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My season is over

post #1 of 138
Thread Starter 
I guess I didn't pray enough (see my sig). I was so worried about all my little aches and pains that I didn't consider the effects a major accident would have on my season. In over 30 years of skiing I've never broken anything. This past Saturday at Winter Park I shattered my lower right leg.

The day started out great with about 6-8" of fresh snow - powder runs on Jane and nice big soft moguls. I was trying out my new Elan MO2 skis which had just been re-ground flat so that I could reset the base bevels to 1 degree (I'll discuss the skis more in a gear thread). At about 11:00 a.m. we needed to head over to the main Winter Park area so that one of the guys I was riding with could pickup his season pass. So were were heading down Cranmer working our way down to the main lodge. We had been skiing powder and cut up on blacks all morning and the skis felt fine. Cranmer was my first go at a blue groomer for the day, but in retrospect the surface wasn't very firm. It was a "soft" groomer and had a kind of "groomer cut-up" on top of firmer snow. Even so, I felt pretty comfortable picking up the pace and wanted to see where the speed limit was for the MO2s. I was cranking out some pretty fast GS style turns with lots of angulation and hip drop (my impersonation of racer style) - that's when my day all went wrong.

In the middle of a high-speed right-hand GS turn I caught the outside edge of my inside ski. As my body kept going right, my right leg went left. I'm pretty sure I was doing about 45-50mph at the time of the crash, but unfortunately my GPS had run out of battery power about 2 runs prior (I have a pretty good feel of my skiing speeds since getting the GPS).

When the downhill forces blew through my right leg I was left with a shattered mess. I blew out of both skis and my right leg was just flopping about - I immediately knew I broke it and I knew it was really bad. It took ski patrol about 5 minutes to get to me and another 5 minutes for the meat wagon to get to the accident scene. They assessed me on-slope and then splinted my right leg in the boot. They put me on the sled and took me into the hospital clinic. The ride down to the clinic in the sled was absolutely miserable. It's no fun to stare at the sky when you're cold and in pain.

At the clinic they decided to do all of the x-rays with my ski boot still on. My foot was so numb and my toes were really cold, but I could still feel them. They wanted to see the x-rays first to know what they were dealing with before attempting any further treatment (read that as NO pain killers allowed yet). The x-rays showed what they call a "segmented" fracture. I called it a jigsaw puzzle. My tibia was in 4 pieces, my fibula in 3, and there is a large medial ankle fracture. With this information in hand they knew I was heading for surgery so they started an IV for me and hit me with some morphine. After about 15 minutes or so of the morphine they decided it was time to get the boot of my foot. I think I now know what giving birth feels like. Taking the boot of my injured leg was the most intense excruciating pain I've ever felt in my life, but it sure did feel better once they got it off.

It took hours to figure out what doctor was going to handle my case and what hospital I was going to. When they finally figured something out I told them "no" and to go figure out something better. They wanted me to see a guy who was going to put me in St. Anthony's downtown and who wasn't going to operate until Monday. Instead I got them to find a doctor who was at Swedish in Englewood (much closer for my wife) and who did the surgery Saturday night. The clinic wanted to ship me down in an ambulance, but I'm a stubborn fool who decided that I wanted to go back down with my buddies in my own car. So they gave me a big dose of pain killer, instructed my friends on CPR and what to look for to make sure I was OK and we were off. In restrospect I was in shock and made a stupid choice - the ride was fine and they got me to the hospital without any problems, but it was silly for me to add that level of risk to an already bad situation.

At Swedish hospital the doctor reviewed my films and looked at my leg. He decided that it would be best to go into surgery immediately and avoid the possible risks of waiting. In surgery he installed a titanium rod inside my tibia which was inserted through the knee. He also used a bunch of titanium screws to secure the rod, stablize my ankle, and fix my fibula. They haven't shown me the new pictures with all this hardware installed, but I bet it looks pretty cool . The doc said that the hardware will actually make the injured areas stronger in the long run, but if I'm "feeling" them he would remove the hardware in 6 months - my choice. He said that I should actually be able to heal faster with the added support of the hardware and he thinks I'll be up and around in about 8 weeks. Of course there's months of physical therapy to follow so right now I'm pretty much thinking that my season is over.

They released me from the hospital yesterday afternoon and now I'm just trying to figure out how to run my life with my leg elevated.
post #2 of 138
NOOOOOOOOOOOOO Not you. Sorry to hear that. I was lokking forward to some of your photo's popping up on this site during the season.

Best of luck to in your recovery.

BTW I still have my 3 screws and washer in my right knee from March 99.
post #3 of 138
Noodler -- so sorry to hear this! Here's wishing you a full recovery.
post #4 of 138
WOW, that really sucks. The first Bear casualty. I am sooooo sorry to hear.
post #5 of 138
Oh, god. So sorry for you. That was a major crash. Bummer.
Yes your season is over, without any doubt. But there will be many more to come, with a good physical therapy.
Good call of insisting on being operated ASAP.

Now, could you send all this useless snow in europe, please ?
post #6 of 138
Wow, that sounds like a NASTY break! That sucks big time. I would definitely say your season is done. Even if you could get back, I am sure it would hurt like hell and probably not worth.
+++vibes for a complete recovery.
I am no expert but I am pretty sure there will be a season next year...
post #7 of 138
Originally Posted by Max Capacity View Post
BTW I still have my 3 screws and washer in my right knee from March 99.
I have screws in my ankle since 94, metal will only make you stronger.

Recover fast my Krypton/Flexon Brother!
post #8 of 138
Noodler : I too feel bad for you .

Your attitude will help you with a speedy recovery tho --chin up and focus on the GOOD stuff . PT will be just another experience that you can handle
post #9 of 138
Oh, geez!

I'm so sorry to hear about it. It sounds horrible.

Good luck with the pain management and the rehab.

Start thinking thoughts of next season.
post #10 of 138
Mate, I don't know you, but you have all my sympathy - makes my knee stuff look absolutely minor.

Hang in there, and make absolutely sure you get the right physiotherapist ... research it, take your time, and get the right man (or woman) for you and what you want to do. And then follow their advice and work hard.

DON'T try to rush back this season - it could ruin the next 20 years. Do it right first time, and then next season you can tell us how you did that run again, at 45mph, and absolutely murdered it.

Good luck.
post #11 of 138
Sorry to hear, hope you have a speedy and complete recovery.

A few questions, if you dont mind me asking, how old are you? Do you work out? Have you broken bones before? What size ski and what DIN? Thanks.
post #12 of 138
Oh, no! I am so sorry to hear this, Noodler. But I must say, you sound pretty chipper. I'm guessing you'll be back in action before most people would. Stay positive and focus on recovery.
post #13 of 138
Oh man that does suck!

They shouldn't have let you decide to go to the hospital on your own and not even given you a choice but to take the ambulance.

Hope everything heals well!
post #14 of 138

Hope you get well soon - and if you can get up to Aspen during the ESA, let me buy you a beer!
post #15 of 138
Dude, that S.U.C.K.S!!!!

In light of the situation, I thought I would let you know of the positives of this:

1). At least they didn't take the cast saw to your boots to get them off.
2). Since it was your right leg, you'll get your own personal chauffeur for the next few months.
3). You've still got use of your hands! (I broke my wrist skiing years ago and was in a cast from March until July!)
4). Your surgery is already behind you!
5) Airport security is going to be ALOT more fun in the future!
6). PT nurses can be really cute! (But quite often "mean"!!!)
7). At least you know you won't get hurt again this year!
8). You and Steve Austin now have something in common!
9). You've now got a really cool story to tell over beers in the local ski bar!
10). Screws are cheaper when you buy them in bulk!!

I hope this list give you a chuckle! Get well soon!


PS One of my buddies at Alta blew out his ACL, MCL and broke his media mallelous on his first day of the year. Oh well, he got 4 runs in....
post #16 of 138
Oh NO! What a shock for you - and for us! So sorry to read about that, and even more sorry that you experienced it firsthand. I am glad you have a good prognosis though, and hope the recovery goes by quickly. Stay positive!
post #17 of 138
Wow, total bummer, I don't envy that tobogan ride. Best of luck with you recovery.

Originally Posted by Lonnie View Post
1). At least they didn't take the cast saw to your boots to get them off.
I would have been begging them to just cut the boot off, but then I din't have to do much shell work to get into my atomics.
post #18 of 138
Few things on this site have saddened me more than this news.

For some reason, I get the feeling you will defy the odds and be back on the slopes before the end of this season.

Now, take your digital camera to your doc visits and get pics of the xray's so we can see how totally cool the new hardware really is!
post #19 of 138
I am so sorry Noodler. That was quite an experience. Things will get better from here and I wish you a speedy recovery.

Please stay in touch.
post #20 of 138
Sorry to hear this. Ouch! Here's hoping for a fast recovery.
On the plus side, maybe we'll get more Noodler gear analysis on the board this year.
post #21 of 138
I am sorry to hear about your accident. As soon as I saw the thread, I remembered that you had posted that you purchased trip insurance for Aspen this year.

I've never purcahsed trip insurnace for anything, but things like this make me think............

Best of luck in a speedy recover and hopefully we can meet at next year's ESA event!

post #22 of 138
Originally Posted by monkeyboy View Post
I would have been begging them to just cut the boot off, but then I din't have to do much shell work to get into my atomics.
Yeah, all of those are a bit tounge in cheek (I don't think that any of this is good!) So cutting the boot off might have been the better route. OUCH!

On a related note (and not to hijack), I know a guy that's a fishing guide. He was hit head on driving home from a guide trip once upon a time. At the time of the accident, he was wearing his nice Simms waders ($300-$400) and fleece pants. When the EMT's got him out of his vehicle, they had no choice but to cut him out of everything. Somehow Simms got word of this (somebody else told them) and replaced everything for him free of charge. Pretty cool.

post #23 of 138
I'm very sorry to learn of your injuries and your season coming to an abrupt end. Probably more important health and life issues to deal with than the loss of skiing, but the disappointment you feelis no doubt enormous.

Wishing you a complete recovery and many more fantastic ski days in the future.
post #24 of 138


Noodler, I am really sorry to hear this -- I have always enjoyed reading your ski and gear posts, but this is a tough one to read. This kind of thing can happen to anyone here, and it's a sobering reminder to read about it.

I am glad you have gotten through the surgery and initial treatment OK, and hope recovery goes well for you. Who knows, maybe you can get some late season turns in, but for cryin out loud, SKI SLOW if you do. I would press the reset button and get better for next season.

Oh yeah, I volunteer to adopt your new Outlander and put some miles on it if that makes you feel any better . Would hate to see it sitting around lonely...

So I guess ultimately, you ended up crossing tips pretty severely which caused the loading on the leg and the ejection from both bindings?
post #25 of 138
Oh no , how can this possibly be? I'm so sorry to hear this. I was reading your reviews for the last few weeks while waiting for the snow. It's way to early in the season. Get well soon Noodler.
post #26 of 138
The Never Ending Noodler may be down, but not out!

Do you have a laptop? Invaluable for those who need elevation of the limbs.

Speedy recovery, do what they tell you, and eat your drugs like a good boy. You'll be out a season, but next year, you'll be a Rock!!
post #27 of 138

I too enjoyed reading your gear and skiing posts but that post was a tough one to get through. My cousin fractured his femur a few years back, losing several units of blood on the trip to the hospital (scary ride) and still has the rod in there. Today, he still teaches and skis yearround.

Rest, heal and be back out there when you can. As others suggested, do the rehab right the first time!
post #28 of 138
What an awful accident -- here's to your good attitude and to a speedy recovery!

post #29 of 138
Oh man!

I had to stop reading after the part about your leg flopping around.

I realize I hardly know you (even by forum standards) but in the short time I've been lurking about here you've become one of the posters I look forward to regarding insight and introspection on gear, resorts, and the like. I was actually hoping to cross paths with you during the season on a trip out to Colo.


Get well soon (leg injuries suck major).
post #30 of 138


You are supposed to do this in March or April so you do not miss much skiing. So sorry to hear about the accident.

Drink lots of milk!!!
As mentioned above, wait till you go trough the metal detectors.

A long time ago I broke my tib/fib. I broke the fib in two places. I broke the tib in the middle starting on the front and the bone split in two length wise. Took quite a while to be really strong again. Was really sore when I skied or stressed it for a long time. But I am glad to say 30 plus years later and I have no problem but my (right foot) toes stick out slightly.

Hang in there you will be good as new.
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