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Gordon Gray, GrandPaul, KarlB, ricochetrider
Total Likes: 9
Original Post (Thread Starter)
#841999 03/05/2021 5:16 PM
by KarlB
So last Saturday afternoon, I was coming down a ladder after pruning a tree in my garden when a branch that was trapped behind the ladder whipped out and pushed me off the ladder, about 5 feet off the ground. I landed heavily on my left ankle and despite my best judo rolling break fall I managed to put a distal fracture into my left fibula. It's a sort of spiral fracture as it was twisting when I hit the ground. So, I’m laid up waiting for the swelling to go down and they’ve given me a walking boot, though they will be reviewing it to see if I need surgery or a plaster cast as there’s a little bit of dislocation in the break.
The swelling has just, today, started to ease and it looks like I don’t need plaster or surgery so far.

Amazingly enough this was the first time ever that I’ve ever had to take myself to hospital, though I've woken up in a few wondering how I go there after being gassed and blown up whilst working on refineries, also the first time I’ve ever properly broken a bone. Our NHS have been absolutely fantastic. Pain is manageable, tbh it’s the lack of mobility at present that is the real pain.

So this is day 6 of broken leg, swelling has peaked and all seems on the mend. But, it's got me thinking about a few classic motorcycle related things. First when am I likely to be back on a bike as well as what of sort of bike that will be? Also it got me thinking about other folk I'd met who had already modified bikes to suit different physical needs. More of that later in another post, when I can drag myself to my main computer to dig out some pictues.
So my doctor reckons about eight weeks before I can think about using my left leg 'normally' but of course riding a bike is not so normal when you come to think of it. Kick start, gear changes, balancing the bike etc. Four of my bikes are electric start so that's no problem, however, three of those need a left foot to change gear and that might take a bit longer till I'm healed up to manage. Though two of the bikes have really slick gearboxes so perhaps that's not really an issue. One challenge might be the weight of he bikes, especially moving them around, it's odd how some bikes feel a lot heavier than they really are when you have to manhandle them around the garage or driveway? I won't be riding till I know I can support the bike on either leg so I don't have to think about going down the sidecar route or three wheel bikes, trikes etc, that are about, though I know some folk have. It would be interesting to know if that's why they went down that route or was it other balance related issues? Hand controls aren't an issue, but I've met a few folk who have modified their bikes to suit a range of issues in relation to a number of hand, arm, shoulder issues. It would be interesting to hear folks experiences of those as well, old age and other injuries do happen to all of us, eventually. Coming back to my more selfish ponderings, I am fortunate enough to have in my fleet a bike that is nearly perfect for my recovery rides, that's my Suzuki Burgman 400. I'm wondering if that's why so many folk like riding them, at least in part because they are easier on the legs and I guess fairly easy to modify as well, if one of your hands has limited mobility? Maybe this is really an article for a bike magazine, but folk with more experience of having to deal with such issues and more technical knowledge on how to meet those needs should write that. But it would be interesting to hear if folk have bought or modified their classic or modern bikes to meet certain physical limitations of their own. After all, for many of us, it's not just the bikes that are becoming old classics in need of restoration...🤪
Liked Replies
#842016 Mar 5th a 06:41 PM
by Gordon Gray
Gordon Gray
Originally Posted by Lannis
<<<<snip>>>>>And to fix the root cause of the current problem, we're getting too old to be climbing damn ladders. That's what grandchildren, the neighbor kids, or the handyman down t'road are for!


Kinda reminds me of something that happened at one of our big box hardware stores the other day. I needed something that was high up on the racking. Nobody was around but there was a ladder sitting in the aisle. So I moved the ladder and climbed up there and got it myself. As I was climbing down a sells person walked up and said in a kinda snotty voice “ You can’t climb that ladder”. I look up and tell her......” I certainly can, you just saw me do it”.

Get well soon KarlB, you’re one of the good guys.

Gordon in NC
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#842011 Mar 5th a 06:08 PM
by Lannis
Couple of things ... Get the leg strength up, and the balance optimized. I found that I had let the muscle that lets you walk down stairs get weak, and it was making my ability to hold up a bike wobbly.

Stand on a step (hold on to something). Step down to the next step, just touch your heel to it, and then bring your foot back up to where it started.

If that's hard, then you're going to be wobbly on a bike. First time a therapist told me to do it, I couldn't even come back up, which is when I knew that I'd let it go too far. It's an easy workout to do, doesn't need equipment, you can do it anywhere. Problem is that it's frustrating and you get sore fast, but that's how you know it's working.

As far as kicking, the electric leg is good (it's the only thing that will get my 850 Norton going). But when I get to where I can't kick a big 4-stroke, I'm going to a 2-stroke twin. Nothing's easier to kick than a two-stroke twin (or triple, if you fancy Kawasakis) under 500cc, and there's a lot of them I like; I can relive my first years on a bike, and a RD400 Yamaha will do anything I ever want to do on a bike even today.

And to fix the root cause of the current problem, we're getting too old to be climbing damn ladders. That's what grandchildren, the neighbor kids, or the handyman down t'road are for!

2 members like this
#842012 Mar 5th a 06:19 PM
by KarlB
Ah, Lannis, you forget I already have a two stroke motorcycle, an MZ ETZ 301, plus even though it has a left hand kick start, years of a mix of MZs, Ducatis, Brit bikes etc have taught me how to kick over a bike with either foot..
Thanks for the physio tips, though I've yet to find the stairs in our bungalow, I'm sure they are around here somewhere... laughing
1 member likes this
#842057 Mar 6th a 03:21 AM
by R Moulding
R Moulding
I suffered a fractured left heel and broken foot after being hit head on by a truck and trailer. Took 3 months before I could walk properly, kicking the bike with either leg is not a problem but lifting it onto the centre stand can make me wince. Its now over 10 years and I suffer from quite a lot of pain especially when winter sets in. When I spoke to the surgeon at the hospital, he told me that, especially with heel fractures they can cause more issues by opening them up and that I would simply have to put up with what ever the end result was. I've managed to get back into see a specialist at the end of this month to try for a better outcome.

Long and short, if you feel things are not going your way then kick up a fuss early and lay it on with a trowel. Whilst it may not seem very manly to complain about pain it is better to carry on life without it!
1 member likes this
#842273 Mar 8th a 02:04 PM
by edunham
I crushed my left leg in '72 in a head on collision on Interstate 80. Confused old guy came down an exit thinking it was an entrance and kept barreling down the road. Didn't walk for a couple of years. I have had constant pain since, but you get used to it. Tore the meniscus in the right leg 7 or 8 years ago. High pain threshold meant I didn't do anything about it until it was too late. Now both knees are bone on bone. However, a good therapist gave me a combination yoga/stretch/exercise routine that has kept me mobile. I am not running or jumping, but I can kickstart my bikes and otherwise do what I need to. Only downside is that between my routine, a hot shower, ablutions, and breakfast, it takes me an hour and a half just to start my day.

Ed from NJ
1 member likes this
#844135 Mar 26th a 12:26 PM
by KarlB
A bit of an update, leg is getting much, much better but a week last Saturday I had an allergic reaction to the new type of paracetamol I was taking and promptly exploded all over in urticari (hives) of the not pleasant type. Now I've never had to take paracetamol in my life, odd but true, as I don't get headaches etc and for aspirin has always fixed anything else. Luckily the antihistamine has sorted all that out but we live and learn. Like I never want that again! Apparently, a couple of weeks of taking paracetamol meant it built up in my body and the super duper Panadol was the straw that broke the camel's back as it were.
Anyway, the fractured fibula is healing up nicely and I'm back to hobbling around. I'm really looking forward to riding my motorcycles now though. laughing
1 member likes this
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