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Airhead

Can a Person Jump With (set but) Broken Bone?

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I've been trying to get some of the people I know to try skydiving. One of my friends is a pilot who was an instructor in AZ. He loves the sky.
The problem is that 6 weeks ago he broke both bones in his forearm when a horse rolled over on him. He never had his arm casted but there is a steel plate in while it heals. He's been mountain biking for exercise lately.
Can he safely do a tandem?

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The general concensus is going to be a resounding "Yes!" in here. It's pretty simple for him to just ask his Ortho if it's okay. The danger in this, however, is that many doctors don't understand skydiving. Tell him to ask his doctor, with the additional understanding that he call a DZ (an S&TA, or better, a skydiving doctor) to ask about the forces encountered during a skydive.
I have taken all sorts of "challenged" people on tandems. From a healthy 84 year-old woman, to blind, even deaf healthy people. I have taken paras and quads, and a young guy with advanced MD/MS. It is not so unusual to have a tandem show up at the DZ with "bad knees" or "bad ankles" ready to jump.
Awareness of the students injury is paramount. Sounds like the TM should plan to fly the canopy himself (not all TM's like to do that - that's what tips are for) and practice keeping the students arms crossed on landing.

The laws of physics are strictly enforced.

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Along time friend of mine is an ortho surgeon. He always says, pain and discomfort will answer his patients questions. He firmly believes in his patients doing what "they" feel capable of doing. As long as the TM knows ahead of time and your friend keeps his arms folded in front, all should be well. Best luck to him!

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A few years ago I broke my arm on landing and got a plate and screws put in (never had a cast). Was jumping and doing CRW 3 weeks later with no problems. Especially for a tandem, it should be no problem. Just make sure the TM knows so that they make sure if they can't stand it up they butt slide as opposed to anything else.
W

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>He never had his arm casted but there is a steel plate in while it
> heals. He's been mountain biking for exercise lately. . . . Can he
> safely do a tandem?

If nothing goes wrong? No problem. If he lands hard, goes over, and sticks his arms out to break his fall? Could be nasty.

I would guess that he could safely do a tandem, as long as he understands that his risk of serious injury is greater than an 'intact' tandem passenger's.

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I believe Henny Wiggers (www.parashoot.nl) had a broken leg (in a cast) during the birdmanjump from Ameland tot Den Helder (crossing a big channel/peice of sea)
Aside from the tricky landing on 1 leg, he seemed to be pretty okay in freefall..:)
JC
FlyLikeBrick
I'm an Athlete?

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I have jumped with my arm in a cast. I'm sure there are some safety issues involved to this, such as being able to pull handles and so forth. Things may not heal properly if you use a broken limb too much also. I knew a guy who ran a cat with a broken arm. When he went in to get it checked out it hadn't healed because he was stressing his fracture too much. I've also rode broncs with my free arm in a cast and ran a chain saw in the woods. Like I was saying I may be old but I never said I was smart. Steve1

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He! He!
Yesterday a potential tandem student arrived at the DZ with a sore knee and a cane. Upon further questioning she revealed that she had knee replacement surgery only 6 weeks ago!
A tandem instructor insisted that she be able to run before he would take her up.
When she could not run up and down a flight of stairs, we sent her home to heal.
That is our criteria: a potential tandem student must be able to run up and down a flight of stairs.

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This is getting way off the subject, but I used to know a bull rider who broke his foot riding bulls. When the Doctor put a cast on his foot he also molded in one of his spurs so he could continue riding bulls. And some people think that skydivers are crazy.....you should meet some cowboys I've known. Actually there is a lot of similarity Steve1

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Airhead,
Actually I'm a pretty tame person today. I used to be a lot crazier than I am now. Luckily my wife came along. She won't let me do anything too dangerous any more. I had a hard time convincing her to let me skydive. Steve1

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>Broken in cast- slammed at landing resulting in amputation? But
> that's a rare thing, right?

In a healthy person, yes. In someone who has already been injured, and has orthopedic hardware in, not so unusual.

Think about what's going to happen if someone with a plate on his radius sticks out his arms to "break his fall" on a bad landing for example. Normally his forearm bones are going to break; but in this case, there's a big piece of metal that's not going to break. If you're lucky you just end up with a break somewhere else. If you're unlucky the plate ends up pushing through your wrist, dragging the metal and screws through the dozen or so small bones that make up your wrist. That's a lot messier, and a lot more septic (if the plate breaks the skin) than a simple break. That's what got Don; his foot got septic because they couldn't get all the dirt out of it the second time (and his foot was already compromised from the first break.)

Same thing with orthopedic hardware anywhere. The bone is going to break in an unusual place, and the hardware is going to cause damage as it tears through the muscle and skin. It will _probably_ not happen; but if the person is unlucky enough to have a seriously bad landing, and they hit that area again, the resulting damage can be much worse. They're taking a greater risk as a result.

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Quote

In a healthy person, yes. In someone who has already been injured, and has orthopedic hardware in, not so unusual.



I had always heard that if someone has a rod put in after "femuring" that it was a pretty good idea to have it taken out before skydiving again. If the leg is injured again you will probably be permanently maimed because the rod is either going to bend and become almost impossible to remove, or it's going to shatter the entire femur when it bends.

Although you are probably looking at an extra 8-12 weeks for the bone to fill in the now-vacant channel again before jumping it seems worth the wait.

The idea of a doctor clamping the rod with a pair of vice-grips and beating them with a mallet to get the rod out has got to be a horrible visual though.:S

Kris
Sky, Muff Bro, Rodriguez Bro, and
Bastion of Purity and Innocence!™

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>The idea of a doctor clamping the rod with a pair of vice-grips and
> beating them with a mallet to get the rod out has got to be a
> horrible visual though.

How do you think they got it in there to begin with? (although the vice grips and mallets are much higher tech nowadays)

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GEEZ:S! I am really getting grossed out.
I WAS gonna have my friend check out these postings on this forum to get him to come on out to the DZ and have his first jump. But I don't think that his reading these is gonna encourage him to do that :P! Well not at this point any ways. But everybody's been definitely helpful and informative, and I thank you for that!

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I agree with all of the great advice already mentioned but would like to add my .02 The mind has a lot to do with returning from any injury to any sport. I once twisted my ankle by dragging it underneath me on landing. Afterward I could walk fine but jogging caused a major twinge. After thinking about it, I called it a day. When I got home later there was a message from the DZ asking about the ankle. They also informed me that a girl had broken her toe on a landing later on that day. She decided to keep jumping and ended up breaking her other foot on the very next jump. My opinion is that she was favoring her broken toe. This just reinforced my belief that no matter what you are doing, you need to focus on the task at hand and nothing else. When I'm dropping into a gnarly wave, skydiving, or BASE jumping I don't want to be thinking about anything else. That can be hard to do if you have thoughts of an injury lingering in your head.
And definitely have all plates, screws, pins, etc... removed. Anyone I've met that has had these types of operations has told me one thing. ALL of their Dr.s advised them to have all hardware removed if they chose to continue high risk activities. If injured in the same place again it can cause major damage.



Problems just be opportunities in der workin' clothes.

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This summer I learned the hard way to follow doctor's advice when it comes to cracked bones in my foot.
Back in June, I cracked a bone in my foot. By late July it was feeling fine for walking, so I resumed tandem jumping. Unfortunately, manifest was not willing to give me small students, instead they insisted on me jumping with a stupid, 200 pound Surrey-girl. The result was re-injuring my foot and another month on the ground.
The moral of the story is: when the doctor says "wait 6 to 8 weeks before resuming sports" smart men follow the doctor's advice.

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