Did the Ripstick break my leg or what it the ground?

20 08 2007

I was at the park with my kids and saw some young hipster cruising around on a 2 wheeled skateboard. It looked fun, and dangerous and much like something that would possibly snap an ankle. Of course, having been plagued by ankle injuries all my life I had to find a new way to hurt myself and this looked like the perfect device for injury and pain.

I loaded the kids into my tiny little Japanese 4 banger and headed over to the local Kiddie Crack House better known as Toys R Us. There I found something called a Ripstick. I promptly dropped $99.99 on the counter after giving my home phone number to the checker and took everyone home to watch the “how-to” video. It looked pretty easy but I knew it looked much easier than it actually would be to get on top and stay on top. After 4 or 5 attempts I was able to get going about 10 or 15 feet and soon I was cruising around the tennis court. The kids didn’t want to try it, they stuck to the 4 wheels of a skateboard that day.

It didn’t take long and they were rockin’ the Ripstick better than dad…of course I had a broken leg so that helped.

My 8 year old son on the leg snapper

I took it to my office where I rode it on the finished concrete floor in the warehouse. Finished concrete is very slick, turn too tight and BAM! My hands got some pretty major bruises and my knees took some abuse as well.

My girlfriend at the time took a liking to the Ripstick and we went out one night to the local tennis court to ride together. I had been ripping it up (not really but it sounds good) for a couple of hours and decided it was time to dismount, and dismount I did. I went to step off of the thing and the board went left while my body stayed stationary, I lost my balance and all of my weight came down on my left foot. I heard crunching and I felt it too.

I had sprained (and probably broken from time to time) both ankles over and over again, I’m talking countless times, through the years playing basketball. I know a sprain before I even hit the ground. I can tell the moment I hit the ground the severity of the sprain, if I’m going to be able to finish the game, have to sit out a few or if I’m off for a couple of months. Well, this time I hit the ground, grabbed my foot, looked up at my girlfriend and said, “I broke my foot”.

She laughed and said, “Let’s go”.

I said, “I broke my foot, take me to the ER” and let go of it just to show her. It flopped to the side and she believed me.

It’s funny how different a sprain feels from a break. Sprains are extremely painful, the pain just lingers and lingers until you’re reduced to a quivering ball of sobbing jelly. The break was more interesting. It just snapped (much worse than I thought after we saw the xrays) and didn’t really hurt at all. I just kind of thought, “Oh shit, how long is this going to take to heal?.

I crawled about 100 yards to the car and pulled my gimpy ass up into the passenger seat and we went to the hospital. They took me in for xrays and then I waited for the results. The doctor walked in the room and looked at me, looked at my girlfriend, looked around the room, then looked at me again. He said, “Are you Vaughn?”.

I told him that was me and he asked, “How old are you?”.

I thought he was referring to the fact that I was riding a skateboard when he was actually referring to the fact that my xray looked like the ankle of a 65 year old man all riddled with arthritis and bone spurs. When he told me that I said, “You should xray my right ankle. This is my good one.”

He told me it was time for surgery and we scheduled a return trip for the next morning and they gave me some kind of shot in the ass that made all my furniture very comfy then slapped a big ugly boot on my leg to hold it steady for the night.

I went into surgery, they fixed me all up with a titanium plate and 9 screws and 25 staples to hold it closed. I sat in the hospital overnight with a morphine drip and all kinds of monitors hooked to my body as though I was in danger of slipping into cardiac arrest at any moment, drank a lot of ice water and slipped in and out of drug induced sleep.

The recovery sucked, crutches suck, bathing sucked, I couldn’t play with my kids, barely get down the hall to take a wazzer or nuke a burrito and I missed quite a bit of work. After about 4 weeks I was able to get around pretty well and at the 8 week mark the doctor told me I could sleep with the boot off. Being who I am I took that as the green light to dump the boot so I started walking without it.

I was warned by folks that it wasn’t a good idea but today I’m doing fine. I still have pain and a massive scar.

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17 responses

25 04 2015
Jason

I know how u feel I fell off a ripstick today and list like 2 layers of skin on my elbow and scraped my but and wrist

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16 01 2009
Dido

DUDE!!! The same thing basically happend to me! I hit a rock and went flying next thing i knew the the asphalt was tearing up my arm like it had teath! except i didnt notice, my freind laphed his ass off while i got up. i walked away and then looked at my arm and my elbow was completely exposed! I was looking at skin,muscle,fatty tissue AND MY BONE!!! I never got stiches, and when it was healing i was instructed to BEND IT or else when the skin was to heal for the first time i would bend it and….. It would tear right back open! SOOOO now ive got a nasty three maybe four inch scar for the rest of my life. But like you im right back on the damn thing. cant resist it. alright, E-MAIL me back cause id like to hear what you think about my experience.

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7 09 2008
sjl

hey i’m 14 and i’ve got one too. taken a few nasty spills and got the scars to prove it too! but just yesterday i learned how to do a ollie and grind. sweet stuff! take care man!

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6 08 2008
Heather

Okay, I’ve never read someone’s random blog before (I was googling photos of broken feet ’cause I thought I may have broken mine — NOT on one of these contraptions though) and I cme across the picture of the bottom of your foot.. Start reading your stuff (I LOOOOOVE the one about people backing into parking spaces ’cause I totally agree!) and here I am stuck reading all your crap cracking the hell up in an empty room.

I love it.

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1 06 2008
broken

i’m 15, last night i was riding mine, hit a rock or something, went flying off and now i sit here typing with a cast on my arm.

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15 05 2008
Xavier

Hey sik, I’m thirteen and I have one, I did the exact same thing trying to dismount but I only got scrapes cause I managed to roll. Today my wrists took a beating cause I was doing tricks and failing alot. But there pretty fun!

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21 04 2008
bob

that is sweet! What the fuck!

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14 03 2008
Katie

wow!

napoleon dynamite–LOL

yep grandma went to the sand dunes with her new boyfriend!

uncle rico says there’s alot you guys don’t know.

‘go get some pampers for you and your brother.’

put the 24 pack of markers back and get the 12 pack.

‘you’re gonna have to mix and match em.’

as uncle rico takes 2 sniffs of a new plunger! wth? lol

at the checkout it all starts with a bunch of toilet paper.

best movie ever made!

calmerthanyouare–thanks so much for sharing your story along with some great pictures! hope you’re doing just as great! take care…

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5 03 2008
a fan

man u r a total legend!!!

shit actin ur age i mean a boards a board whether ur 60 or 11!!!

u rule u know wha your talkin about!!!

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23 02 2008
Dr. David Secord

According to the Lauge-Hansen classification, you had a stage III or IV PER (pronation/external rotation) fracture of the ankle. It involved going around the clock, starting at 9:00 (with the clock face looking down on a right foot and ankle and therefore, 9:00 would be the medial malleolus or the inside of the ankle). At 9:00 position, you either tear the deltoid ligament or break the medial malleolus. You tore the deltoid, hence the space at the inside of the ankle on the X-ray. At 12:00, you tore the anterior/inferior tibia-fibula ligament and then the interosseous ligament. These hold the two leg bones together and, hence, the transyndesmotic screw you have on X-ray going between the tibia and fibula. At 3:00, you broke the fibula high above the ankle joint (the pathognomonic sign of the PER fracture). You may or may not have gone on to the 6:00 position, which is a tear of the posterior/inferior tibia-fibular ligamen. The only way to know is to look at the MRI of the ankle I assume you had done.

By the way, your surgeon did a beautiful job of fixing your ankle. And, yes, you do have the ankle joint of a 70-year old man. The way I was taught in Philadelphia, the transyndesmotic screw comes out at 6 months and the plate and screws on the fibula come out at a year. There is a good reason for this, as the stress that normally keeps bone strong is being taken up by the plate and you can eventually cause weakness at the fibula with poorer bone quality if the plate and screws are retained. This is up to your surgeon, but I always take out the hardware after a year–unless healing is poor and the ankle would fall apart if the hardware were removed.

Best wishes,
David Secord

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23 01 2008
R32115

it looks like you have gone through the exact same thing as i am going through right now. Like you i broke my leg on finished concrete when the board slipped. I had the same procedure done open reduction internal fixation. Your x rays look exactly like mine. My girlfriend insists i get rid of the thing but i cant wait to get back on it. Like you said you only live once, whats a broken leg?

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16 01 2008
skateingrocks

i got a ripstick board too a few weeks ago and iv only busted once and hurt my neck and i still ride it but i didnt think that you could actualy brake somthin with it!!

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13 12 2007
calmerthanyouare

I’m all healed up. I can run and jump and stomp and it doesn’t hurt. If I do too much sometimes my ankle will bother me but that’s mostly age, scar tissue and arthritis.

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13 12 2007
joewyatt

I did the same thing and I’m wondering if you have full function in your leg? Can you stomp the ground without it hurting?

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21 08 2007
girlsnap

You little… RAWR!

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21 08 2007
calmerthanyouare

My leg hairs do not make you hot. It’s your armpit hair that does.

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21 08 2007
Girlsnap

That’s pretty sexy. Your leg hair makes me hot.

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