Freak accident

  1. I had a weird thing happen to me July 9. I stepped off a curb, just your ordinary sidewalk curb, down off it into an asphalt lot (newly paved this spring). Everything perfectly smooth, maybe a very slight downward aspect to the asphalt. Walk the same place twice every day to and from work.

    I stepped off the curb. I have only a freeze frame in my mind of one leg straight, the other not, and seeing my friend slightly in front of me. She says that she heard me say, Oh sh*), and she turned to see me going down. She, as a good nurse would do, got behind me and assisted me down, she says very vehemently that she "did NOT let (me) fall!"
    I know my hips, back, nothing else hit hit the ground, just my butt and of course my legs, but she caught me and I was a sitting position as my memory of this returns.
    I grabbed my lower right leg and the tibia was OBVIOUSLY broken, not through the skin, but by golly another quarter of an inch and it would have poked through.
    An ambulance came, I had compartment syndrome going on while I was still sitting in the parking lot. They x-rayed me and eventually a dr came and oh thank God he knocked me out and pulled the bone back in place.
    Twenty four hours later I had surgery on the leg. My muscles/tendons/ligaments on the inside of my leg had all ripped loose as well. The surgeon told my husband it was a "massive repair."
    I am now non weight bearing for two months. Then PT for at least a month before I can walk/drive alone.

    My question is this: I only stepped down. I did hit the ground. I do not have osteporosis, in fact the surgeon told me I had "good dense bone, hard to get the pins through". Is there anything other than "just a freak accident" that could cause my ankle to explode???
    This is a question that is annoying me.
    I am NOT asking for medical advice, as I have plenty of good doctors, just wondering if anybody had heard of anyone else's ankle or other joint just "exploding" - bone breaking severely with muslce/tendon damage?
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  2. 19 Comments

  3. by   queenjean
    In my opinion, given the fact that you state you have no contributing factors like osteoporosis or chronic steroid use, you did not just step off the curb; you probably stepped wrong, landed wrong on your foot, and broke the bone that way. Think of all that force et weight coming down on a square inch or so of bone--it's a lot of pressure. Maybe you stepped on the outer aspect of your shoe, maybe there was a little rock, a piece of trash, or a slight crack in the asphalt that made you land off balance. If you don't remember the second or two afterwards, you probably don't remember landing wrong, either.
  4. by   nerdtonurse?
    Maybe it was just the angle? I've seen people take horrific hits and get back up with only bruises, and then a pt lean too far out of a wheelchair and end up with a subdural hematoma. I mean, you'd think the maintenance guy in his late 50's who fell off the top of a ladder (taking half the ceiling down with him) and landed on a tile floor would have busted everything, and the 30 year old who's face travelled less than 3 feet from a stopped position onto a carpeted floor would have been fine. Worked out the other way.
  5. by   catlynLPN
    A weird thing happened to me about 3 years ago.
    Someone left a step stool, the kind with rungs on it,
    in the little fridge/coffee room at work. They just pushed it up in front of the table that holds the coffee pot, beside the refrigerator.
    I went in there to get some ice and hung my toe on the bottom of the step stool and fell. I fell backward onto my RIGHT side. I don't remember falling onto my right side, but I say that because that's how I was when I realized I was on the floor.
    Guess which elbow was dislocated? My left! I was lying on my right side, with my left arm on top of me and the left elbow was dislocated.
    I have no idea how that happened. I do not remember even throwing out either hand to brace my fall, but I must have with my left, somehow, and the hit was so hard it dislocated the elbow, but all I really remember is just realizing I was on the floor with severe pain in my left arm and I was lying on my right side.
    Talk about pain......I have never known anything so great as the pain of a dislocated elbow.
    I've had surgeries and a fractured foot.....but the severest pain, even tho, it was shortest in length of time, was the dislocation of the elbow. It's been 3 years and that elbow hasn't fully recovered yet....it is still weak.

    So weird things can happen and unless you have a video of the fall, you will probably never be able to explain it.
  6. by   Spidey's mom
    Hey, July 9 was my birthday!

    I worked for a physical therapist years ago who told me that injuries usually happened with simple and easy moves - sort of a last straw on the camel's back sort of thing. Leaning over to pick up a pencil from the ground have caused bad injuries.

    And, we don't always remember exactly what happens in situations like this. My example is bigger of course but I had a car accident where a car ran a red light and I hit him. My memory of the accident is completely different than the bystanders - including the type and color of the car I hit.

    Glad to hear you are doing better - and that the doc put you out. I've had to help with those injuries in the ER and it is not fun, especially for the patient.

    Hope you get better soon!


    steph
  7. by   KaroSnowQueen
    Oh that ER doc was putting me out. He came in and would stand by my foot with his hands up near it and I told him, I want to be OUT, I am hurting, KNOCK ME OUT!! I was crying and crying and I was near the edge of freakin' completely out!! And he did, I was so glad of it. That leg freakin' hurt, it was pain on a different plane, if that makes any sense. It wasn't like labor, or even a sprain, it made me think I would lose my mind before they got me some pain relief.

    And as some of you have said, I guess it was just indeed one of those things, just the wrong angle, and ka-blooey!
  8. by   FlyingScot
    I broke my neck washing my hair!
  9. by   lpnstudentin2010
    Quote from FlyingScot
    I broke my neck washing my hair!
    My dad threw his back out washing his hair about 3 weeks ago
  10. by   mpccrn
    freak accident....it happens.
  11. by   birdgardner
    My husband ruptured a tendon in his hand pulling up his socks - we think it had been weakened by Cipro.
  12. by   jnrsmommy
    I sustained a spiral tib/fib fx just getting out of bed. Darn freak accidents
  13. by   MassED
    Quote from KaroSnowQueen
    I had a weird thing happen to me July 9. I stepped off a curb, just your ordinary sidewalk curb, down off it into an asphalt lot (newly paved this spring). Everything perfectly smooth, maybe a very slight downward aspect to the asphalt. Walk the same place twice every day to and from work.

    I stepped off the curb. I have only a freeze frame in my mind of one leg straight, the other not, and seeing my friend slightly in front of me. She says that she heard me say, Oh sh*), and she turned to see me going down. She, as a good nurse would do, got behind me and assisted me down, she says very vehemently that she "did NOT let (me) fall!"
    I know my hips, back, nothing else hit hit the ground, just my butt and of course my legs, but she caught me and I was a sitting position as my memory of this returns.
    I grabbed my lower right leg and the tibia was OBVIOUSLY broken, not through the skin, but by golly another quarter of an inch and it would have poked through.
    An ambulance came, I had compartment syndrome going on while I was still sitting in the parking lot. They x-rayed me and eventually a dr came and oh thank God he knocked me out and pulled the bone back in place.
    Twenty four hours later I had surgery on the leg. My muscles/tendons/ligaments on the inside of my leg had all ripped loose as well. The surgeon told my husband it was a "massive repair."
    I am now non weight bearing for two months. Then PT for at least a month before I can walk/drive alone.

    My question is this: I only stepped down. I did hit the ground. I do not have osteporosis, in fact the surgeon told me I had "good dense bone, hard to get the pins through". Is there anything other than "just a freak accident" that could cause my ankle to explode???
    This is a question that is annoying me.
    I am NOT asking for medical advice, as I have plenty of good doctors, just wondering if anybody had heard of anyone else's ankle or other joint just "exploding" - bone breaking severely with muslce/tendon damage?
    strange experience, to be sure... I've heard of freak accidents like that - just the right ankle with the right amount of force....
  14. by   NursingAgainstdaOdds
    Aw, I hope you heal well!

    I've been really lucky, I've never broken a bone. I do know well the sensation of falling, and not knowing you fell, until you hit the ground. Happened just the other day, because my 3 year old sprayed water all over the floor, and I didn't know it.

    Life's dangerous, I guess.

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