me and took me for xrays. The xray tech did the xrays, which by the way were extremely painful, even with a shot of dalotid allready in me. I asked the xray tech what she saw on them, she said something didn’t look right. Went back to er bed. I waited for like 2 hrs for the doctor to come back. When they finally came back the said okay your going to be fine, just pulled some muscles were going to send you home. I told them that i knew my back was broke, that i felt and heard it break, that even the xray tech said something wasn’t right. The doc told me the xray tech isn’t qualified to tell me anything. The nurse was extremely rude she raised my bed straight up, i was screaming, it hurt so bad. She told me to calm down it was just some pulled muscles, she said i needed to quit screaming that i was upsetting the baby in the next room. I have never wanted to kill someone so badly in my life. The doc put me out of school for 3 days. I layed on the couch and literally thought i was going to die, my 12 yr old daughter stayed home from school with me for four days and took care of me. One week later i was no better, my mother thought i was milking it for everything. I still couldn’t stand without bracing my self against the wall. I called my regular md. they got me in almost 2 weeks after . While i waited in office they had my xray report faxed from hospital, the doc came in and said “I thought you said you’re back wasn’t broke”. I told him that’s what the er told me, but i felt it was broke. He said the xray report said my T11 and T12 had compression fractures and hairline fracture in my rear. I was floored, couldn’t believe that once the radiologist came in on the monday following my , and actually read my xrays that nobody had called me. Needless to say i was ed, very ed. Was sent to a neurosurgeon and he told me it would be at least 3-4 mos before going back to school. Wouldn’t put me in a brace, because i am overweight, said it would do more harm than good. Needless to say it has been a long 4 mos. Back was doing alot better first of june, but i overdid it and it hurt real bad for about 3 weeks, is feeling better now. Have to go for a new MRI tomorrow. Doc wants to see if i have any new fractures that could still be causing pain. Sure hope not. Needless to say my mom felt horrible for making me feel like i was milking it for all it was worth, not her fault we didn’t know it was broke, she just thought was pulled muscles. I had to move in with my mom and my 2 teenager because had no income coming in, Hopefully will be able to go to work in the next month, won’t be able to go back to school, bills are two far behind. I gained about 25 lbs just sitting around here. But now i am losing weight, i know my back will never get better if i am overweight. Thank you so much for this website, Even if you don’t reply, at least i got to tell my story to people who would understand what i went through, and i hope no one ever has to go through what i went through at the hospital, probably hindered my recovery because the doc wasn’t competent enought to read an xray. Good luck to everyone and god bless you. hope everyone heels soon.

  22. This is my 3rd post and further update. I found that some of the Dr’s that might have been able to help me, wouldn’t take Medicare only, or would not do “Revision Surgery”. I found a 3rd Dr. in Dallas that was not afraid of my situation and took a look at my films and although he said he couldn’t confirm the source of my pain, he did think the logical next step was to remove the hardware. He said my bone looked solid as was not concerned about it. The CT scan shows holes/spots in the bone that made me uncomfortable. I however felt like I was desperate and would try anything to alleviate my daily pain. I even have to ride in the car sitting at a 45 degree angle. The RN said that would only exacerbate neck and upper back problems for me long-term – but otherwise I am unable to sit for any length of time without leaning sideways or bending at the waste and leaning on the table with my elbows… They did a surgery in September 2008 and removed all my hardware and drilled off the boney parts of my spine that were sticking out. I looked very ‘freaky’ with nobs going down my back, this is due to the bones healing with a ‘C’ shaped curve toward the fracture. It made it grotesque and very uncomfortable to lean against any hard surface and prohibited a bra with back hooks. I’m a ‘front hook’ gal now :) The shaving of the bones makes me look a bit more normal. It has been 5 months since my surgery, and I would say that my recovery was quicker than my last surgery, maybe it’s because I knew what to do, how to move around, get out of bed, etc. I still have restriction of movement – and deal with pain daily. I find myself laying down throughout the day. Somedays are worse than others, it depends on my activity level. I find myself still struggling with things like groceries, trash, dishes – and still can’t lift a mattress to change sheets, vaccuuming, etc. I am thankful I have a son and a maid that can come every now and then to help. I’m too young to be in this predicament – I’m supposed to be more active, makes me sad to think that this whole thing could have been prevented with a little bit of sand paper tape on the edge of a stair. My son could hvae a mother more involved in his life – and I wouldn’t have to live like a handicapped person at 42. I am going to see my last surgeon Dr. again in the coming months – but I know what he’ll say… “there’s nothing more to do” – hydrocodone seems to be the answer, which I dread to take and try to drive or participate in any activity that requires thought! Has anyone out there had better luck with other medications? Has anyone tried Laser Surgery?

  23. Hey:) As many of you have already written – wow i´m not the only one who have titianium in my back and who suddenly have to deal with weeks in bed!
    I crashed while jumping a cliff on skiis (yes, I jumped it on purpose..), unfortunately the landing was a little dusting of snow on top of ice. As soon as I landed I heard the sound in my back, as some of you might me familiar with.. And Pain.. Avv.
    Was helied to Grenoble University Hospital, were they concluded that I had fractures in T12 and L2 and needed surgery to stabilize it. So next morning I was prepped for surgery and a French surgent told me in his best english “I will put screws in your back”. Hmm, not extremely comforting. Luckily everything went well and and I am now the lucky owner of two titanium rods and 6 screws in my back – my friends now call me the iron-lady;) Noticed that some of you wrote that a few of you said that you don´t want to look in the mirror because of the scars. After 4 weeks, mine has finally healed and somehow I think they look quiet pretty – kinda like a tatoo. So maybe thinking of the scars like that might help you:)
    I took my first steps the day after (almost fainted the first time, but made it to the toilet the 2nd time), and never had to wear the turtle brace. Interesting that there can be such a big difference from country to country concerning the attitude to wear or not to wear the brace, and to do/not do surgery when reading all your entries.
    Well, guess I have been pretty lucky while I hardly have any pain and can walk around for 1 and a half hours before I have to lie down again and I don´t have problems sleeping. Off course it feels a bit funny with the screws and all but could have been a lot worse:)
    As Victoria asked: Have any of you had your rods and screws removed after the bones had heeled? How did it feel like and did you have any complications?

    If you read this and you have just had your injury you´re probably really angry about everything – I was until 3 weeks after my operation but then I learned that you have to force yourself to think positive and enjoy having some time off from work or studies. You might as well, cause the bone healing is not getting faster when being pissed off and it only makes you sad and miserable. Also I´ve been reading a lot of books, Facebook´ed and played Wii (Super mario cart and brawl is really funny and can be played while lying down).

    Hope you´re all recovering well and remember summer is coming soon, so we can go to a park and lie down on the grass:) Thanks for making this webste!
    Best Nanna, Lausanne

    P.s. Victoria or others can you please write me if you have experience with removal of the rods and recovering from T12 and/or L2 fractures. i.e when did you start physiotherapy, swimming and work:)
    nannajorgen@hotmail.com