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Old    Garrett Gross (waken23v)      Join Date: Jul 2002       09-01-2004, 9:44 PM Reply   
Well it looks like I will be off the wakeboard a while. The first doctor said 12 months and the second doctor said 6 months. I think I'll take the second opinion. I was at Lake Havasu with my wife, my daughter (2 years old) and cousin. We had great water on Sunday morning and were just having a blast. I was landing three farther out in the flats then I can remember and just want to land a backside 180. I had attempted it about 5 times. Every time I had gotten the handle pass with no problem (It feels too weird to just land it with the handle behind my back and then pass it after landing.). I just kept hitting the water and sticking versus riding through. In the attempt before the break, I had a little pain in my left knee just from lading hard and compressing. I mentioned it to the wife and she "Don't get hurt. You have to go to work tomorrow." Well those words came right back to haunt me. On the next attempt, the same thing happened but I felt something happen that didn't feel right. At first I thought I blew my knee out, Once I realized my knee was OK, I decided I better get my board off. Well, I suddenly realized that my left foot had a really loose hanging feeling. I then thought I broke my ankle. I let Deanna know that I think I broke my ankle or leg. I don't think she believed me until she saw the bone trying to pop through my shin when she was taking the binding off the board before I got in the boat. I have a spiral fracture of the tibia right above the top of my bindings and another of the fibula (sp?) higher up. I am scheduled for surgery on Friday. They are going to put a rod through Tib. They said I should be able to ride in about 6 months putting out until March. That means that I won't even have to break out the Dry suit for the winter season. I will still be happy to get the boat out for friends and family. I would also be happy to be a flag holder and boat driver for others. I was sitting in the emergency room realizing that I never had a chance to get a picture of the incident when a couple friends (Mark and Aly) walked into the room. They happened to have a digit camera in the car and took a couple pictures for me. The first one is a close up of my left shin. You can see the bulge where the break is. It doesn't do it justice unless you see the x-ray. Both bone look like a piece of celery that you twisted to break apart. And yes, I was able to save my binding (Belmont’s). I had my cousin pull out my toolbox while we were waiting for the paramedics. She just unscrewed everything from the bottom and then cut the end of the lace. A special thanks to my wife Deanna, her cousin Kimberly and Mark & Aly. They were very brave and efficient. They packed up our stuff, got the boat on the trailer & covered the boat just like pros. Deanna towed the boat home like a mad woman. I noticed the speedo at 85 once while we were going down the 40.

Broken Tibia

Thumbs Up
Old    BoRed (sdboardr99)      Join Date: Aug 2001       09-01-2004, 10:13 PM Reply   
wow, sorry to hear that. Good luck with your recovery and hopefully you'll be back on the water next spring. That's a serious break so just be prepared for a long recovery!
Old    Blabelmooch (blabel)      Join Date: Jul 2001       09-01-2004, 10:18 PM Reply   
Damn dude you look way to happy for that type of injury! I've witnessed one and it certainly didn't look fun!

Hope you have a speedy recovery.
Old    Garrett Gross (waken23v)      Join Date: Jul 2002       09-01-2004, 10:35 PM Reply   
I think the smile is from the 4 milligrams of morphine. It wasn't much painkiller but it was better than the pain I had getting in the boat.

Think about it now. I realize that I kept landing with the nose of the board pointing down a little which would just dig the board into the water. I fell much more comfortable landing a heel side 360 over a heel side 180. I need to start back to just feeling super comfortable with a regular heel side 180 to get my board position to just come natural. I am probably better off just going for a backside 360 since I am passing the handle with no problem.
Old    Mike (xstar_mike)      Join Date: Aug 2003       09-01-2004, 10:54 PM Reply   
Sorry to hear about your break. My wife had a tib/fib spriral and was in a cast for 9 months. You can still see a bump where the break was....ouch. Good luck when the drugs wear off!
Old    bobbymucic            09-01-2004, 11:30 PM Reply   
Garrett that sucks!

I'm calling you tomorrow to cheer you up..and tell you a funny story about roach.

Do you think you started the fracture on the hard landing prior to the 180 that you crashed?

Did you go to the hospital in havasu or haul your broken self back to socal?

If you can't ride this spring, you can babysit baby M.

I hope your recovery is quick and easy.
Bobby and Jenn
Old    Joe Umali (dakid)      Join Date: Feb 2001       09-01-2004, 11:34 PM Reply   
good luck and hope for a speedy and complete recovery.
Old    Timothy (timmy)      Join Date: Jul 2001       09-02-2004, 2:37 AM Reply   
i feel for you man. i had a nasty compound tib/fib last august ('03) from a scarecrow. didn't walk for 2.5 months, however i was riding in 5 months. took about a year for the leg to feel normal and still can't run correctly.
Old    Garrett Gross (waken23v)      Join Date: Jul 2002       09-02-2004, 4:58 AM Reply   
I hear the Tib / Fib may have a hard time healing. They said I may have a shorter leg and it may heal a little crooked. Those three reasons were why I decided to go with a rod versus a cast. I felt I had a better chance of things setting better with some hardware holding it together. Plus, a full leg cast for 3+++ months did not seem too fun. It sounds like they wont eve cast it after the surgery.
Bobby, I'm sure that the previous crash did not hurt my Tib / Fib. It was just the one that did the trick.
Tim, Did they rod you Tib? If so, did you or will you have it removed? They mentioned that I could have the rod removed after a year. Their reason was that it is not a bad idea if I was going to continue to be active in "extreme" sports. I don't consider wakeboarding "extreme".
Old    akman            09-02-2004, 7:33 AM Reply   
Garrett, Sorry to hear about your accident, and I hope you have a safe, speedy, recovery. I have witnessed a similar break with a friend of mine, if you have any questions or concerns here is his email address.

robert.rothwell@goodrich.com

His name is Robert Rothwell
Old    papi            09-02-2004, 8:25 AM Reply   
Sorry to hear… Yesterday was my first day on a wakeboard after a double break of the fib last May. It felt sooo good. I wake surfed / skated end of July but was hesitant on getting into a binding.

Doc said no choice, plate and screws or else issues with alignment and then joint problems later in life. I will have my hardware for a minimum of a year then my option to take out.

FYI I have talked to a couple sports medicine doctors and they have mixed opinions on leaving it in permanently. One said no worries the other said there is a greater risk of breaking it again at the point where the plate ends, different flex rates.

Good Healing
Old    Timothy (timmy)      Join Date: Jul 2001       09-02-2004, 8:48 AM Reply   
considering how bad my break was (pretty close to amputating my leg) i got put into emergency surgery, and they put a titanium intermedullary rod in there. the surgeon actually got called off another nearby lake where he was waterskiing.

he did a great job though, got the length within a millimeter or so. and the bone healed up great. i doubt I'll have it removed unless it starts hurting or something. plus it is cool to have a bionic leg.

tib/fib can definately have a hard time healing. you are lucky that you did not compound. that adds a lot of risk. I was in the hospital for three and a half days, getting some of the strongest antibiotics they had. it is unsettling to hear the head nurse tell me the doctor must really be worried about me, when she was changing the IV bag. then a week later, to hear the doctor tell me that the wound was healing much better than he expected. haha

anyway, do everything the doctor says, eat healthy, don't smoke. learn about DVT (blood clots) so you can get to the hospital as soon as you have symptoms, I had one, and that meant a lot of extra fun stuff. they are not uncommon either.

anyway, anymore questions, i have been through it. get a temp handicapped parking sticker, get friends and family to move furniture around to get around on crutches easier, wear clothes with big pockets, get rid of rugs, don't go inside the gas station on crutches when they have a slick floor after it rains. etc etc.
Old    Christie Fisher (cfisher)      Join Date: Apr 2002       09-02-2004, 9:53 AM Reply   
man, I feel for you! It sure seems like we have had more than our fair share of broken legs this year!

Take it easy, do what the docs tell you and here's to a speedy recovery!!
Old    Chris M (tahoe)      Join Date: Mar 2002       09-02-2004, 10:00 AM Reply   
Hey Garrett,
Here's to a fast healing process.
Hope to see you out there next year bro.
If you need anything let me know.

Chris
Old    CAwakesk8r (hatepwcs)      Join Date: Mar 2002       09-02-2004, 10:46 AM Reply   
This is my torn medial rectus. Did it on 8/28 this was taken 9/1.

Old    Garrett Gross (waken23v)      Join Date: Jul 2002       09-02-2004, 2:52 PM Reply   
Thanks for all the words everyone. You have some good tips. I just can't wait to get the h/w on so I can start healing.

Christy, How is you leg doing? I seem to remember that yours was higher up and that takes a while to heal.

Chris, That is nasty. I think Troy Lindstom did something like that. I don't think he did anything to fix it and now his hamstring (Sp?) is just hanging there.
Old    Christie Fisher (cfisher)      Join Date: Apr 2002       09-02-2004, 4:00 PM Reply   
G - Yes, mine was higher up. It was the tibial plateau. The femur smashed into the top of the tibia and caused the damage. The docs all said that since the joint is involved, it is more painful and takes longer to heal.

Two surgeries and almost 5 months later, I am still trying to walk normally and trying to build the muscles back up. Like Tim said, it will be over a year before it is 'normal' again (whatever the new normal will be).

I agree with all of Tim's warnings and add one more that I found out the hard way. When walking on narrow sidewalks while on crutches, make sure BOTH crutches make it on the pavement. If one ends up in soft dirt as opposed to pavement, you could end up pulling rose thorns out of your entire body
Old    KG - WakeboardNJ.com (wakescene)      Join Date: Feb 2001       09-02-2004, 5:09 PM Reply   
G Gross,
Sorry to hear about the injury, but you look in good spirits.
I snapped my tibia plateau last summer! Like Christie, two surgery's, two steel pins and 12 weeks of therapy and I still have issues in my leg. I have been boarding since June, but I have been holding back, I still take a shot to the leg about every weekend, and stay sore till Tues/Wed, but the best therapy so far has been boarding.

Doctor said it would be about 2-3 years till I don't have any more pain. I had also tore both menicus tendions at the time too...causing me to be treated to some GREAT little pills!
Old    tj (iewc_vp)      Join Date: Aug 2001       09-04-2004, 12:09 PM Reply   
Damn Garrett Sorry to hear that. Get well soon. This has been a bad summer it seems like for injuries. I am still of the board after straining all the liggys in my knee.
Old    jeff_h            09-04-2004, 1:21 PM Reply   
I broke my tib this summer also. I broke it in two places, but they didn't do any surgury, they just put a cast up to my knee for about six weeks. That was about 5 weeks ago. I have 9 more days in a walking cast. The doc said I can skate and surf this year but won't be able to put on bindings. Good luck with the recovery. Take it easy for a while and you should be fine.
Old    Garrett Gross (waken23v)      Join Date: Jul 2002       09-08-2004, 10:51 AM Reply   
UPDATE Wednesday, Sep. 8: The surgery on Friday Sep. 3rd went well. There is a rod inside the middle of my tibia that runs about the whole length of the bone. I am a little surprised on the pain and lack of movement. Although, it has been getting better every day. Today has been the best so far. I am still able to work some from home. This is nice because it keeps me occupied while I am just sitting in bed. Thanks for the well wishes and other stories. I think we are going out with a couple friends on their boat this Sunday. I will probably be the designated flag holder. Live life to the fullest! Another thanks to my wife Deanna. She has been amazing through this whole thing. I think she is a keeper.
Old    King of PoP (troyl)      Join Date: Feb 2002       09-08-2004, 1:12 PM Reply   
Glad to here all went well Garret. We should be out on LE Sunday. We will be looking for you and your mad flagging skills.
Old    Garrett Gross (waken23v)      Join Date: Jul 2002       09-20-2004, 2:44 PM Reply   
I finnally got a picture of the x-rays after the break. I should get a picture of the x-rays with the hardward in a couple weeks. Still have 2 more weeks of crutches with no weight on my left leg. After that I assume I will still have the crutches but I will be able to start putting some weight on it.

BrokenTibia

BrokenFibula
Old    Christopher Stack (deepstructure)      Join Date: Jun 2002       09-20-2004, 4:17 PM Reply   
nice self-portrait! good to hear you're getting better garrett.
Old    Thane Dogg (thane_dogg)      Join Date: Jun 2002       09-20-2004, 5:59 PM Reply   
holy crap. I'd be proud of that one. get better soon garrett.
Old    bluemalibu            09-21-2004, 1:56 PM Reply   
Garrett,
Dude, that is one nasty series of breaks. Glad you are starting to get mobile again. The broken tibia picture is cool because we can see your reflection in the background as you are taking the picture.
Best of luck in your recovery.
Geoff

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