A couple of weeks ago, Remy Metailler was cruising a blue trail in the Whistler Bike Park when he made a small mistake, slid into a rock and ended up breaking his scapula.
|Not my worst injury but the most painful one probably. Really a bummer as I was feeling really good on the bike and had plenty of projects for the start of the fall. I'll be missing a couple trips in BC, the Proving Ground event and some more local plans I had. Good news is that I already feel better and should not be off the bike too long. Also I had been filming a lot before the crash so you should still have plenty of content to enjoy until I'm riding again.—Remy Metailler|
We're glad to see Remy is healing up well and look forward to see him back on the bike.
It's your shoulder blade. A relatively flat triangular bone of decent surface area.
Along with your collarbone (clavicle) it connects your humerus (arm) to your rib cage and it kinda floats around, suspended mostly by ligaments and muscle outside your ribcage. Typical treatment is non-surgical immobilization.
Was an interesting experience when nerves started growing back after 6 months & would twitch on its own!
Impact injury resulting in nerve damage, shoulder is a bone but you can dislocate it or separate it
It did heal fast so that’s a big plus.
On my other shoulder, I instead did a AC tear grade 4. Ie complete tear with dropped shoulder and the collarbone pointing upwards into the meck muscle. Needed surgeryewhich didnt go go plan. More pain and nerve pain than I wish on anyone.
Just wish my collarbones werent so strong and would break as intended instead. Far better injury.
With all the high consequence stuff Remy does it’s ironic that it was blue trail that got him.
In Canada you need to get a referral from a general practitioner to see a specialist. My referral got “lost” and I had to follow up and they had to send another referral. Probably should have been about 7 days to see the specialist.
Just as well as the orthopaedic surgeon said he would have operated and put in a plate but it healed on its own.
Didn’t have to a pay anything though.
Waited and waited and waited for a referral or an appointment.
I ended up riding before hearing anything from ANY doctor, so just left it. Wasnt about to entertain surgery on it after months of healing.
Oh well, might have been a bad decision. We'll see long term.
General approach is time and physio to see if symptoms clear up on their own, you really don’t want surgery unless there’s no other option… and they will want to wait a year to see if that happens anyway.
- Got my x-rays and a sling in a few hours.
- Called my doctor Morning and got an appointment right away.
- He got me an immediate appointment with the ortho surgeon at the hospital so I drive straight there
- Ortho surgeon looked over my x-rays and they booked me for surgery Weds morning
- Got my surgery done without issue
- Mowed the lawn the next day
I read different experiences from Canadians, why did some guys have immediate care and why other guys had to wait?
is there some Redtape involved in the system that if you don't have it up to date you are f$%ed or did the other guys just slacked on going to the doctor??
can someone explain?
A scapula fracture for eg is immobilized and not treatable by surgery generally so it's probably triaged low. Some may get a specialist referral within a week. Some may take a month.
You can pay for diagnostics yourself though as others have mentioned.
I believe other universal care systems are very like this. I know Singapore, UK, Swiss, Norway also have similar waits and triage considerations
Considering that it looks like being privately insured is the best option, doesnt matter the nationality.
These are very cost-effective with good service delivery and results at good cost. Unfortunately full government systems (Canada or UK) or full private light regulation systems (US) don't approach that level of results + low costs as any health care reform discussions tend to be politically toxic. So what you said "ooks like being privately insured is the best option, doesnt matter the nationality" has the basis of a good discussion; but there is a big gray area and lots of room to tweak public regulation vs private marketplace. But it's difficult to have that conversation due to interests being so entrenched
If the ER physician thinks it's particularly bad, they'll bump you up in the queue and have you see an ortho within a day or two - maybe less.
It's a good system and it keeps things running efficiently, but it functions based on the assessments of the initial attending physician, who can make mistakes. So not perfect - but then nothing is.
Mine was very painful but easy enough to immobilize so that I really didn't notice it after the first few days of healing. I took the doctor's orders for six weeks before hitting the bike seriously - shoulder was mostly good after 3 weeks, wrist took closer to 10-12 weeks to heal properly and I still can't do push-ups properly yet.
Worst part was driving myself home after the accident - I felt up to it for sure but it sure felt like a long ways from West Bragg to my place, especially when I couldn't shift or hold the wheel with my right hand (had to crouch in to grab the wheel with the right without moving my shoulder at all, then reach over with my left hand and shift - I drove most the trip in 4th gear so I didn't have to shift).
Heal up Remy, scapula's seem to heal fast as long as you don't push it too hard.
The upside is that there is no surgery required... that is unfortunately also the downside.
Anyone know if Remy was wearing any sort of back/spine protector? Or if that sort of device would even help? I know some have a bit wider shape at the top to help with that, but maybe not enough for this purpose?
LowBr4in: "hi Rémy, did you wear a back protector when you crashed?"
Rémy Métailler: "The one time I did not..."
Eoin Kane: "Do you think wearing body armour would have helped stop the brake?"
Rémy Métailler: "Possibly, not sure. I impacted on the side"
Jidoe Blaster: "Curious to know if you were wearing back protection, and if not do you think back protector would have helped in this situation? I almost always wear my POC bag with back protector and I think it’s helped me a couple times with these types of falls"
Rémy Métailler: "I normally always run a protection unless I'm. really just cruising. I did not that day..."
Nevertheless my shoulder and neck have never been the same.
Best on your healing.
I'm not sure the extent of the broken scapula, but the clavicle was in three pieces and was pretty close to compound (I could see the sharp point of one piece sticking in the wrong direction) when they cut his shirt off.
He fell on the flat bottom run out from a pretty steep rock slab roller, inexperienced guy but he'd done it with me before...
Still impossible not to feel somehow responsible, since I got him into the sport and he's been trying to keep pace. It was a good lesson (for me that is.... gotta be careful for your friends... we'll be stopping to chat before the serious features in the future).
Thankfully he got in to see an orthopedic surgeon the next day.
Saving grace: his helmet was also broken, but concussion was only minor.
Hope you recovered well!
Get well soon. Broken bones are much better to have than soft tissue in most cases.