PDA

View Full Version : broken backs: recovery time?


mmaster
01-02-2011, 11:52 AM
over x-mas, i got into a car accident where my car was totaled.
i never broken a bone in my entire life of about 30 yrs, so i have no idea how long these things take to heal but i'm guessing it's gonna be at least a couple months.

according to the papers it says i got a spinous process fracture of C7 and T1. i also have T4, T5, T6 vertebral body fracture of the superior endplate, whatever that means. i also have a manubrial fracture (upper sternum) but i'm guessing that's not very serious because they didn't even tell me about it.

it didn't require surgery so they set me on a neck and back brace and sent me home. my spinal cord is fine thank god and i can already feel i'm healing.

so has anyone had similar spine fractures? how long would you guess i'd be out for?

LeeD
01-02-2011, 12:35 PM
Based on my experience talking to friends who fell from trees and 3rd story buildings, you're looking at 4 months in a cast, and maybe 2 more years before you can play 50% of what you can play now.
In the meantime, you're getting older, your body doesn't recoup well because you not nearly as active, you're spending energy healing, ....oh the upside..:shock: well, you're gonna be smarter!
My sympathies, I didn't MEAN to be a jerk, but that comes naturally to me.

mmaster
01-02-2011, 01:23 PM
but they didn't put me in a cast, just some braces. i didn't have surgery (yet).

HunterST
01-02-2011, 03:47 PM
Based on my experience talking to friends who fell from trees and 3rd story buildings, you're looking at 4 months in a cast, and maybe 2 more years before you can play 50% of what you can play now.
In the meantime, you're getting older, your body doesn't recoup well because you not nearly as active, you're spending energy healing, ....oh the upside..:shock: well, you're gonna be smarter!
My sympathies, I didn't MEAN to be a jerk, but that comes naturally to me.

This is completely inaccurate.

I broke a vertebrae in my back and it was good to go in 6 weeks, just like any other broken bone. Just ask your doctor and get a good physical therapist.

LeeD
01-02-2011, 04:00 PM
Good Dr. Sir....
Count the numbers of fractures in OP's back.
Now count the # of fracturers YOU had.
Does that sound like the same injury?
Remember the old saying, more is merryer.

mmaster
01-02-2011, 04:18 PM
This is completely inaccurate.

I broke a vertebrae in my back and it was good to go in 6 weeks, just like any other broken bone. Just ask your doctor and get a good physical therapist.

so i will need to get my own physical therapists eh?
i met the one at the hospital twice to practice getting up and walking around before i was discharged.
anyways its been hard to remember everything they told me at the hospital because i was so medicated there and i was so out of it.

HunterST
01-02-2011, 08:58 PM
Good Dr. Sir....
Count the numbers of fractures in OP's back.
Now count the # of fracturers YOU had.
Does that sound like the same injury?
Remember the old saying, more is merryer.

LeeD, this is one area where you need to keep your rude, truth-embellishing, self-important mouth shut. You know absolutely nothing about my injury. I can assure you, it was at least as serious as what the OP experienced, if not more so. I experienced cervical fractures as well, but I did not bother to share that because the OP specifically asked about back injuries.

You're referring to me as "Good Dr. Sir", as if I'm unqualified to speak on the topic when your only source is your claim that you have friends who "fell off 3 story buildings?" I assure you, I know much more about spinal injuries than you, and, apparently, more about being a decent human being as well.


OP,
Don't listen to LeeD's grim prognosis of your injuries. In my opinion, it would be a good idea to go to a physical therapist. They will give you specific exercises that will strengthen the muscles surrounding your injured vertebrae. Don't get discouraged if it doesn't heal up completely right away. Your recovery will only be complete between 6 months and 2 years after the injury. So, when I say it will take around 6 weeks (depending on which discs and how serious the fractures are) I mean that you will be able to walk around and perform normal tasks. However, there will be times when it still does not feel 100%.

Now, as far as how long you'll actually be out of tennis will depend. My back injuires, as I said, healed up in about 6 weeks. My neck factures, though, required me to be in a brace for about 3 months. Luckily, it doesn't sound like you need anything like that, but I wouldn't rush into the cranking and torquing that's required in tennis. Certainly in a few months you'll be able to play again. It will NOT take 2 years to reach 50%

mmaster
01-02-2011, 09:13 PM
thanks hunter
yeah i don't have the serious neck injury you had, my cervical fracture at C7 is just 1 above T1 so my injury seems to be pretty much all in the thoracic area.

yea i can't help thinking about tennis down the road because i know i'm gonna go back to playing it... i just purchased a ball machine and everything lol.
i'm considering changing to a less stiff racquet than what i currently own (they're in the 70 stiffness range) when i get back out on the court. i've been eyeing the prestige racquets in fact.

LeeD
01-02-2011, 09:37 PM
Didn't mean to sound like a jerk, but my prognosis on recovery time is maybe ONE MONTH off HunterST's?
Look, HunterST, you might not like me, you might not like the way I come off over the internet, but you're being picky about ONE month difference.
And yes, 2 years before you can play at 50% means you cannot wrestle your buds after 2 years, you cannot climb trees and operate power chain saws at heights after two years, and your body is still working on the recovery phase.
No, I did not ever have a back injury yet. But recovering from 4 collarbone breaks, 3 tib/fibs WITH SURGERY, countless ribs and fingers, all while in the midst of getting good at one sport or another, gives me a slight clue on the recovery process of most injuries.
HunterST, would you wrestle your buds right now, a couple years after your accident?

HunterST
01-02-2011, 09:55 PM
Based on my experience talking to friends who fell from trees and 3rd story buildings, you're looking at 4 months in a cast, and maybe 2 more years before you can play 50% of what you can play now.
In the meantime, you're getting older, your body doesn't recoup well because you not nearly as active, you're spending energy healing, ....oh the upside..:shock: well, you're gonna be smarter!
My sympathies, I didn't MEAN to be a jerk, but that comes naturally to me.

You said "2 more years before you can PLAY 50% of what you can PLAY now." Sorry bub, not going to get away with back pedaling and trying to make it sound like you were making a different assertion. He asked about tennis and you said it would be two years (after 4 months in a cast) before he could PLAY at 50%. Now you're saying you meant he wouldn't be able to wrestle for 2 years?

Then you throw in things implying that he'll never get to his previous level saying that as he gets older his body doesn't recover as well.

Face it, man. You were spouting off about a topic you know very little about and you chose to make things sound as bad as you could. You were trying to make someone who has already been through a lot feel even worse. THEN, you start talking down to me about my knowledge of the subject as if you knew more about my own injury than I did.

OH, and in what world does your estimate of him being at 50% in 28 months equate to my estimate of 6 weeks?

SuperDuy
01-02-2011, 11:18 PM
Spine injury's are a bummer. my Uncle was in his early teens when he had a weight lifting accident, had no opportunity for surgery + money in his country. Been bugging him ever since, lifting, tennis serve. Take the surgery.

Bud
01-03-2011, 01:27 AM
over x-mas, i got into a car accident where my car was totaled.
i never broken a bone in my entire life of about 30 yrs, so i have no idea how long these things take to heal but i'm guessing it's gonna be at least a couple months.

according to the papers it says i got a spinous process fracture of C7 and T1. i also have T4, T5, T6 vertebral body fracture of the superior endplate, whatever that means. i also have a manubrial fracture (upper sternum) but i'm guessing that's not very serious because they didn't even tell me about it.

it didn't require surgery so they set me on a neck and back brace and sent me home. my spinal cord is fine thank god and i can already feel i'm healing.

so has anyone had similar spine fractures? how long would you guess i'd be out for?

Sorry to hear about your serious accident. Was it a head on collision or did someone rear-end you at high speed? Did you also suffer whiplash?

The truth is you may never play at the same level or you may. I'd focus on making sure to keep everything (joints, muscles, etc.) moving after your rehabilitation. Look into yoga, mild stretching and even acupuncture on a regular basis once you're healed.

You're very fortunate you weren't paralyzed with all those spinal injuries. If you look at it that way, whatever level you play at when returning is a bonus.

What is/was your current level of play?

HunterST
01-03-2011, 07:58 AM
Spine injury's are a bummer. my Uncle was in his early teens when he had a weight lifting accident, had no opportunity for surgery + money in his country. Been bugging him ever since, lifting, tennis serve. Take the surgery.

Sorry to hear about your serious accident. Was it a head on collision or did someone rear-end you at high speed? Did you also suffer whiplash?

The truth is you may never play at the same level or you may. I'd focus on making sure to keep everything (joints, muscles, etc.) moving after your rehabilitation. Look into yoga, mild stretching and even acupuncture on a regular basis once you're healed.

You're very fortunate you weren't paralyzed with all those spinal injuries. If you look at it that way, whatever level you play at when returning is a bonus.

What is/was your current level of play?

Guys, I know spine injuries sound like a huge deal, and they are, but many, many athletes suffer injuries to their vertebrae and go on to perform at high levels.

Ken Shamrock broke his neck when he was young, had to have two discs fused surgically, and is now fighting professionally while in his 50s.

James Blake broke his neck. Hell, Taylor Dent had to be in a body cast for a year.

OP is only 30, which is fairly young. He's still strong enough to make a full recovery. I would agree with Bud, though, that some yoga would not be a bad idea. However, I have read some research that says certain yoga poses, such as the yoga plow, are actually contraindicated stretches.

mmaster
01-03-2011, 03:05 PM
i hit someone from behind slightly but i swerved and rolled over. then i hit a parked car that stopped my roll over.

What is/was your current level of play?

3.0, maybe 3.5 on a good day? not really sure, i never got rated officially.

himynameisNIKE
01-05-2011, 08:43 AM
I had a bi-lateral stress fracture on my l4. they put me in a cast for about 4 months and told me to do "nothing". after waiting all summer it finally healed and after a couple months of PT i am back on the court. Took them longer to diagnose it than it took to heal...
The whole process from first sign of pain to back on the court 100% healthy took about 10 months. I would expect to be out for at least 6 months. Back injuries are pretty serious, If you have any questions i would highly recommend not researching this stuff on the internet and try and find a good doctor.