No, I am not uninformed in the least! Having had a neck injury for the past 4 years, I have thoroughly examined every aspect of what happened to my body, and how it could have been avoided.
Granted no one is immuned to the potential of a neck injury from hard openings, but it is the case that if you are a small person with a tiny neck, and pack on 12 pounds of lead under the backpad of your reserve, you are going to have more stress upon your neck than if you have an opening with proportional weight to neck strength and mass.
I have also wondered, but am not sure that having had a larger canopy, I may have increased the force of opening on my neck than if I had a smaller parachute. This is just speculative. If anyone has a better argument about this I would love to consider it. The question is: Is there more force of opening on a small person with a larger parachute than a larger person with a smaller parachute, that will continue to pull down on the parachute as it opens, rather than just being a tiny booble on the bottom of a big parachute.
I do know that landing with 12 ponds of lead is far more impactful than landing without lead. I suspect that also translates to the opening shock. Also, the place I had my weights, and the fact that I had an inflexible lead plate of shot fixed in a plastic matrix with a cardboard perimeter affixed to the back of my reserve, the top of which was just at the base of my neck, did in fact prevent my upper back from absorbing some of the opening shock, which instead all translated into my neck, which was just to delicate to sustain such an impact.
I also know that Mikey McGowan who jumps with about 20 pounds on his head of camera gear ontop of a motorcycle type helmet, who also jumps a relatively small canopy compared to his size, has never had neck problems. But he is a stout fellow and weight lifts all day long, so his neck is about as big around as my thighs!
So tell us, Skyrad, Since you seem to be in argument to everything I say, let us hear what exactly is your neck injury, and how did it happen? I am quite the expert specialist on the subject, having thoroughly examined the issue, and thoroughly researches all the potential solutions, and have in fact tried most of them in the past 4 years, desperate for a solution myself, so I can return to the air in full working order, I would love to advise you in any way I can.
Good Luck to you! Neck injuries suck! I feel for you! As our illustrious ex-President used to like to say, "I feel your pain!"
'Since you seem to be in argument to everything I say'
Thats not true. You have made some interesting points and I actualy agree with a fair few of the points you've made. However, I do disagree with some of the sweeping generalisations that you tend to include in your posts, like the older surgeons comment. As for my injury, I was in Spain it was my 50th jump and I was on a rented 285, (It was all that was left) I took off and from take off to altitude the wind increased massively by the time I jumped there was a 200 jump minimum in force but no one told the jumpers. On deployment I suffered a C spine flexion injury. It turned out the canopy had recently had new lines fitted. It was a slammer of an opening and for the next week it felt like a cannon ball being balanced on top of a noodle. As for your advice, I thank you for the offer. No offence but when seeking advice I'll ask a Profesor of Neurology rather than a lay person.
(This post was edited by Skyrad on Apr 4, 2004, 6:15 AM)
my wife has a herneated L-1 and everythng that goes with that type of injury. sad thing is though she did it at work and the best doctor she saw said try the cortisone and hope that surgery is not needed. he said that if she did the surgery that she would be in a wheel chair by 40(not far now). the pain she describes is numbness and tingles and no sensation . the damage is spreading into calicium build up around the disc and natural fusing of the L-1 to L-3 and again from L-4 to L-6on the right side, the doctors in canada said that surgery was unavoidable just a matter of when. heal well, cheers
I also know that Mikey McGowan who jumps with about 20 pounds on his head of camera gear ontop of a motorcycle type helmet, who also jumps a relatively small canopy compared to his size, has never had neck problems.
Michael McGowan was recently (within the last 2 weeks) injured during an opening on his reserve (I think)...he had severe whiplash, as best I can recall (the thread's in TB, which is currently unavailable...) - and if not whiplash, the injury had something to do with his neck.
look into the artificial "Pro Disc" that I have been promoting before you ever consider a fusion. The outcome and future after the surgery sounds a lot more promising. Don't get scared by any surgeon into just doing his procedure without looking around at the possibilities and outcomes and thoroughly researching the medic and his record, his history, and success rate. I made that mistake and have regretted it for 4 years. Surgery is never conservative, no matter what anyone says, and you will never be the same afterwards. Be sure it will at least improve the problem without any detrimental affects that may be far worse than the problem itself, as mine were!
There is also a guy named Jeffy Saal associated with the SOAR clinic in RedWood City, CA. affiliated to Stanford University Hospital, in Palo Alto, CA. He has a novel technique to resorb discs, provided no previous surgery has been performed. He works with Dr. Dillingham, a top orthopod who worked on the SF 49ers Football team for years. Good Luck to her. That sounds scary. Just let her know, she is not alone! There are others out there with similar problems all seeking some solution. Tink