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Old 2012-05-04, 03:09 PM   #1
jbtilley
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Don't get hurt out there...

I broke my finger about 2.5 weeks ago while doing muni and ever since I'm the poster child for avoiding unicycles, having people give me the look or flat out telling me I had it coming to me. I can't convince them that unicycles are really safe, it's just that I happen to suck. The good news is that my wife is still supportive, she's even learned to unicycle in the last few weeks so I'm doing all my uni vicariously through her these days.

Anyway, long story short I was at the hand specialist today for a followup. My finger will be in a splint for 2 months and it will take 6 months to heal.


Doc: So, did you learn your lesson about riding your bike (sic) in the woods?
Me: No.

I'm trying to convince myself at every turn that I can get back out there.

Last edited by jbtilley; 2012-05-04 at 03:11 PM.
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Old 2012-05-04, 03:20 PM   #2
tholub
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Originally Posted by jbtilley View Post
I broke my finger about 2.5 weeks ago while doing muni and ever since I'm the poster child for avoiding unicycles, having people give me the look or flat out telling me I had it coming to me. I can't convince them that unicycles are really safe, it's just that I happen to suck. The good news is that my wife is still supportive, she's even learned to unicycle in the last few weeks so I'm doing all my uni vicariously through her these days.

Anyway, long story short I was at the hand specialist today for a followup. My finger will be in a splint for 2 months and it will take 6 months to heal.


Doc: So, did you learn your lesson about riding your bike (sic) in the woods?
Me: No.

I'm trying to convince myself at every turn that I can get back out there.
Getting injured sucks, but it can happen with any activity. (Or even with no activity; I broke my arm walking down icy stairs). The health benefits of being active far outweigh the risks of injury.

You should be able to get back out there soon, just start out with stuff that's not likely to cause you to fall on your hand until it's in better shape. You don't need your hand to be able to ride.
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Old 2012-05-04, 04:46 PM   #3
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I'd say the more risky the activity that caused an injury, the less sympathetic and the more "I told you so" they are.

What's irritating about those "did you learn your lesson" comments is the implication that you have poor judgement and are unable to gauge risks.
Of course there are people who don't see or can ignore the consequences where failure more or less guarantees severe injury or death... like jumping a gap from one tall building to another, or riding uni on bridge railings or cliff edges (no offense to some of you crazies ). But activities that cause you to break a finger shouldn't be grouped with these.

Most likely the one making the comment just doesn't get what muni really is. They project their own picture of riding unbalanced and out of control on to you.
Or maybe they really do live very sheltered lives.
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Old 2012-05-04, 07:47 PM   #4
Nurse Ben
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If I stopped doing dangerous sports after the first injury, I wouldn't be who I am; hobbled by injuries

Seriously, I have had multiple finger fractures on boths hands from muni, none in the past year (knock on my head), but I am absolutely certain I will have future injuries from muni, those cards have been dealt.

I have broken bones from every sport and outdoor activity I tried, skiing, boarding, climbing, kayaking, running, riding, doing construction, motorcycle wrecks, car wrecks, even ultimate frisbee, but I have never slipped on an icy sidewalk and gotten hurt, so there!

It's okay to get injured, our bodies generally heal fine, that way we can go back for more

I can't believe your hand doctor said that, he must be a complete woosey couch potato. What would he have said to you if you came to him with a broken finger from full contact martial arts: "Have you learned your lesson?" Yeah, take that, POW!

Armor only helps so much, fingers are kinda out there, not much you can do other than keep them high and clenched. One of my fractures, the worst one really, happened when I was riding a narrow tech rock section and I started losing my balance, so I reached out with my hand to balance and hit a tree branch in full swing. I didn't even fall, it was just a freak thing.
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Old 2012-05-04, 07:57 PM   #5
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tholub is right, you don't need you hand to uni, just go ride, you can keep up your stamina by riding greenways and smooth trails.

If you have a splint, try taping it up with some extra padding, that way it won't get injured further, then switch hands and use you weak hand for grabbing. By the time this all done, you'll be ambidexterous
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Old 2012-05-04, 09:49 PM   #6
jbtilley
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Yeah, I can't stand not unicycling, and since I don't work the cranks with my fingers (yet) I've already been out to our local rails to trails and greenways a few times. Shhhh.... don't tell the doc.

The biggest challenge about the rails to trails is staying awake. At least it will help me not lose too much while I wait to get back to singletrack.
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Old 2012-05-04, 11:17 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by tholub View Post
Getting injured sucks, but it can happen with any activity. (Or even with no activity; I broke my arm walking down icy stairs).
I've had my first day of no uni riding at all in about a month today. Because I have a strained muscle or trapped nerve in my shoulder which I appear to have done lying in bed (though mrs aracer does point out that I had a hard kayaking session on Monday and it might be related to that given I first had issues on Tuesday night). In other incidents, on a week's winter mountain training in Scotland one of the instructors broke her arm falling of the platform on the disused railway we were staying on whilst tired and emotional on NYE.

I've done numerous sports which normal people would consider dangerous - muni, mountain biking, skiing, snowboarding, windsurfing, rockclimbing, horseriding, roller hockey, whitewater kayaking, mountain running etc., yet the only broken bone I've ever had was my wrist from playing that well known extreme sport of football (soccer). Somebody I know recently broke his leg also playing football. Statistically football is well up there with the rest of my list, and rugby almost certainly worse, yet the average person wouldn't dream of suggesting they were risky things to do. I've always been aware that by far the most risky thing I do is driving home from a weekend of sport when I'm tired - but at least my life insurance would cover me for that!

I suppose I should admit that I once spent several days in hospital following a mountain bike crash and still bear the scars, but no broken bones.
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Old 2012-05-04, 11:35 PM   #8
Nurse Ben
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Okay, so maybe I tend to be the guy that takes his cast off prematurely, but let's suppose you were to go ride somme trails before the finger was healed, would that be so bad as long as you didn't fall on that hand?

And yeah, I did take a cast off early one time, but you can probably guess that

Six months to heal a broken finger sounds too long, generally it's six weeks for a bone to mend, a little longer for full strength, did he do surgery?
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Old 2012-05-05, 12:49 AM   #9
jbtilley
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No, no surgery needed yet. The reason it's taking so long is due to the dislocation. It's in an angled splint and the angle adjusts outward every couple of weeks.

The swelling is another factor. It's a sad sight, the knuckle is easily inflated to twice its normal size. I'd like to at least be able to get the hillbilly gloves on before I go back out on singletrack.

I'm sticking to the rails to trails for now. It's an easy place to get some nice distance and build saddle endurance if nothing else. I figure in a few weeks time I'll be ready for the nice and hilly double track to get my climbing legs back, then we'll see what happens from there.

Also, Nurse Ben you're my hero. How many broken fingers and it hasn't deterred you.

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Old 2012-05-05, 01:08 AM   #10
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I am no doc but wouldn't it be better to just pop it in place instead of letting it almost heal crooked, move and repeat?

I had to re-break my toe once as it was starting to heal crooked.

Perhaps you have a crooked doc and need a second opinion?
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Old 2012-05-05, 01:14 AM   #11
stillup
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injury

I broke my little finger on my left hand when I first started. I landed on a bicycle that was sitting to the side of where I was practicing . the unicycle headed right towards it I panicked and landed right on top of the bike..when I was laying there on top of the bike and unicycle I seemed to have escaped with out a scratch. but when I got up my hand felt different..sure enough my pinky was bent straight out from the middle joint.. it seemed to be a little numb so I popped it back into place...Its still a little crooked after a year..but works just fine..I have bailed out several times and owe a great deal to my wrist guards but nothing that was the unicycles fault..If it was safe and easy it wouldn't be as much fun...
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Old 2012-05-05, 03:57 AM   #12
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I had to re-break my toe once as it was starting to heal crooked.
Hardcore man... Hardcore...
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Old 2012-05-14, 09:00 PM   #13
jbtilley
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I am no doc but wouldn't it be better to just pop it in place instead of letting it almost heal crooked, move and repeat?
The stuff that holds it in place was part of what broke. They could pop it in place and it would just sag back to the dislocated position. It was set bent in a splint to ensure the finger was in joint as those parts grew back.

Here's a 4 week mark photo. I get to take it out of the splint 3 times a day to bend it as far as it will go. 4 more weeks in the splint to go.


Last edited by jbtilley; 2012-05-14 at 09:01 PM.
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Old 2012-05-14, 09:41 PM   #14
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Nice war wound.
It's a shame there are no scars though. Scars alway add a bit of awesome to an injury.
Seriously though, I hope you can get back out on the single track again soon.

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Old 2012-05-15, 12:45 AM   #15
Nurse Ben
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You really need to get some sun on that hand, it's looking a little sickly

All my fingers look like that, it used to bother before they matched, but now I have a complete set, and the pinky is awesome for doing "Dr. Evil".

I'd ride with it in the splint, seriously, all you can do is break it again

We'll miss ya this weekend, it's gonna be superb conditions!
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