Marine Cabirou Reveals Broken Vertabrae

Jan 6, 2022
by Sarah Moore  

Marine Cabirou has revealed on Instagram today that she broke her back in a crash a few weeks ago. Cabirou won the 2020 World Cup DH overall, but her 2021 season was marred by injury after a crash on the road gap step down in Les Gets.

Initially, doctors told Cabirou that her knee was heavily bruised in the crash and so she finished the 2021 season racing on it. She pulled out of Les Gets after what she has called the biggest crash of her life to let the bruising come down, before coming back to race to a 10th place in Maribor. After that disappointing result, it seemed that she was on the mend, finishing the season off strong with a third and a second in Snowshoe. The pain hadn't gone away however and after more tests in November, she found out that her knee patella was actually fractured in the Les Gets crash.

After taking a month off to let it heal properly, Cabirou has now revealed a second setback, saying that she broke her back in a crash a couple of weeks ago.

bigquotesAgain … Not especially the news I wanted to share with you to start this new year, but a few weeks ago I had a crash and I have a broken vertebrae! Like you can imagine I can’t do anything except take care of my back …

I used this time off to enjoy the holidays with my loved ones.

It’s time for me to turn the page on this 2021 bad year ! Open a new book for 2022 and start this year with a big training period!!

I wish you all the best for this New Year, stay positive and have fun!
Marine Cabirou

We wish Cabirou a swift and full recovery so that she can once again fight for the top spots when the international race calendar kicks off in her home country in March with the Lourdes World Cup.

Marine Cabirou powering out of one of the top turns.

Author Info:
sarahmoore avatar

Member since Mar 30, 2011
1,202 articles

  • 124 2
 The toughness scale keeps getting higher as I sit here anchoring the bottom of it.
  • 58 1
 @CarlMega and @hamncheez much love and respect (and major healing vibes) but I've got to one up the game...

T4 & complete paralysis from a dead tree that fell in the blind spot of a jump landing, on an open run, IN BETWEEN LAPS on said trail, at Crested Butte Resort just over 3 years ago.

Mad love & respect to any and all who have experienced and dealt with spinal trauma. But for every feel good story about full recovery, there are probably 10 that aren't so lucky... BUT we still get out and shred and that will always be the common love here on PB!!
  • 7 0
 Peace. Inspiring through your boundless enthusiasm.
  • 10 0
 C5/6/7 with full recovery here. I feel for you @dsoller33 and stoked that you have chosen to keep shredding. All respect.
  • 15 0
 I think I replied to a similar comment by you a while ago but I was one of the top lifties at cb that day and I still feel so bad that happened to you dude. Much love and respect to you and even tho it was a freak accident, I'm so sorry that you had that horrible life changing experience while just having a day at a bike park.
  • 4 0
 @twozerosix: Those are my other breaks: C5/C6. Been mostly good for ten years but starting to get more phantom sensations in arms and numbness in hands. Back to doing the PT to hope to avoid the fusing surgery. Small potatoes in the scheme of things. Respect to all here indeed.
  • 2 0
 @CarlMega: i have 3 level fusion. I would imagine a planned procedure would be easier recovery than my traumatic one, but 100% if it can be avoided w those exercises, stay on it. My fingers go numb if I sleep with head crooked. Been wearing a Leatt ever since…collarbones and scapula take a beating!
  • 2 0
 @twozerosix: Geez, full recovery after that is amazing! I'm sure that has given you much perspective compared to what could have been. Ride on mate!
  • 7 0
 @gunnyhoney: Hey thanks and I appreciate the comment. I remember seeing the one earlier and don't know if I responded, but thank you.
It's been a wild ride and sucks. Everyday. not gonna lie, but it could have been worse and the fact it was out of my hands and no fault of my own makes it easier to say fuxk it and get back on a bike. Life's too short. All the love and good people in the bike world make it easier too. Much love.
  • 4 0
 @twozerosix: Thanks dude. And awesome to hear about full recovery peeps as well!! Every one of those stories gives the rest of us hope! Keep shredding as well!!
  • 4 0
 @CarlMega: good on you as well man and glad to hear about more people with successful recoveries. Anyone who has dealt with spinal stuff no matter the overall outcome knows the deal and how much of a crap shoot everything is. Hope you don't have to do the fusion shit down the road and can keep riding as well!! Much love.
  • 3 0
 @greener1: It was really, really close - there was a scratch on my spinal cord dura which was patched with a piece of gore-tex (or the medical version). X-ray of the c-spine literally looked like a staircase. A week in the hospital, six months of recovery, and a year before I rode off-road again. This was back in 2001. I had a heavy crash this past summer which was just way too risky - my tech and DH days are done and done.
  • 3 0
 @dsoller33: Yeah same back at you, and stories like your make me stop and appreciate what I have, and how close I got to catastrophe, rather than lamenting what I don't have. Keep inspiring people.
  • 2 0
 So much respect for the attitude. Shred on dude
  • 5 0
 This isn't directly related to the top comment and I'm not suggesting that anyone who had a spinal fracture could have prevented it. BUT, for those of you with healthy backs BUY AND WEAR a back protector. The soft d30 ones are pretty comfy. Slightly warm in the summer, but worth it even if you have a minor crash for the bruises it saves and definitely worth it to even decrease your chances of a spinal fracture the slightest bit. The best protection is the protection you are wearing when you crash. I have a neck brace as well but it is annoying enough I only wear when I'm not climbing. That means that on most of my rides I'm not wearing it. But, I am always wearing my back protector even for rides that seem chill. There are far to many stories out there of people having serious injuries on easy well known trails. I have forgotten kneepads before and just said oh well don't crash skinned knees suck. But if I forget my back protector I turn around and go get it. A back injury is not something you just walk off! So if you are considering buying a back protector and have been putting it off because it seems a little extreme like I did for years. Buy it and wear it! If you ever actually need to use it it will pay for the hassle 1000x over. And they really are pretty comfortable. Shout out to everyone sharing there stories. And best wishes to everyone out there who has had one of these injuries.
  • 1 0
 @hmstuna: I approve this message
  • 2 0
 @hmstuna: I agree to a point. Lawn darting and high energy impacts just crush vertebra. No amount of protection will save you if your number is called. I've personally witnessed 3 cervical fractures and they all were unavoidable to a degree. I'm also a PT who has done inpatient Neuro rehab and have unfortunately seen the twists and turns of life at work. Stay safe out the y'all and keep sending it. Big love to all of you suffering from the life long impacts of SCIs. Myofascial release is a god send!!!
  • 5 0
 Broke Th5-6-7 after a stupid fall and hit my head into a stump. I will not wish to anyone these sleepless nights because of back pain. But at least I was in Friday fails))). Get well soon, Marin!
  • 2 0
 @dirtbagluvin: Speaking of my injuries, my breaks were due to flexion not something like a direct impact from say a rock. That said, by far the worst pain I've ever experienced was direct impact. DJ Hop-Manual-flame out landing on the 90 degree of a curb - directly onto spine. Months long immobilizing pain where I wanted to die. Learned never to question anyone's back pain after than - no one knows. DH/lift = full on hard spine. Mucking around, I have a d30 type back protector from Bliss. Ride on fellas.
  • 3 0
 @hmstuna: Yeah I agree with the use of protective equipment and being prepared for the right circumstances. Unfortunately my incident was more wrong place and wrong time and nothing else I could have done.

As I said above. Dead tree feel in blind spot of jump landing in between laps on that trail. 35 minutes before, No tree.. Anyway, it was a small 12ish ft table/bridge you could gap, a high speed low air affair if you will.

 I landed just before the tree and slammed it directly chest high. It snapped my steer tube and fork off my bike and I impacted the tree, fracturing my t5 and t6 vertebrea and damaging my spine bad enough to instantly paralyze me. I didn't even crack a rib. So fawked. But nothing I could do. Wasn't a skill or lack of issue, wasn't a pushing the limits that day issue... Just wrong f'n place at worst f'n time... 

Life is a chance. We never know, and thats why I still shred the shit out of my 3 wheel trike

Check the link below if you never seen it. Rad viedo for Race Face a couple years ago that talks about my story as well as a couple other badasses you might have never heard of either.

We still out there and playing in the woods, just like you. Cheers to any and all still following along.
  • 1 0
 I broke my sacrum when the damper failed in my Pike on a jump on Boulevard at Trestle 5 years ago at the age of 47. Rode to the bottom and jumped in my truck and drove to Clear creek while sitting/leaning on two Yeti Ice packs and plopped my broken ass in the ice cold water for 15 minutes. I didn't know it was officially broken until two days later when I went to urgent care. Rode out (ha ha) the rest of my semester at Colorado School of Mines and didn't miss a class.
  • 1 0
 @dirtbagluvin: @dsoller33:
Yeah like I said I'm not trying to say that a back protector will prevent all or even most spine injuries, or that any of the specific ones in this thread could have been prevented.

But, I also feel like there are a lot of people out there who say: mtbing is dangerous and there is nothing you can do about it so why bother wearing a back protector? I know because I was one. I now wear a back protector, because I've gotten a little older and wised up enough to realize that if there is anything easy I can do to decrease my chances of a life-changing injury even a little bit, then I should take it.

Fun fact my last, and to date, only serious back injury (fortunately probably not a fracture) happened entirely from flexion and I was wearing my back protector and even a neck brace neither of which helped in the slightest, but I still wear them just in case.

Also thanks to you guys for highlighting what I feel like is often a glazed over issue in the sport which is the serious injuries that can be sustained from mountain biking. It sometimes feels like if you get injured doing it everyone just ignores you until you get better - especially for pro athletes.

Cheers everyone.
  • 1 0
 @dsoller33: I just watched that RF video. Man your 3-wheeler looks awesome! That front linkage is super exotic CNC goodness. Keep hammering bud.
  • 15 4
 Wondering about some details. Was it a compression fracture? Or was it the type that might be mitigated by a back protector? Was she wearing one? Not loading up to be judgmental, honestly curious as I always reassess my armor kit each season.
  • 7 0
 Back protection won't do much for you for spinal injury for instance. It might protect the back of your rib cage and spine against a direct hit but these are rarely the cause of broken vertebrae and even less frequently the cause of spinal injury (shockwave of the impact is). Not saying don't use protection, just be aware of what it can and cannot do for you.
  • 2 0
 The bones she broke are part of the neck, so it wouldn't be covered by the protector.
  • 1 0
 Almost certainly not a compression fracture. Looking at the X-rays and considering how she came to find out weeks later both say definitely not a compression fracture.
  • 1 0
 @XIVXV: How do you know the brake is in the C-spine? Just curious, cause she didn't say that in the post, she's not wearing a neck collar, and none of the pictures in the post shows C-spine
  • 1 0
 @XIVXV: what about neck brace?
  • 1 0
 @Balgaroth: Yea, that's why I'm always interested in the details. I decided to get a lighter Leatte for regular riding just because. Beefier one for the park has been my goto for some years now. But I also have two tops for trail riding, one has a larger D30 back pad than the other. Basically the Race Face Flank Core has a rectangular one, and my Racer Motion 2 has a bigger one that covers more of my shoulder blades. Both are Level 1, though. Level 2 for the park, for sure.
  • 10 0
 Healing vibes.
  • 8 0
 Love this girl. Fearless rider and great attitude to boot. Best smile on tour. Heal up soon Marine!
  • 9 0
  • 6 0
 Yeah, that sucks. I broke my T12 which wasn't discovered for about a decade after the fact. Looking forward to seeing Marine back in full form.
  • 10 0
 I have a broken T12 and L1 right now from a road bike wreck. Freaking sucks.
  • 2 0
 Also, I wish her a speedy recovery and good luck! If she can ride like that with those injuries, she can kick even more a** when recovered!
  • 5 1
 What a badass! Love her riding style.
  • 3 0
 This sport is so gnarly sometimes, good lord haha! Oh yeah, she broke her back. Pfff what!
  • 3 0
 I don’t insta so can’t see the pictures. What vertebrae did Marine injure?
  • 3 0
 Heal up Marine Cabirou! See you back winning races soon!
  • 1 0
 Damn what a tough girl! Makes me consider of getting a neckbrace since I am not as tough as shz is. Anyone having experience with neckbraces for enduro riding?
  • 2 0
 The WCs are better with a Cabirou in full flow, hopefully we'll get another final-race decider this year.
  • 3 0
 Crushed t9 t10 t11
  • 2 0
 Same here. I consider myself very lucky to still be walking and riding.
  • 3 0
 Ah putain la poisse !
  • 1 0
 I feel your pain! I've broken 5 of those damn vertebrae this year. Get well soon!!
  • 1 0
 Wish you all the best Marine!
  • 7 8
 I was always skeptical of women claiming to have higher pain tolerance than men. I have to take that back...
  • 20 2
 How on earth can anyone be skeptic of that?! They've been putting up with us since the dinosaurs got bombed.
  • 14 4
 Try pushing a soft ball out your dick hole (maybe comparable to giving birth to a 10 pound child?)
  • 2 3
 They don't, but their immune systems are better, which is why she'll ultimately outlive you.
  • 2 2
 Doctors say that a burst appendix is the only thing that hurts as much as giving birth. I've had that and I went into shock because of the pain. It's the most pain I've ever had including several broken bones, broken back, head injury's, ...
If giving birth really is the same pain, than I salute the women that don't take epidural and stay conscious during the whole thing!
Higher pain limit? Don't know. Maybe more tolerable to the pain? Because they have to be able to endure (several) child births?
  • 2 0
 @SHREDWORX: because combat medics and friends that work as doctors say that both men and women can both sustain the same horrible injuries and keep going, and can both complain like a baby when sustaining the same minor injuries. I don't believe in the 'all men are p*ssies and all women are brave superheroes' narrative. But 'it depends on the individual instead of the race/color/gender/country' has never been popular here at PB.
Having said that, I do firmly believe I'm a p*ssy compared to the superhero that is Marine! I honestly couldn't have done what she did and admire her perseverance. Hopefully she makes a quick and full recovery!
  • 1 0
 @RidleyRijder: had appendicitis at 8yrs old for over a week, my white and red blood cell count were flipped. I was clinically dead but talking with the doctor when he told us. Pretty painful but nothing compared to a neck injury where I basically sprained my neck blowing out the 2 disc's and temporarily paralyzed from the neck down for about 3-5 minutes, scary as hell to have your body laying on top of you in way that shouldn't be possible not able to move a thing or even able to scream for help or breath for 30 secondsor so( think my vocal cords got shut down) This was over 10 years ago and still deal with chronic pain daily. In the between time I kept riding and working like a beast and eventually 3 disc's in my lower back blew out beyond recovery and have left me in chronic pain in the lower back. Hung the bike and shovel up, being able to pick up my kids, walk, shit and piss regularly is way more important than some time in the woods. Stay safe and protect yo' neck!...Oh and yes women have higher pain thresholds for sure.
  • 2 0
 @RidleyRijder: my mother worked at a hospital and then at an obstetric practice, with her friend running the practice. Two of my best friends are doctors, one of them female. They all say that pain during birth varies significantly between women and child births. Don't get me wrong, I'm very happy I don't have to give birth and admire women for doing so. But the whole 'giving birth is the most painful thing in the world' is demonstrably false for at least 90% of child births. If this weren't the case, no one would have 5 consecutive pregnancies. Ask female soldiers that got shot in the abdomen or head, or got extreme burns from explosions whether they would prefer those to giving birth. They don't.
  • 1 0
 @Mac1987: The tolerance for pain is subjective to those experiencing it and those witnessing it. From my "personal experience" we're all the same, mom is straight up the most savage person I know when it comes to dealing with pain. I thankfully also have this skill or I would have died from lead poisoning at this point in my life.
  • 1 0
 @MikeGruhler: absolutely. And there are many moms with crazy pain tolerance indeed! My mom is also one of them (but so is her father/my grandfather!). I also have a feeling that on average, older generations have higher thresholds for many things.
  • 1 0
 @MikeGruhler: I had appendicitis for a week in the Christmas holiday as well and it felt like a severe stomach flue. The pain receded and I walked around with it for about 4 months when in the spring vacation the appendix exploded. At least that's how it felt. It burst open and fluids of my intestines were poring out in to my stomach cavity. Turns out I had a burst/exploded appendix and a severe infection of my small and large intestine. My whole bowel system was essentially completely shutting down. According to the doctors, they had never seen anything like it and if I were hospitalized for half an hour later I would have been dead. On scans and X-Rays they only could see fluid. No bones, No stomach or anything like it, just fluid. So they did a look operation to see what was going on. Turns out the appendix was about the size of a melon when it burst open. Took almost 4 hours to fix me...

That was by far more painful than my 5 broken vertebrae, broken ankle, broken elbow, broken fingers, dislodged bone periost (a membrane that covers the bones) of my shin and big toe, my chronic knee pain or even migraine. That Appendix shit was hell!

What giving birth feels like, of course being a man, I will never know. According to my sister it's no fun squeezing a 4.6kg, 47cm baby trough a rather small opening. He's now 4 months and wearing clothes of a 1 year old. :-)
  • 1 0
 @RidleyRijder: Son of bitch! Sounds like hell for sure. Everything after that should be a piece of cake..
  • 1 0
 @MikeGruhler: yeah, that's one I can't recommend to anyone. Even when I got hit by a car last may and broke all those things mentioned above, and still having chronic back pain, that still doesn't come close. The good thing is, It can only happen once Smile
  • 1 1
 Only the best are wrecked right now.
Below threshold threads are hidden

Copyright © 2000 - 2023. All rights reserved.
dv42 0.055836
Mobile Version of Website