Author Topic: I cracked my tailbone  (Read 1652 times)

NorCal Stubble

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I cracked my tailbone
« on: April 16, 2018, 06:15:32 PM »
I have had a wonderful week recovering. See, there's this hill I like to climb on my bike that's 5 miles to the top and 800ft of elevation change. The weekend before last, I made the climb and on the way down I misjudged a corner, braked too late and too hard, and was flipped off my bike. My GPS clocked me at 24 mph. After a trip to the ER I'm now on the path to recovery from a cracked tailbone and several scrapes and bruises. No injuries to my head thanks to the helmet.

I'm posting today for two reasons. First was my overall mindset about this whole ordeal. Yes, it sucks and I'm in pain and unhappy about it. But damn, I want back on my bike and back on that hill. I've expressed this to several people and their responses are all the same: that if it were them they'd never ride a bike again. "I'm sure glad I don't ride a bike!" Now I know I'm not like other people, being mustachian and all, but this just struck me the wrong way. Through their fear response and negator mindset I witnessed a crystallization. Because I was hurt (my own damn fault) they reinforce their pro-car anti-bike mentality. Not only is biking impossible, it's dangerous! Just look at Stubble hobbling! It's all the proof you need! *sigh*

Second - I am worried about the structural integrity of my bike. I haven't had a chance to look it over since I've pretty much been laid up all week, but I think it was only laid down when I fell. It's a mountain bike and super solid, but I've heard after accidents aluminum frames can get hairline fractures. Anybody have any input on this?

Cheers,
NCS

frompa

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Re: I cracked my tailbone
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2018, 09:12:50 PM »
Yo, you crashed, eh?  Maybe you need a new bike.  Ha ha.  I keep a trike recumbent on hand for when I or other family members have some sort of injury keeping us off our uprights.  It can be ridden with only one leg, even with balance issues.  And it's really a fun ride.  It would probably suck for your current sort of injury (unless you had incredible shocks), but there may be something that would allow you to cycle even with your current injury. 

I haven't had any problem with my bikes getting mashed up, even when I do.  (Mtn biking, so silly and risky, but so damn fun...) 

All that being said, I have a friend who broke her tail bone many years ago and didn't do the proper post injury rehab, and she's still paying the price in pain and limited movement; meantime, another friend had a similar injury (a high speed mtn bike crash, coincidentally) and he NEVER STAYED STILL throughout his entire recovery.  He has no residual problem.  So, I wish you a thorough, active and quick recovery. 

marty998

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Re: I cracked my tailbone
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2018, 03:48:14 AM »
Take it to your local bike shop - they will know what to look for in terms of damage.

Same reason you carted yourself off to hospital really - leave it to the experts :)

scottish

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Re: I cracked my tailbone
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2018, 03:58:30 PM »
But damn, I want back on my bike and back on that hill. I've expressed this to several people and their responses are all the same: that if it were them they'd never ride a bike again.

Of course you have to get back on your bike.   You've learned how fast you can handle the darned hill for next time.

bluebelle

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Re: I cracked my tailbone
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2018, 04:35:33 PM »
I've expressed this to several people and their responses are all the same: that if it were them they'd never ride a bike again. "I'm sure glad I don't ride a bike!" Now I know I'm not like other people, being mustachian and all, but this just struck me the wrong way. Through their fear response and negator mindset I witnessed a crystallization. Because I was hurt (my own damn fault) they reinforce their pro-car anti-bike mentality. Not only is biking impossible, it's dangerous! Just look at Stubble hobbling! It's all the proof you need! *sigh*


that's like saying "I burned my mouth on Pizza, I won't eat pizza again".....we have to eat pizza again!

Wishing you a speedy recovery.  I cracked my tailbone at 13, and still remember the pain 40 years later.

MDfive21

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Re: I cracked my tailbone
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2018, 11:38:02 AM »
you'll live to ride again my friend.  i've never crashed out bad enough to go to the hospital, but where i live 'hills' are just bridges.

i have some old ankle injuries from soccer, mostly sprains.  and there was that one heavy night at a concert when i broke my ankle in the pit.  none of those experiences have deterred me from chasing the fun things i like to do. 

one caveat, do the rehab and keep doing it.  go to the gym and strengthen everything back up.  glute/ham raises have been a game changer for my weak back and i bet you will find them to be important in getting your back back into shape.

ride on!

NorCal Stubble

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Re: I cracked my tailbone
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2018, 04:46:16 PM »
Quote

that's like saying "I burned my mouth on Pizza, I won't eat pizza again".....we have to eat pizza again!


Hah! That gave me a good chuckle, thanks for that.

@MDfive21
As far as rehab, I haven't seen a doctor since my ER visit. The doc there said I wouldn't need any followup or anything, that I should be fine with time. I've been tempted to call up my doctor anyways and see what she thinks.

@marty998
I'm not sure why I didn't think to take it to the bike shop. Maybe I'm used to being DIY and self sufficient? Regardless it's what I'll need to do.

@frompa
I've always wanted to ride on a recumbent bike, if nothing else to experience it once. I doubt I'll ever own one as I'm pretty minimalistic so one bike must suit all of my needs. As far a riding on anything right now... well that's not going to happen. I mean, I'm all for putting myself in an unpleasant situation every once in a while for the sake of personal growth, but that would be agony. Walking is a chore at this point. That being said, I am back at work which means I'm walking several blocks there and back. I wouldn't say I'm 'active' but I'm not sitting around all day on my throne of pillows at home.

Thanks for the support!

NCS

thebattlewalrus

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Re: I cracked my tailbone
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2018, 05:17:02 PM »
I would take it do a bike shop for a rundown on any potential issues. I am a pretty aggressive enduro MTB rider and I have had some bad wrecks, I have personally never cracked a frame though. If it is a quality bike you likely did not do damage to the actual frame, if it's a Walmart rig you might have issues (there are a couple videos out there of pro MTB riders taking those bikes out and it not surviving one run down a blue level trail - including a cracked frame if I remember correct).

I broke my tailbone about 5 years ago during a fall at a Tough Mudder, it was a long recovery. Rest, sit on an inflatable donut (it works!) and listen to the Dr. and don't push the recovery. Many people will tell you the pain can take awhile to go away, hell mine still comes back if I land a jump wrong and my seat is in the way.

Good luck!

Mr. Frugal Pharmacist

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Re: I cracked my tailbone
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2018, 06:14:46 PM »
Man, this sounds eerily similar to the start of my year. I fell off my bike while riding in to work and broke my arm. After I broke it, I heard the same kinds of boos and hisses from people at my job: "dude, just don't ride anymore." "You should just drive in!" It made me want to throw a 500-count bottle of Vicodin across the room! But I clutched it.

This was in January. It's now April, and I've been back on the saddle riding in to work for about a month now.

The recovery thing is annoying and you're going to get random urges to want to get back out there riding. Just recover, get back to health, and you'll be riding again in no time! But don't stop riding just because of a fall!

ThatGuy

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Re: I cracked my tailbone
« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2018, 09:10:27 PM »
Every time I read this headline I groan and squirm in my seat. Good luck and I hope your recovery is quick!

hykue

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Re: I cracked my tailbone
« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2018, 10:04:43 PM »
Oh, that hurts. Use the donut pillow, it's not just to reduce your pain but to help your tailbone set in the right position. Maybe not necessary if only cracked and not displaced, but unless they x-rayed you can't be sure, I don't think. And even if it's only cracked, there's no disadvantage to a donut pillow.

marty998

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Re: I cracked my tailbone
« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2018, 02:22:44 AM »
Out of curiosity....perhaps an anatomist can answer this one...

Why do humans have a tailbone? Why doesn't the spine simply end at the pelvis joints?

RetiredAt63

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Re: I cracked my tailbone
« Reply #12 on: April 19, 2018, 09:14:29 AM »
Out of curiosity....perhaps an anatomist can answer this one...

Why do humans have a tailbone? Why doesn't the spine simply end at the pelvis joints?

We are vertebrates.  Vertebrates have tails.  The great apes have shrunk it to just be a few internal bones.  If you look at an early human embryo (1-2 months) the tail is more prominent - the rest of us keeps growing faster than the tailbone.

Better Change

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Re: I cracked my tailbone
« Reply #13 on: April 19, 2018, 12:46:00 PM »
I will commiserate with you.  I crashed my road bike doing 20+ mph on the lip of some new asphalt and cracked my pelvis in two places (not full breaks, thank FSM).  Once the concussion wore off, I was totally ready to get moving again.  Thankfully I could swim rather delicately and ride my bike after a few months, but it took 17 weeks (hell yes I counted) before I could run or put pants on normally again.

And of course I still ride.  Duh.  But I have a wicked appreciation for bike helmets.

I have slammed my tailbone enough times from roller blade crashes, but thankfully no breaks.

NorCal Stubble

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Re: I cracked my tailbone
« Reply #14 on: April 19, 2018, 03:57:10 PM »
@thebattlewalrus
It's a Trek 3900 I got back in '08. It's been my faithful companion for miles and I'm really crossing my fingers it checks out. Visually it looks like I'll only need new grips and a new taillight, but time will tell.

@hykue
I had somewhere between 15 and 18 X-rays taken. When I was in the ER I couldn't straighten my legs and they were worried my tailbone/pelvis/kneecaps may have been broken. With the common advice for a donut pillow, I think I'll look into one.

I will commiserate with you.  I crashed my road bike doing 20+ mph on the lip of some new asphalt and cracked my pelvis in two places (not full breaks, thank FSM).  Once the concussion wore off, I was totally ready to get moving again.  Thankfully I could swim rather delicately and ride my bike after a few months, but it took 17 weeks (hell yes I counted) before I could run or put pants on normally again.

And of course I still ride.  Duh.  But I have a wicked appreciation for bike helmets.

I have slammed my tailbone enough times from roller blade crashes, but thankfully no breaks.

Did you just thank the Flying Spaghetti Monster? I thought we were Mustachians, not Pastafarians haha.
It sounds like you've had quite the ordeal as well. I'm hoping it doesn't take 17 weeks to recover, though! I've got things to do and people to see.

I hadn't thought of it, but a pool sounds like a mighty fine idea right about now. Thanks for the idea!

Cheers,

NCS

Lance Burkhart

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Re: I cracked my tailbone
« Reply #15 on: April 20, 2018, 11:36:20 AM »
Aluminum isn't like steel: it can take a certain number of cycles of mechanical deformation and then it goes bad.  So the lower triangle will probably crack after awhile anyway.  My friend cracked the lower frame on his Al Taro just from riding it.  Kona sent him the steel Honzo frame to replace it. 

Bones heal in about 6-12 weeks.  Come back to riding patiently.  For example, figure out how much trail riding you can do without a pain flare-up (pain that persists after you stop the activity), do 80% of that, and add 10%/week.  Read "Explain Pain".

Practice falling.  Look up some ukemi/breakfall videos on YouTube.  You can usually make a fall not as bad if you know how.  I know a kid at the local shop who falls all the time but was a wrestler so he didn't get hurt much despite flipping completely over the bars at high speed.

See Ian at Trailtechnique.com.  Trust me.


NorCal Stubble

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Re: I cracked my tailbone
« Reply #16 on: April 20, 2018, 05:10:45 PM »
@Lance Burkhart
Thanks for the info. As per falling, I actually remember exactly what was going on in my mind. I was in complete and utter denial of the truth. I flat believed, to the core, that what I was experiencing was a strange dream. It was a really strange experience to say the least. I've never considered practice falling, it's always been one of those things I seek to avoid haha. I suppose I have some practice in my future now.

Cheers,

NCS