Femur Fracture and Recovery from Motorcycle Rider- 57 year old male
On September 8th of 2007 i was 57 years old and was riding back from a breakfast in Kamas on my BMW motorcycle. It was a little after 11:30 in the morning and just before I got to the Jeremy Ranch exit on I-80 I started to slow down, because a car to the right of me had just hit a deer and was stopped. The next thing I saw was a brown blur and then I hit the pavement of I-80. Just for the record I had complete motorcycle gear on, as usual, helmet, padded coat, riding pants and boots. The first thing I was concerned about as I stopped sliding down the road, was that I would be hit by a car behind me. Fortunately, that did not happen. It turned out that I had actually had an altercation with two deer. One I hit with the front tire of my bike and the second one, ran into the side of me with my left femur taking the full force of a deer at speed.
People stopped to help, and I told a woman who happened to be a nurse, the best way to take my helmet off, I was conscious and really did not feel much pain, the strangest thing was that although I did not look, I knew that my fractured femur was visible because I could feel wind blowing across it, it was an eerie feeling. It turned out that I shattered my left hip and had a compound fracture of my left femur.
Within about five minutes of the accident the Park City paramedics were there (they were just returning from another call), and just had to turn around on the highway. My brother in law was with me on his BMW, and he called my sister, his wife, to let her know about my hip and femur fracture. At first they wanted to take me to the U of U medical center by helicopter, but I told them I was fine and there was no need. I won the argument and they at first put me on a back board, not knowing if I might have back injuries in addition to the broken femur and hip.
As we got to the hospital and they assessed my hip and femur fracture, they took me to the x-ray room my family showed up and they could hear me talking with the technician as he took the pictures. They then took me to surgery, I was in luck because one of the top notch orthopedic surgeons at the University and a teacher, was on call that day.
It was border-line on whether they would have to put either a metal plate on the femur, or a round femoral rod to hold things together while I healed. They ended up putting the rod in my femur fracture. I spent a week in the hospital and about the second day they started to get me to stand up, etc. I have a very high pain threshold, and after the anesthesia wore off, I only had one Lore-tab pain pill during the whole week and it made me hallucinate.
After a week at the University of Utah Med Center, I was taken to Health South for a week of rehab on my femur and hip. At first I was wheel chair only but by the time I left the next Friday, I was on crutches. In looking back, I wish I had more physical therapy after being released from rehab, but before I went back to work.
During the next months, I went to have femur x-rays almost monthly, and was still using a cane. They determined that the rod in my femur was moving around too much and that they needed to add some stabilizers to keep it from moving around so much, so that at the end of January I went in for day surgery for that. It was strange to walk into the hospital carrying crutches, and at days end to leave on crutches for my femur fracture.
In March I bought another BMW bike and would strap a cane, a la House on the back of the bike. I even rode the bike a few times to my bi-monthly check up during my recovery.
From the x-rays it showed that my femur was not healing and that the femoral rod was taking most of the weight of my walking and that this was not a long term solution. The first of July in 2008 I went back in the hospital and they opened up my leg to check out the femur fracture healing process. I had suggested that they think about putting in a zipper, so that if we had to do this again it would be easier. They removed the rod out of my femur and replaced it with a metal plate that goes from about my left hip to just above my knee. I was in the hospital til the 4th of July, and once again on crutches. To this day, I have a slight limp and at some point in time, I should probably consider an artificial hip. My limp is more pronounced if I have been sitting for a long time, and my leg feels different in cold weather.
In mid August I started riding my bike again, and on a 350 mile day ride, I found I didn't have the strength to take my bike off the side stand after getting something to eat at a gas station. I then asked a guy who had just bought some beer if he wouldn't mind helping an old man, who really shouldn't be riding at all this soon, and he laughed and of course helped me.
I no longer use a cane at all since the femur fracture, and I have gained back a lot of my strength, but the left leg is still noticeably weaker than the right one and I can't lift as much as I could before.