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How often does this happen?


NMU Alpine Boarder
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Ok, so I have been off the boards for a few weeks here. The reason why is because I basically destroyed my left Tibia and Fibula (Shin/lower leg bones) in the Revolution Tour SBX race in Duluth MN. Since I have been down I have been thinking about the type of injury I have suffered, and have wondered if it was a freak accident, or if this is something that is kinda common....

The injury occured when I was going through a set of rollers and caught an edge.... As I flipped in the valley between rollers the nose of my board stuck in the face of the next roller and came to a dead stop.... The problem was that when the board stopped, nothing else did. Basically everthing hinged on my left boot cuff (I'm a regular foot rider), and there was enough force to fracture both bones like twigs.

Maybe I am thinking about this too much, but it seems that injuries like this could be fairly common... The forces that are generated at the boot cuff are huge, and in a crash, all that energy has to go somewhere. It seems to be the one scenario where a releasable binding would help, although I know that is not an option.... Do softboots have enough give to prevent somethinng like this from happening? Do most hardboots have enough give, and this was just a freak accident on my part? Just curious on your thoughts on the situation... I have wayyyyy too much time on my hands now :mad: :( .....

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I went over the bars really hard last year...was carving groomed, hit a slush spot on a warm day, arced WAY harder than I even realized the board would turn, and flipped three times

when I got up, aside from seeing stars, my left leg hurt intensely right at the boot cuff

I think I might have _almost_ broken my leg...this was an internal pain...might have even cracked it a little. stayed off it for a few days, and realized I got _that_ close

I think it is fairly common.

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sort of happened to me 3 years back, healed fast though :) Did it hurt? For some reason mine didn't hurt in the slightest bit :) just felt like a bag of warm rocks with slush... ugh!

i feel safer in softboots

hardboots your really have to read the terrain and anticipate fast if it's even slightly uneven when the snow is really firm

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sort of happened to me 3 years back, healed fast though :) Did it hurt? For some reason mine didn't hurt in the slightest bit :) just felt like a bag of warm rocks with slush... ugh!

i feel safer in softboots

hardboots your really have to read the terrain and anticipate fast if it's even slightly uneven when the snow is really firm

No, actually didn't hurt that bad... There was just a pressure in there... Originally, I thought I had busted the Walk/Ride mechanism in my boots cause it felt like the back of my boot was jammed against my calf, pushing forward... Then I released the top 2 buckes on my boot, but the pressure was still there.... Then I released the binding, and the boot kinda just layed there when I went to move my leg. That's when I knew my season was done, lol....

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I did not think about asking Bruce at the time whether he had major flex in his boots. I would have expected a tib/fib fracture with that kind of crash in hard boots, not an ankle injury.

I had an ankle injury rather than a fracture from a bad crash in hard boots two years ago. In my case I wound up dropping ~10 feet onto a flat. Soimehow I managed to hyperextend my ankle to the inside inside a Raichle 423 with the lean locked into position 3. My back boot was in powder mode and that foot/leg managed to escape inunjured. I do remember feeling something that resembled an electric shock in my shin (on the same leg as the sprained ankle)... as if the bone had been stressed as much as it could be without breaking???

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Gahhh! This gives me the willies just reading it. NMU, sorry to hear about your accident and hope your leg is fixed up soon.

I have had two "incidents" in hardboots where I thought my leg was ready to snap. Both were in powder and were cases where the board nosed into the snow and stopped, and I kept going. I felt like you did Dave, like I had come really close. :eek: It has me thinking of softies for powder.

Now I ride in walk mode. I actually like the feel in walk mode better anyway.

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You don't want a releaseable binding. I'll explain why. Also a broken bone (leg or otherwise) is preferable to a joint injury, I'll also explain that one.

Long time ago, ski boots were leather and were strapped to the skis with leather lashings. This all had some give to it and if you fell could move around a bit and maybe even pop out, sort of like a releaseable binding. With the low boots, a lot of ankles got trashed, so they raised the boot cuff to mid calf. Better control, but then it caused a lot of broken legs. Then bindings improved and knees started taking the damage, so they improved the releaseable binding.

Out of that development path, people figured out that a broken bone is better than a torn up joint. The broken bone can heal in about 6 weeks, with pretty good recover results (back to 100%). The same is not true for joints, which contain soft tissue. A really good recovery from a joint injury, might take only 3 months, a bad one could take a couple years to get back to 100%. A really bad one might never get back to 100%. And that's with a surgery or two mixed in there. That one I know, I had a ACL put in about 6 years ago, and I'm ready to have the Meniscus replaced in that same knee, from the same injurys.

So now off to snowboarding, where we went from a leather boot (Sorels) and a weak strap binding, which allowed for easy exits, to a stiffer boot (freestyle or Alpine) and a good non-release binding. Which keeps the feet attached to the board and forms almost a triangle with the board (your hips are two joints that can be thought of as one corner of the triangle). Triangles are very strong and this tends to protect your legs from a few of the injurys of skiiers (rotational falls). Yes you don't get to eject on a nose digger, but the rest of the time, it probably helps you. (you just need to ride steep powder more and practice your head tuck and roll!).

Now you still think about that release binding, but here's a scenario for you to think about (and I believe this has actually happened to a guy in California). You fall and your rear binding releases, but not your front. You and the board tumble a few times, and the board spins your lower front leg around a few times and your knee is COMPLETELY ripped, every ligament gone, every bit of cartilage torn up.

You would be lucky to ever walk normally again.

No releaseable bindings.!

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Now you still think about that release binding, but here's a scenario for you to think about (and I believe this has actually happened to a guy in California). You fall and your rear binding releases, but not your front. You and the board tumble a few times, and the board spins your lower front leg around a few times and your knee is COMPLETELY ripped, every ligament gone, every bit of cartilage torn up.

You would be lucky to ever walk normally again.

No releaseable bindings.!

a guy i work with (former Jr World Cup skier) did this when his ski binding didnt release. not a good story to hear after lunch...

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I was waterskiing in a slalom course as I pulled through the wake my front binding pulled out of the ski which just left my rear foot attached to the ski. I started sliding across the surface of the water on my back, everything was going great until the tip of the ski caught the water. The ski twisted around and took my left knee along with it. I was in extreme pain, I knew I need immediate medical attention.

I drove my old '65 Chevy PIck up to the lake that day with a manual transmission, I had my sister and her friend along that day, neither one of them knew how to drive a stick, much less tow a boat in traffic. Everytime I had to push in the clutch I would just grit my teeth and and shift as fast as I could.

Thank goodness I had a great ortho to repair the damage from that water skiing accident. Now my knees are just hammered from playing collegiate volleyball.

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I suspect that you are better off with both legs in the same situation than to risk the one leg goes one way and the other is still attached to the board situation.

Pre-releasing or a binding breaking goes through my head on the chair lift about once every 3 runs; expecially since reading here of all the problems with some plastic bindings and the need to replace parts. HOwever, there are a few things that help such as the toe clips which lock onto themselves rather than locking onto the boot through leverage; once I went to them, the bindings stopped releasing in jumps like the old emeries and snowpros used to.

Really sorry to hear about the injury.... would be curious to know the boots, the binding and board involved.

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Guest rphillips

NMU, really sorry to hear about your injury. That's a bummer man.

I broke an ankle in soft boots (actually heard it crack)...so 6 or 1/2 dozen the other as far as soft vs. hard boots. Injuries happen, but hope you heal fast.

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