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danyell723

Hubby has broken ankle..should he jump?

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HI everyone,

My hubby has been dreaming about going skydiving forever! I want to send him for his 30th birthday, but he broke his ankle very badly 2 yrs ago while playing semi-pro football, and I don't know if it's a good idea. It will be a tandem jump but I don't think that will make a difference...will it? I have been reading some posts on here about ankle protection like "Hangwag's" and such. Is that even a good option? He is also a very muscular guy and I don't even know if he'd be able to jump tandem if he weighs too much.

We live in Jacksonville, FL and I was thinking about going to "Skydive Palatka."
If anyone can give me some advice about this, I would really appreciate it. Thanx! [:/]

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A tandem would be relatively safe for him. Have him tell the tandem instructor about his ankle, and they will likely plan to slide in on their butts. I've used Active Ankles before, and recommend them.
Check with the dz you would plan to go to, but many places have tandem weight limits. Ours is 230.
Peace
lew
http://www.exitshot.com

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If your husband is not sure that a skydive is within his new limits after his ankle injury, have him go see his Doc.



Assuming his doc is openminded. Some are and some are just superstitious whuffos who don't think anybody should ever jump under any circumstances. But assuming he's open to the idea, he can give an honest evalutaion of your husband's condition. In general though, fractures tend to heal up well and stronger than before. It's sprains and ligament damage that can cause longterm problems. My own ankle/leg fractures are rock hard healed. But the damage I did to my ligaments is such that my ankle will never really be the same, so I have to take extra precautions when I jump. There are no easy answers, we get the best advice we can, weigh it against what's important to us and try to synthesize the best appropriate response to the facts. He should be okay mostly...

Your humble servant.....Professor Gravity !

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>Some are and some are just superstitious whuffos who don't
>think anybody should ever jump under any circumstances.

And some skydiving doctors just stop giving advice after a while because they are so regularly ignored. Often, skydivers go to doctors more to get justification for what they plan to do, rather than to get medical advice. Check out a recent Incidents post where a jumper went to a doctor, got told that jumping with a cast was dangerous, and then, armed with that knowledge, went out to make a jump. I know two doctors that don't give medical advice any more, although they'll help out with serious injuries.

So I'd advise people to decide what they want out of medical advice before they seek it. If they want an educated opinion, and can find a good source (like an orthopod that also skydives) then by all means ask. But if they just want reassurance to do something they're planning to do anyway - just ask your buddy. Easier, and more likely to get the answer you want.

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I think more doctors are in the wrong then the right when it comes to health advice on recreational concerns. It's damn hard finding one that you can rely on to give you the information you need to make decisions. And they tend to stop taking new patients, a real problem for those of us who change jobs and insurers often.

6 years back I developed what I feared was a stress fracture on the foot ... presumably from walking around too much in motorcycle boots. Aside from the immediate RICE type care, his advice was "buy a car."

Earlier this summer I got a Lance Armstrong type scare - aching testicle gets your attention after a few weeks. Best guess is I nailed it on a bad landing, but it took a bit over 4 weeks to fade. First doc I spoke to jumped all over the skydiving aspect and suggested I quit before I "lose the other one." Next week the followup doctor (who had some jumping experience) said tests were fine, the landing might have been the cause, be careful.

And then you have the doctors who would like to ask about your guns and other lifestyle choices...please... Doctors are among the worst groups to advise others on how to live their life.

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"please... Doctors are among the worst groups to advise others on how to live their life."



I'm sorry you feel this way.

You demonstrate a lack of understranding of what is going on in our society when you make that statement. When doctors give conservative advice, they are only trying to help that person avoid serious injury or worse.

Reason: you don't seem to realize most people (including skydivers*) don't take responsibility for their own decisions or actions. Assume a doctor tells someone it is OK to do something, then he goes out and indulges that behavior.....he gets injured, maimed, paralyzed, or killed. What will happen? The person or his family will sue the doctor because "The doctor said it was OK for me to do this. He could have or should have known it was inherently unsafe and told me not to do this behavior. I never thought THAT would happen or I wouldn't have done it. That doctor screwed me."

This happens hundeds of times a day in the U.S. So doctors "bail out" and advise people not to do dangerous behaviors.

People sue doctors anyway whenever the opportunity arises. Case in point: Smokers who have gotten lung cancer have sued their personal physician because, they say, "He didn't tell me I could get lung cancer." Hellooooooooo? Could someone exist in our society and not know this? I doubt it.

*I believe the guy trying to take a video of a helicopter taking off at the WFFC a couple of years ago was told he should not go where he did to get the video. It was designated a restricted area. He got killed. What happened? Family is suing eveyone. Sound familiar?

As a surgeon and frequent reviewer of medical malpractice litigation cases, I am offering this information first-hand. BTW most doctors know very little about skydiving and are in no better position to advise people whether they should indulge in the sport than a next door neighbor. They DO perceive it to be inherently dangerous though. (Duh!:o) I would suggest you don't discuss your skydiving activities with your personal physician unless you happen to have a health problem that directly relates to skydiving. Otherwise you are likely to hear from him that "Skydiving may be dangerous to your health."

Sorry for this lengthy, possibly boring post in S&T, but I felt a response was in order.

Dave
WEB SITE: www.newconthenet.com

Post edited for borderline attacks.

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My point Bill is that doctors are people too and they can be just as intelligent or just as biased or even ignorant as the rest of us. The guy right below your post is a good case in point, he goes to the doctor with a sore nut and his doc tells him to stop jumping "before he loses the other one". Another old friend of mine was given the scare of her life when she was told her cancer was terminal, only to find from another doctor that it was in fact highly treatable and curable. How does the saying go, "50% of all doctors graduate in the lower half of their class" ?

It's true what you say that doctors are just as often ignored and that many have stopped giving advice or taking new patients. If you've got a good doctor and you trust her (or him), then it really isn't cool to go against a reasoned argument about the damage you can do - some people shouldn't jump again, it's sad but true. It just comes down to whether you feel you can trust your doctor's judgement as well as whether you have the wisdom and humility to accept something you might not like to hear.

Maybe this guy should see a sports doctor who understands athletic issues, if not our sport in particular ?

Your humble servant.....Professor Gravity !

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>I think more doctors are in the wrong then the right when it comes to
>health advice on recreational concerns.

Depends on their specialty and their outlook, as always. I know two orthopedic surgeons who are both world-class skydivers (and one is a BASE jumper) - it's unlikely they're going to tell you to stop jumping because they don't understand the risks inherent in skydiving. The downside is that if they DO tell you that you should lay off jumping for a while, it's 99.9% certain that they know better than you - and you should probably listen to them.

Like I mentioned before, if you really want medical advice, these people are great resources. If you just want to be told that it's OK to jump, ask your buddy - you will more likely get the answer you want.

> Doctors are among the worst groups to advise others on how to live their life.

If you go to a doctor for advice on how to live your life, I'd expect them to give no better or worse advice than anyone else; they are just people. But if you go to a doctor for specific medical advice, they're generally pretty good. Sometimes they tell people what they don't want to hear, and all too often, that becomes "that doctor just doesn't understand!"

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I'm sorry you feel this way.

You demonstrate a lack of understranding of what is going on in our society when you make that statement. When doctors give conservative advice, they are only trying to help that person avoid serious injury or worse.



We disagree rather violently. Personally I think your words, "you demonstrate a lack of understanding," illustrate my view perfectly. Too many doctors with a god complex. They endure a ridiculous guantlent to become an MD, so few are morons, but far too many think that they know better than their patients.

The solution to my aching arch was to put Dr Scholes in my biker boots and to leave a pair of regular shoes in the office, not to "buy a car." I already had one.

So far as I know, we don't have skydivers losing their balls left and right (or it would become a female dominated sport quickly), so the solution there isn't to stop jumping. It's to stop landing badly. And in my case, to make sure it wasn't cancer.

Even at 32, the majority of my medical needs are related to recreational injuries - diving, hiking, triathlon, now skydiving as well. With that sort of lifestyle come the occasional bumps and bruises. I don't need to see a doctor to hear RICE. I'm more interested in figuring out prevention.

The American medical system really doesn't serve athletes well. It's probably the best in the world with regards to acute care. It's not very good with chronic care, though I'll agree the people aren't very good patients when it comes to fitness and diet matters.
I'm more inclined to find the right clinic and pay out of pocket because the PPO/HMO process doesn't get it done. Too bad my pocket isn't deeper.

I'll agree that there is unnecessary litigation. Not enough to go along with plans to ban malpractice - you guys suck at policing yourself - but I think doctors should be able to give patients the information to intelligently make risk assessment. Right now, the doctor effectively wants to do that himself. An example would be asthmatics that wish to scuba dive. Well into the 90s, there was a blanket ban on it, even if the would be diver had grown out of childhood asthma decades before. But millions lied on their medical releases and dove anyway with few incidents. Now you can find a few that will examine your condition and tell you the risks of a lung expansion injury. When doctors give conservative advice, they may be protecting the person, but at the expense of a richer life.

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If your husband is not sure that a skydive is within his new limits after his ankle injury, have him go see his Doc.



Docs can be terrible for this kind of advice, most of them know nothing about skydiving and will tell you "no", just as a CYA.

Their view of skydiving seems to be pounding it in with a PLF on a round canopy, so asking your doc will almost invariably guarantee one answer reguardless of condition.

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FWIW, I severely broke my ankle skydiving & my doctor told me I'd never jump again. Did I listen to him? No. But then again my doc wasn't Dave Newcomer, the skydiving surgeon, who would have given me different advice considering I've jumped with him after my accident.;) Anyway, I have 2 screws in the big bone and a titanium plate and 6 pins in the little bone (yeah it was a major break). I've put over 400 jumps on the ankle since it was broken & have had no problems. I wear nothing special other than athletic shoes w/o any ankle supports. Not to say that things can't happen, but if your hubby wants to jump, don't let his ankle stop him.

Put it this way, if your hubby can run across rough ground without any problems, there's not much in skydiving that he can't handle. But tell him to know how to PLF!


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but far too many think that they know better than their patients



Do you believe that your doctor _doesn't_ know better than you when it comes to health concerns? Because if you do, there's no reason to go see him.

A good physician will give you his best estimation of the risk you're taking, based on his medical knowledge and on his understanding of the physical stresses of the activity concerned. The decision whether or not to take that risk is yours.

Amy

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but far too many think that they know better than their patients



Do you believe that your doctor _doesn't_ know better than you when it comes to health concerns? Because if you do, there's no reason to go see him.



You'll need to be careful about the "your" doctor bit. I don't have one to claim my own. In the last 14 years, I think I've made 7 visits to physicians, excluding the Lasik adventure. That included two routine checkouts, two aforementioned incidents, one raging appendix, the emergence of floaters in the eyes, and some lingering bruising after I feel asleep on a bicycle. Four of these were to eliminate worst case scenarios.

When it comes to sporting concerns, I don't think they know better than me. Esp on diving matters. Some are barely competent to read the BMI chart, which is a really lousy starting point for telling an athlete what their ideal weight range might be.

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A good physician will give you his best estimation of the risk you're taking, based on his medical knowledge and on his understanding of the physical stresses of the activity concerned. The decision whether or not to take that risk is yours.



That's how it *should* be. And if you can find the right man (I've had better luck with women doctors), it can be, so long as you stick to health insurance that he participates with, and not move physically.

A few clinics have ditched insurance and gone to a cash system with very personal service up here, but those seem more suitable for those who visit on a quarterly or semiannual basis.

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No one can guarantee what your husband's landing will be like - he might even bump his ankle hard on the way out of the plane. Your doctor probably has the best advice here.

Personally, I always jump with ankle protection as a preventative measure (I hope). If your husband can jump off a chair seat and land safely on the ground, then his ankle is probably in good enough shape to land normally on a tandem.

Edit - as far as weight, you will have to call the dropzones and find their upper weight limit. I've seen tandem passengers that weighed as much as 275 - I'm not saying it was right, but it was the decision of the T.I. and the dropzone. If he's under 250, you should be able to find a DZ that will take him. Best if he's under 220 though.
Trapped on the surface of a sphere. XKCD

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It is quite common for tandem passengers to be older than 70 years and even without ever breaking an ankle in their lives would be more prone to this type of injury than your hubby.

At our centre we have had paraplegics (hope I've spelt that right) as tandems. The instructors are skilled at the sport and adapt to the needs of the student.

Where risks are greater then they will only carry out the jump if conditions are right for the particular situation so I would say let him do it but don't be supprised or upset if others further down the list (normally first come, first served) jump before him. The decision of when he jumps will be taken with HIS saftey in mind.

There's nothing stopping him jumping solo (S/L or AFF) if he wishes provided he meets the medical condition etc. and ACCEPTS the risks.

Why don't you do one at the same time?

Blue Skies.


Get out, Land on a green bit. If you get the pull somewhere in between it would help.

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Going by personal experience I would not do any jump that I could not put equal pressure on both legs while performing a PLF. Case in point: I was helping a friend at the DZ out by being his tandem passenger. Due to a malfunction the Canopy stalled at approximately 20' above the ground. (It felt like jumping off a 2 story building.) I was able to perform a PLF applying pressure to both legs equally (we appeared to be falling straight down). He had a sore ankle and took all the force on his good leg. This resultled in a Spiral Tib Fib Fracture. B|
Shit Happens, be prepared to handle it.
Blues
Jim

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some lingering bruising after I feel asleep on a bicycle



How the hell does one fall asleep riding a bike? :D



student life. work a graveyard shift, then go to a scintillating 8oclock class, then try riding home. One second you're riding along, next second you're halfway to the ground.

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How the hell does one fall asleep riding a bike?



I know someone who fell asleep walking down the street carrying 2 pints of milk, How did he do that you ask, easy go to bed at 2am get up at 4.30am 2-3 days in a row!


Get out, Land on a green bit. If you get the pull somewhere in between it would help.

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