Paul Courderc Ruptures Ligaments & Breaks Tibial Plateau

Jan 12, 2021
by Sarah Moore  


Paul Courderc has been working on a follow up to his incredible Must Watch video My War for the past ten months. A crash on Saturday while trying a trick for the 73rd time for the project left him with two ruptured ligaments and a broken tibial plateau in his left knee.


bigquotesWell, I've spent the last 10 months working really hard on my new video project.

Last Saturday I had a big crash, I destroyed my left knee (2 ruptured ligaments and broken tibial plateau) while trying a trick for the 73rd time (really) on a 5 meters drop.

Surgery on Friday, the return on the bike will require time, rigor and lots of motivation.
I am currently so disappointed and I can’t yet realize, it’s so hard to take a step back to be chill about it.

I put all my time and energy into this project, one trick took a long time and it was because of this trick that I got injured.

So I decided to release the video in the next few weeks with this trick that wasn't perfectly landed, but I gave it all and hurt myself, I can’t wait to show you guys what we’ve done.

I want to thank all who are there for me, have helped me and believed in me, they will recognize each other, I love you.

Paul
Paul Courderc


We wish Couderc all the best with recovery from this injury and look forward to seeing his new video.


63 Comments

  • 112 5
 Classy gruesome thumbnail.
  • 24 3
 Yeah, that was triggering for sure. I had a knee injury back in college and I wince at photos like that. Yurgh.
  • 25 10
 Came here to say that. Can I barf now? Save the nasty details for those who click on the article... swap the article and thumbnail pics. Get well Paul. Blank Stare
  • 6 1
 Thirded.. fourthed? Chroist, thanks for the memories, PB.
  • 4 0
 made me say " ohh dayymm!" literally out loud
  • 6 1
 Indeed. I just relived my own shattered tibial plateau for two minutes... awesome.
  • 4 0
 @opetruzel: yikes. my brother did that. He was a pro golfer, was being the key word in the sentence. Hope you (and paul) fare better than he did.
  • 3 0
 @opetruzel: Same. Came back pretty strong from it but will have lingering effects for the rest of my life.
  • 2 3
 Yea can we please change that...too nasty for the front page.
  • 2 0
 @opetruzel: yep did mine last year!, so this is just what i needed.
  • 2 0
 Is there an Ebike type filter for carnage shots?
  • 12 0
 sad to hear, his previous video was mind blowing. all the best to him! at this stage, i can only look at the progression of this discipline with a mix of awe and terror. they really put their lives on the line here.
  • 8 1
 It’s a tough one for sure, but with some hard work on the physio he will be back shredding it by summer! All the best in recovery. Look forward to the edit!
  • 6 2
 ACL is 9 months recovery
  • 8 0
 @Sylvain38: Not in my experience as a health care professional. The tibial plateu # will likely be non-weight bearing for 6-8weeks. I was full-weight bearing and no restrictions on my knee/ACL rebuild after 3 months. For certain, it was a bit more time until I felt 100% on the bike. I would imagine that this recovery will depend on the severity of the injuries and the ability/timeframe to get to the rehabilitation phase.
  • 3 0
 @Sylvain38: I did my TPF and ACL and it was a year before I could ride MTB again (twice), then another operation and and then about four months after that I was on the bike. It took about another 18 months to get up to speed again. This was with a huge amount of physiotherapy and hard work on my own.
  • 2 0
 @freeinpg: every knee is unique...I had femur and tibia plateu small fractures and broken ACL. The small fractures took like 6 months to fully heal. ACL recovery depends off multiple things,have 1 month no weight in my knee while other people can walk away with his new ACL...3 months now since my surgery and I´m walking like a turtle but walking. Rehab is a pain in the butt. Knee injury is a big deal,I hope I could ride again very soon,but it would take like 2 years to be like I was just before the crash and knee injury I suspect. I can ride Indoors for 20 min in my road bike,it is part of my 2 hours morning routine,but I miss so bad the dirt and the smell of the trees.
  • 2 0
 You had no restrictions on your knee after 3 months? I am not a doc but I have torn two ACLs and I am calling BS - each one was 10+ months until back to normal. Each recovery is different but there is not a single one that has a recovery time of 3 months for a torn ACL - and no doctor will ever tell you that either. The top athletes in the world get the best docs, round the clock care, constant PT....and they still do like 9+ months for back to "normal", look at Adrian Peterson's recovery. Paul will be riding a bike by summer but sure as shit isn't gonna be "shredding" and dropping 5 meter hits like this one.
  • 2 0
 I had a TPF with intact ACL. The bone ripped out with intact ACL still attached, also called ACL avulsion fracture. Took 2 surgeries, one to reattach the bone, and a second to remove scar tissue that was preventing range of motion. Together it took about 9 months to get back to being able to ride at all, and 12-16 months to be able to mtb fast/sporty/competitively. I can ride normally now, but still can't bend my leg completely, which prevents me from doing some things like kneeling. It's been years now and it still gets sore when doing non-biking activities like hiking, running, and skiing, although a warm-up and stretching routine seems to help with that. My recommendation would be to get that knee moving as quickly as possible to avoid the range of motion issues I ran into, but it's tough because you have to wait for the fracture to heal before you can put weight on it and you don't want to risk ripping the bone back out before it's healed.
  • 1 0
 @dthomp325: we pretty much did the same thing...
  • 1 0
 @ianswilson815: Yeah, my friend (volleyball) tore their ACL etc., been out for months, my cousin messed up her knee (soccer goalie) and tried to come back sooner/play through it and I'm not sure it ever really healed.. had to keep going to the doctor to drain fluid and try to limit/repair damage etc
  • 8 0
 sheesh that looks painful
  • 3 0
 Been there, done that tibial plateau fracture, grade 5. Survey plates, and no weight bearing for 12 weeks. It doesn’t feel the same, but I’m back to doing everything I want to.
  • 2 0
 As a physiotherapist normally it's like this:

Tibial plateau fracture: 45 days with no weight bearing, after that you increase the weight bearing 3 kg per day (you can start with 15kg and sometimes the increase can be 5 kg per day).

ACL recovery is 9 to 1 year of recovery.
You can start some "soft" sport at the fifth month (pedaling after 3 months in a road is ok) but more intense sport only at 7 month.

Be careful:
when you start the 4 month because the new ligament (normaly a tendon is removed to replace it) will be in a transition phase, it wont be a tendon neither a ligament.
  • 4 0
 Tibial plateau sucks! Hyperextending the knee and smashing the femur into the tibia.
  • 4 0
 Tell me about it, got the plate and screws as a reward!!
  • 2 0
 @benjagg: Me too! Took me quite a while to get okay (it's been almost 1.5 yrs) and I have all my strength back, but not quite all the mobility and some nerve damage in my foot that makes it cold very quickly in winter. But, love this sport! Take your time and do the work Paul. You'll be back when your body tells you.
  • 2 0
 @benjagg: Same here. Took me about three months to get back on a bike and a good two years to get close to 100%.

Aggressive PT was the key. A little bit of crazy also helped...
  • 1 0
 I had the tib plateau with fractured fibula head and torn ACL. No surgery and the worst part about it 5 years later is the ACL and continued hyperextending. I feel like I gamble with my knee every day to repeat the injury.
  • 1 0
 ACL, LCL, MCL, and shattered the old tibial plateau all in one go!
  • 3 0
 Yeah, I had never heard of this injury until it happened to me. Meniscus, MCL, hamstring repair, plated the bone back together. I remember calling my wife from the trailside. "I've messed up my knee bad. No idea what's wrong, but it ain't right." 4 hrs in the ER and the doc says, "yep, you've broke your tibial plateu. Most likely need surgery." Dang. It's such a weird injury that everyone heals differently. Just gotta do the work and it''ll most likely be good.
  • 5 0
 I did mine about 12 years in a motorcycle event. No ligament damage, but bone in several pieces. Took a good 6 months to feel decent on a bike. After about a year no problems at all. Now I’m pushing 50 and that knee feels better than the non damaged one.
  • 4 0
 Looks like we have a good support group here. Team TibPlateau!

I'm mostly fine for every sport and got back to racing the next year. Swimming and proprioception were huge PT for me. Especially just walking around the neighborhood and walking trails at night.

The worst still is hiking and downhill skiing and I pack my rigid carbon fibre brace for those. But skate skiing, biking and running have been great (knock on wood). For people looking for inspiration post recovery, honestly just get walking again. Movement is medicine. Consider CBD products, bone broth or similar supplements, a basic home gym and stick to good habits and routines like sleep and diet. Bonus points for breathing exercises and just telling your brain to start healing your injury. Sounds dumb but I believed it and even placebo is proven to work.
  • 2 0
 @map-guy: I broke my TibPlateau 4 months ago and a slowly recovering. Its been tough and surprising to see so many other people with the same injury. Good to hear from other people and how their recovery has gone.
  • 1 0
 @theflyingz: ahhh that sucks but yeah it’s comforting to know other people who have made it through this injury. Remember that it’s temporary and there’s a lot of days of shredding ahead if you do the right things now.
  • 2 0
 @BigballmcCall: Ha! I too had a Tibial Plateau Fracture + minor fibula fracture, also done on a MC (862 lb Kawasaki V twin), back in April of 2011.
If you can call it fortunate, I was lucky, in that after a catscan, they determined that my fractures were shallow enough that surgery/plating would not be necessary....so they just splinted me. Had to go every couple weeks to the hospital for an x-ray so the Doc could monitor the healing. Eventually, they sent me for physio, and the first thing they did was put me on an exercise bike for ten minutes of warm upSmile As the weeks went by, and I was no longer required to use crutches and was walking, I started riding my bike to the physio appointments!
I think I was nine or ten weeks in the splint?? But it was nine months (~$3K) of physio before they turned me loose!
**Oh, and I was 5 months shy of my 50th birthday when this happened !! (and lastly CRUTCHES SUCK!!)

@Paul Corderc: Sounds like your situation is a bit more complicated, but you have excellent physical conditioning and YOUTH on your side. If you do your physio, and homework, you should be OK, but it's by no means an overnight deal.
  • 1 0
 @GT-CORRADO: mine was on a Kawasaki Vulcan when an unlicensed uninsured suv driver made a left turn in front on me. It sucked but I lived through it with 16 weeks of non load bearing after surgery. You still ride?
  • 1 0
 @BigballmcCall: Well, sadly because of my bad wrists, I had to give up MC's in the early 90's (which is how I ended up on MTB's)....I was just doing my big bro a favour (riding the bike home for him). This bike was a1600, looks like an FLH, bikini fairing and leather bags.
It was later in April, roads were actually ok, but as I approached one intersection, the light changed, so I grabbed a big handful of front brake.....the surface was a little "sugary", locked the front wheel, which flicked the bars full lock left, and I kicked out my left leg, kept it up, but this pitched the bike right, and for a second I thought I was going to high side itFrown ......but at the last second, the RH roll bar touched down, and the bike came to a stop in short order.....but was now leaning to the right, held up only by the roll bar. It wasn't until I climbed off that I realized my leg was hurt, and now I'm standing there on the RH side trying to get the 862 lb bike back to vertical while only bearing weight on my right leg. Took me a few tries, but I got it, and then had to balance it while I went around to the LH side to to flip the stand down and let it rest on the stand.....tried to start it up and get the he** out of there, but it wasn't startingFrown ....finally thought it may have a relay that shuts the fuel pump off if it goes past x degrees?? Shut the key of, then turned it back on, started on first trySmile
So I got to the bro's place, and called him over, because by this point, my knee had swollen to the point that I could not physically reach the kickstand to swing it down. Once we got that sorted and I got off, I started to explain what had just happened........we dis a quick check for damage, and the only thing we found was an asphalt "grind" mark on the bottom of the RH roll bar. So then I hobbled inside and was given a bag of frozen vegetables to ice my knee.....after twenty minutes, I said, well looks like we're going to the ER!
At the ER, they first examined me, and the Doc & a Nurse (Ortho Tech) grabbed my leg, and through some manipulation, got the muscles in my thigh back on the correct side of my kneecap, then was sent for Xray, where they could tell the tibial plateau was fractured, but an Xray doesn't give enough detail to determine the depth of the fracture(s) (think like the top surface of a fencepost), so I had to wait quite some time for a Catscan.....which indicated my fractures were shallow enough that surgery/plates & screws would NOT be required. (YAY!!)....So, after arriving @ the ER sometime between Noon and 1:00 PM, I was finally turned loose @ ~ 10:30 PM, not having eaten since breakfast @ ~ 8:00 AM. So I got the bro to stop by McRottens on the way home, and I can't tell you if the food was good or not, because I literally INHALED itSmile
Sorry for the mini novelSmile
  • 1 0
 @GT-CORRADO: sorry that happened. I rode for several more years but gave it up suddenly. My wife and I was setting at an intersection and watched a driver on her phone pull out in front of a large fire truck with lights and sirens going. The FD had to make an evasive move to miss her. At that point I knew motorcycles were no longer safe. I sold the bike I had and bought a new stumpjumper. I’ve never gotten the itch to ride motors again.
  • 1 0
 @BigballmcCall: Yup, people turning left in front of MC's is a big problem, you're (relatively) lucky!
Two guys that I knew in my home town had people turn left in front of them while riding, one is no longer with us, the other will NEVER be the sameFrown
  • 5 0
 Ow, that picture is so painful, Heal and get well soon!
  • 4 0
 Sending healing vibes ????
  • 4 0
 !!!!
  • 4 1
 I'd love to see all 73 attempts, it would make an interesting vantage point. Heal up good!
  • 2 0
 I wonder if it was 73 attempts to dirt? Seems like they all learn new tricks into foam pits or air bags, then mulch or resi landings, then try it to dirt once it's pretty dialed. But I don't know for sure. Heal up Paul.
  • 4 0
 @kcy4130: probably to dirt, the Flair Cap took him Like 33 Triest. m.youtube.com/watch?v=XZ_1DSO0OXE
  • 1 0
 All the best with the recovery! I'm currently 3 months out from a broken tibial plateau, torn acl and mcl and am back on the road bike. It's not easy being broken, but make the best of it and you'll be back in no time!
  • 2 0
 That's a bad injury, my brother did that skiing a couple seasons back, still not recovered.
  • 2 0
 holyyyyy, Courage Paul! Je te souhaite le meilleur dans ton retablissement CHEERS
  • 2 0
 So gnarly. All the healing vibes possible to all you guys recovering right now,
  • 2 0
 @mattmacduff get this guy on the podcast asap to motivate the healing process
  • 3 0
 ouch! get well soon man
  • 2 0
 that leg!!! looks like an old woman one Wink Bon courage!!
  • 2 0
 Very sad for Paul. Courage et patience. Come back to us even stronger.
  • 2 0
 Jeez - not gonna look but heal up and get well soon!
  • 1 0
 I can totally relate broke my tibia plateau six months ago.
  • 1 0
 Nothing like seeing a knee do something it's not suppose to do
  • 1 0
 looks absolut-ly painful
  • 1 0
 Please change thumbnail
  • 1 1
 Ban hardtails !!!!
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