Friday, October 28, 2016

One Sheared Bolt = One Crushed Left Hand and Single Points Of Failure (SPOFs) on my bike


It was a beautiful fall day, so instead of driving to grab a sandwich and driving the three or four miles, I thought I would just jump on my bike and ride there.

One attosecond I'm up and riding and enjoying the beautiful fall weather, in the next femtosecond I am knocked out very briefly and lying facedown.


Above is the seat bolt, which is the single bolt that kept my bicycle seat on the bike, which sheared off and this is the culprit that caused me to have this accident.  Turns out they make double bolt seat holders.


In the photo above, you see a round indentation and that was a small metal pipe that would HAVE hit and gone through the side of my head. Then to the right of that is where my helmet hit a rock, so having the helmet on and properly adjusted definitely saved my skull.

The big concern I had was my new right titanium hip.  My surgeon specifically told me,  "Dave, whatever you do, do not fall riding a bike because it could be a real mess in terms of trying to fix it".

I fell hard on my right-hand side and slammed my head against the ground, as well as the helmet against rock and a pipe sticking out of the ground, really bruised up my right rib cage bruised and sprained my right wrist and shattered my left hand.  So I wanted to get to the hospital where they did the hip replacement so I did what any person would do and I called Uber :-) after about 15 x-rays and a CT scan of ahead it was determined that the only real damage was my left hand so I was a very very very lucky.  The right hip was okay and I essentially sacrificed, unknowingly, my left hand save my right hip.



The photo above in the one below give some indication of my broken first metacarpal in four pieces



Above you see the metacarpal between thumb and the palm, it's broken in half and then it's also broken two other pieces again so there's four broken pieces.   Below you see the four small titanium rod that the doctor used to put it back together.  Those will have to come out again with surgery in the next few months

 Above is after surgery Thursday night and below is me heading home give me a thumbs up with my good hand.

After all of this I decided to take a close look at my Trek 7500 to see what other single points of failure (SPOFs) that I had and I found three other bolts that if they went I would lose control my bike.  They are circled in red below.  My bike is a ($850) 2009 model and looking at the 2017 hybrid bikes out today, if you spend over $750 you no longer see these Single Points Of Failure.  You should check your bikes out for single points of failure as well. 

Time for new bike and a new helmet (helmets are like airbags in that if you have an accident you have to replace them) for me.


Above and below is my hand at one week.



Above is my removable "Batman" cast.


Above is my x-ray - looking great - at 3 weeks.  Below is my hand at 3-weeks.


Below is my hand at 7 weeks.  This was three days after my surgery to remove the four pins.


Below is Julie when she came in to visit me right after my 18 minute surgery to remove the four pins.   Occupational therapy starts this upcoming Friday.


Even after short surgeries where the put you under, you need to remember to drink lots of water afterwards and take colace to keep your system moving.

At the seven week mark I got a good checkup (one week after the pins were removed).  I was told to use heat in the am and ice in the pm.  If either of those made things worse, then stop and only use what makes my left hand feel better.  I was also told that during surgery, he bent my thumb completely over so the ligament is fine, the bone is fine (still healing) but it will require OT and there will be pain as I work through this.

I see the Dr. again on January 17th, 2017 -- update the checkup went great.

Below is the Trek DS3 I purchased and heavily modified so it can be my new "Harley FatBoy" with NO Single Bolts Of Failure  - NSBOF :-)


I had my last day of OT on February 13th, 2017.   I am back to "normal" in terms of thumb motion, but not my normal range of motion.  The Dr. and the PT tell me it will take a year for it to come all the way back.