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Old     (sports_gurl)      Join Date: Jun 2011       07-04-2011, 7:44 PM Reply   
Just curious... How often or has anyone here experienced an arm injury from wakeboarding?

This weekend i went out and bailed hard on my toeside edge on a w2w jump... and my board hit my forearm extremely hard, it was bruised and swollen but no broken bones.... this had never happened before. And I thought with a sport like Wakeboarding (other than if i'm doing kickers/sliders) I would not have to worry about arm injuries.

I'm a dentist, so injured arm means no paycheck, so kind of important for me to avoid. Thanks for any responses.
Old     (TheHebrewHammer)      Join Date: Jun 2011       07-04-2011, 7:48 PM Reply   
I had a similar thing happen on saturday. The tail of my board came up and hit my forearm on a big crash. I also had a freak accident once when my forearm got caught in the handle on a fall, producing a pretty scary hematoma. Luckily, it healed up just fine.
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Old    mojo            07-04-2011, 9:24 PM Reply   
Dislocated left shoulder with no dr. Now a hill-sachs injury. Pops out easy.
Old     (blatantblunts)      Join Date: Jun 2011       07-05-2011, 8:32 AM Reply   
Originally Posted by TheHebrewHammer View Post
I had a similar thing happen on saturday. The tail of my board came up and hit my forearm on a big crash. I also had a freak accident once when my forearm got caught in the handle on a fall, producing a pretty scary hematoma. Luckily, it healed up just fine.
what am i even looking at here??
Old     (paublo)      Join Date: Jul 2002       07-06-2011, 12:28 PM Reply   

Sept. 4, 2009, I'm at the lake with my son and 2 of his friends. They all take a set and now it is my turn. After an ok run for a 57 year old, I motioned for my son to do a final double-up. I hit it wrong and went up high, but horizontal and somehow my arm went thru the handle of the rope. An instant later the rope slack is gone and I am jerked around and the handle rips down my arm with enough force and pressure to cut into the arm down to the bone.

I pop up in the water with an intense pain from my right side. Reaching over with my left hand, I can't find or feel my right arm- I thought it was severed off. A few seconds later it floats up and I see it is attached. But my bicep muscle, brachial muscle and artery are stripped from the arm. I see a stub of the artery sticking out and pumping blood into the air like crazy. At the same time I see a floating piece of my muscle and flesh in front of me and I hold that over the severed artery to control bleeding.

My well-trained son doesn't power-turn and is idling back to pick me up. A couple of blood curdling screams gets his attention and he races back and jumps into the water with a friend. It seemed like forever getting my board off, and then help me get onto the platform and laying on the sundeck as I pass out. They call 911 and I come to a little later as they are racing to the dock. One kid has a death grip on my arm over the artery and another is trying hard to keep me conscious and keeping my feet elevated. Before we even get there, there is a Air-Evac helicopter overhead guiding us in.

I spent the next 3 week in the hospital (half in ICU) and had 10 surgeries trying to repair the damage. They took a vein from my leg to replace the artery and saved my arm. There were two attempts to replace the bicep with other muscle but they both failed. One was taken from my side and the other from my calf or lower leg. The first skin graft to close up my arm also failed due to infection. I was told that I would probably never be able to raise my right arm/hand up to my face (I am left handed thankfully).

After over a year of physical therapy I have far exceeded what the doctors expected. I have decent arm and hand movement, but not perfect and very little arm strength. There was significant nerve damage to the right hand- it still tingles all the time.

So how did I spend this last 4th of July? At the lake of course- but I'm just the driver now. The stupidest question I kept getting was, Are you going to sell your boat? Some people just don't get it.
The picture was taken about 4 months after the injury.
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Old     (baitkiller)      Join Date: Jan 2010       07-06-2011, 1:43 PM Reply   
OMG! Ok, does anybody want to buy a wakeboard? I think that just did for me. I have had my Transcend actually cut my forearm open with the edges on faceplants but Mercy Sakes Paul. That is horrible!
Old     (norwalkbeast)      Join Date: May 2011       07-06-2011, 3:14 PM Reply   
I dislocated my shoulder two weeks ago doing a ts frontroll. I have no idea how i did it but not my summer is shot and im having surgery. Its going to be a long six month recovery.
Old     (sports_gurl)      Join Date: Jun 2011       07-06-2011, 3:33 PM Reply   
That is absolutely insane. Maybe i shouldn't ask questions that i don't want to reallly know the answers too. Crazy. Paul thanks for sharing your story though. Your so lucky that your son and friends knew first aid. Always important on the boat. I'm glad you are still involved in the sport. And don't worry you didn't turn me off of wakeboarding... you just made me more aware of handle position, and maybe i'll stick to my small tricks for now.
Old     (captain_vilfo)      Join Date: Apr 2007       07-06-2011, 6:29 PM Reply   
Holy crap. Thats the scariest thing I've ever heard happen to a wakeboarder..
Old     (TheHebrewHammer)      Join Date: Jun 2011       07-06-2011, 6:43 PM Reply   
Originally Posted by blatantblunts View Post
what am i even looking at here??
That's the underside of my forearm with a huge lump on it. Also, JESUS PAUL
Old     (trio)      Join Date: Jan 2010       07-06-2011, 10:47 PM Reply   
That is unreal! What does it look like now? What kind of movement do you have? That picture is a scary dose of worst case scenario!
Old     (paublo)      Join Date: Jul 2002       07-07-2011, 12:35 PM Reply   
The accident got me interested in injuries and I was lucky- there is actually a special handle made by a company that won't allow your arm or head to go thru it. Can you guess where this is headed? Yep, a very few unfortunate souls have been decapitated by having their heads go through the handle. I think from water skiing, but it seems easier to happen doing wakeboard tricks. This is a fun sport, but not worth losing your head over. OK, no more bad jokes.

I am doing pretty good now. Those pink textured areas are skin grafts that have healed well. With slow exposure to sun, they are starting to fill in with color and don't stick out too bad. The multiple long incisions down my leg, back and side, graft donor sites from both legs and of course the arm, are a real source of stares when in a swim suit. I had one last clean up surgery last December to take care of an assortment of little things. Range of motion of shoulder is 100%, bending of arm at elbow is 80%, wrist movement- bending is 75% and twisting (pronation and supination) is 60%. Right hand fingers, movement is 10 to 60% depending on the finger and joint. Strength is ok in the hand but very limited in the arm. For example, I can grab the boat steering wheel with my right hand and hold it straight but more difficult to make a hard turn without using the left hand too.

This is already too long again, but one last word of advise- have good insurance.
Old     (blatantblunts)      Join Date: Jun 2011       07-07-2011, 2:07 PM Reply   
It's amazing how fast something like that can happen. I'm gonna have to be extra careful when I head out this weekend. I just finished building a kicker, but after seeing that picture not sure if I want to hit it anymore! glad to see that you've stayed strong Paul
Old     (riverside)      Join Date: Mar 2002       07-14-2011, 4:02 PM Reply   
Last week i got a knot in the mainline and somehow my arm got in,...i did get a firm pull from the boat wich was only in gear,i shouted HO HO HO just before i went under water.Driver did put the boat in reverse,i popped up,took the knot out and after a good inspection i made my run.
fortunately i,ve got only bruises ,He might aswell heard GO GO GO and hit it.
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Old     (bftskir)      Join Date: Jan 2004       07-15-2011, 7:03 PM Reply   
you were lucky that wasn't worse
Old     (rawB)      Join Date: Jul 2010       07-15-2011, 7:03 PM Reply   
Thank you, I will now have nightmares.

I dislocate my shoulder periodically wake boarding and other sports. I have a "bankart tear". I've had one surgery that lasted couple years I am now going to wait until I'm "older" as the survey says chances of re-dislocation drop significantly after 30.
Old     (waketx05)      Join Date: Feb 2008       07-15-2011, 7:26 PM Reply   
So I had a few stories but after seeing Paul's post...... Im speechles
Old     (eternalshadow)      Join Date: Nov 2001       07-15-2011, 11:10 PM Reply   
My arm injury from wakeboaridng was the most intense pain I've ever been in, far worse than my acl... seeing the post by Paul confirms my thoughts on how serious it could have been. That's insane.


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