Thursday, December 23, 2010

Update on Biking Injuries

For those who don't remember, or never knew, I took a nasty, head-first, fall off of my road bike in April. My left hand is now almost pain-free. There is still a spot inside my mouth that is somewhat damaged (flesh, not teeth) and my dentist said it might never completely heal. But at least the mouth damage isn't painful--it is a just a reminder of the fall.

The more important injury was to the ulnar nerve on my left arm. That injury is probably the result of riding done many years ago and riding done more recently. It was a minor annoyance until I did a 100 mile ride this past spring. About 8 hours on the bike in 1 day was enough to really cause some serious discomfort. Some testing revealed that I was dangerously close to permanent damage. The solution was to get off the road bike and give the nerve time to recover. Having done that, it looks like I might be able to avoid surgery. One sure way to avoid surgery is to not get back on the road bike. But I don't want to give it up. So I'm going to continue to stay off the road bike until the spring and then make some changes to the bike that might help take the pressure off of the nerve.

If the changes to the bike don't work well enough, surgery is an option.

Getting off the road bike didn't mean not biking. I did a fair amount of riding of my hybrid bike this summer. Riding the hybrid seemed to be okay on the ulnar. It caused some different nerve-related discomort, but that nerve discomfort, according to my doctor, is not a sign of potential really nasty, permanent ulnar nerve damage. That discomfort is a result of minor spine injuries that might have been caused when someone rear-ended me in a car accident many years ago.

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