Broke 26 bones and had pelvic / wrist surgery. Really looking for some inspiring recovery stories

Hey everyone, had an accident in August that really wrecked my body. The biggest breaks were my pelvis in 3 places and a few bones in my wrist area. Kneecap, lumbar vertebrae, and C2 ordered on the side.

I started walking again in October. I’m back to running, skiing, biking, and most activities although the lack of strength / range of motion in my wrist makes lots of things difficult. It’s been so hard pushing 120 watts on the trainer, unable to grip the handlebars decently and fighting this pelvic pain. I’ve had a fit to try and make the bike as comfy as can be.

Anyone who’s had similar accidents or pelvic operations back to where they were before?

Included a couple pics for a better understanding - not sure if this is allowed.

Last pic is from my rehab graduation on Aug 29th


I hate to “like” this post, but huge kudos to you for getting back in the saddle!


Thanks for the recognition! I was incredibly close to being paralyzed. Trying to make the most of the insane luck i’ve had.


I’m wishing you the best recovery.
Phil Lovett from BikeRacingWithoutMercy also had a huge crash about a year ago. He shared a lot about his recovery.


Hey @salmonbun,

Yikes! This sounds like some kind of accident!

It sounds like you’ve already made a really incredible recovery, though. This makes me think that you’ll be back before long.

Probably 10-12 years ago, I broke my femur, the bottom of my ischium, and a few other bones. The femur, of course, they could fix, but there wasn’t anything they could do about my pelvis. It wasn’t a major break, but enough that I’d notice it for the next few years, and sometimes I still do on long drives and such.

A few years after the accident, I picked up cycling, and further down the road, I got really serious about it. After spending some time on the trainer, I started to notice things again. At first, I thought I had a leg length discrepancy, but after a lot of time thinking about it and sitting on the trainer, I realized that my left sit bone was probably slightly lower than my right, making me sit ever so slightly crooked on my saddle resulting in a mechanically shorter left leg. :sweat_smile:

A year or two after first getting into cycling, I broke my left pinky and ring fingers on my commute to work and needed a few surgeries. The pinky healed up fine, but my ring finger doesn’t have much mobility left due to a pretty severe break in the second joint.

This summer, I took my worst spill yet at a local race and broke my collarbone into quite a few pieces, and injured my shoulder pretty badly. I’ve got a pretty big plate in there now and nine screws which are keeping things in place really nicely. My shoulder was the biggest concern as I had super limited mobility even after fixing the collarbone. I was prescribed PT, which I wasn’t optimistic about, but six or so weeks later, I was starting to believe.

Once I was back on my trainer, I was truly shocked at how much fitness I had lost in the span of a month or so, but by November, I was already fitter than I was at that point last year. Fitness usually comes back quicker the second time around, so be patient and enjoy the process. “It never gets easier; you just go faster!

Today, I’m at about 90-95% in my shoulder and have learned to live with all of my other issues and honestly don’t really notice them much anymore. My ring finger can be annoying when trying to crack climb at the gym, but other than that, it’s fine.

None of what I’ve experienced really compares to your accident. I’ve been lucky enough to have time in between each injury to heal and adapt, whereas you had to deal with it all at once.

What I can offer as advice, though, is:

Make sure you’re working with a doctor whom you trust, and don’t be afraid to have a second doctor look and listen to you down the road if you have any concerns. Follow their guidance and stay on top of any work they’re prescribing!

Trust the process. I had many days where I felt that I wouldn’t ever get back to 100% again, and looking back, I can see that wasn’t a good place to be. There are always ups and downs, but the human body is amazing, and you can persevere!

Change things up! This is a great chance to take cross-training to a whole new level. Things like fast walking, easy strength training, and yoga will likely all help to get things moving again. Find out what your doctor will allow you to do, and then get to it!

Get a comfy bike! Or just make yours more comfortable. Putting some swept-back flat bars on and moving your saddle around a bit might help you get in a more comfortable position, at least while you’re still on the trainer. With injuries on two of your three contact points, it might take some playing around to find what works, but with some time, I’m sure you’ll get there. Take your time easing back into your old position too, or just keep your new one and enjoy a new perspective on riding for a while!

Take it one day at a time. Things seem to move slowly until they don’t. I often found that I never felt like I was making progress, and then I’d realize, whoa, two weeks ago, I wasn’t doing this at all!!

Best of luck healing up, and let us know if we can do anything to help out along the way! :smiling_face:

P.S. Sorry I don’t have any pictures on hand at the moment!! :xray:


Not my post, not my reality but gosh was this inspiring. I can speak to how ANY set back feels like a mountain but hearing you all working through it with consistency, trust, and grit reminds me of how incredible these meat bags we carry are.

Gl dudes


No similar story to share, sorry!

But I did just want to say you’re a super insane bad@$$ for being pretty much run over by an M4 Sherman tank and getting right back up and kicking butt, living well, and are staying locked on your path to happiness. I’m sure there have been some moments so mentally tough normal humans like us can’t even truly fathom it. For real; I have found my life extremely hard at times, and I can’t even imagine what something like that would be like. Pretty in awe of your strength, very sincerely. Sorta makes us seem like babies for feeling like we are struggling with the things we do.

I’d never wish that on anyone, and definitely not jealous, but absolutely not kidding that I really think terrible events like this, and coming through them on top is the closest any human can actually come in real life to a superhero origin story. And through it, become a living superhero, in a very real way. I 100% sincerely think that, quite deeply.

You rock, dude. Keep rocking!! I wish you all the best in the future.


Take a couple minutes to watch this video. It’s not related to cycling but is very touching. If you like it I’d recommend the book too. Do not surrender to the constraints of your reality. You can come back.


Keep at it! Do the strength and mobility work to get your body right. Don’t stop at “good enough”. Once you get your body right, the cycling, running, etc., will all take care of themselves. But if you don’t get your body right, you’ll constantly have issues and limitations w/cycling, running, etc…

1 Like

I’ve had lots of set backs medically speaking, although very different from yours. For me, coming back is about building slowly and methodically and trusting the process.

1 Like

I really needed to hear this today. I think it’s easy to allow other people’s expectations to impose constraints on what we can achieve. If we reach beyond what our label/ diagnosis suggests, it makes people aware of how much of their own limitations they allow themselves to be restricted by.


Hit a pothole during a tri in 2018. Woke up in the ambulance which was taking me to the helipad. Really tore up my shoulder along with a clavicle break. I don’t think it compares to what you’ve endured, but consistency with PT and strength training got me back to the point of being able to bike and run again. Doc said I was done swimming and doing overhead presses. I was stubborn and put that advice on the “not happening” shelf, but I was extremely careful to not do too much too soon as I began to work my way back. Raced this past year no issues. Other than the small tent in my collarbone, I’m back to normal. I can swim (at least as well as before) and lifting of any kind is not a problem.

Be optimistic, consistent, and patient. You’'ll get back.


Hit a pothole and broke my pelvis in May 2014. Didn’t have surgery, though – yours was way worse. I was back riding by September and I went hiking in the Grand Canyon that fall too. I don’t think it really got back to near normal in terms of pain for a year, and I still feel it occasionally (though I’ve had other issues with that side too). But I’m way faster than I was then, and it doesn’t limit me at all.


Not as bad as yours, but my hardest recovery…

July 2022 I was hit by a car. Woke up being loaded into the ambulance. Spent three days in the hospital before being discharged

Primary impact points were my left knee and head. Broken head of my femur and kneecap (basically pieces of both broke off in the joint) and a brain bleed plus severe concussion were my main injuries (of course all the little bruises and large cuts)

I was pretty immobile for a few weeks but the sports ortho I used had me back to indoor easy activities faster than you’d think while the neurologist wanted me outside walking ASAP

I was in physical therapy for three months and had knee surgery nine months after the crash to clean the broken pieces from the joint, which also kickstarted PT again

The hardest part for me was the brain injury. It was easily four months before I felt completely back to myself. I still struggle to get out on road rides alone, I don’t trust drivers and generally feel less safe in my day to day riding and driving

The day before the crashI’d finished third in my age group at a national championship event so I’m pretty fit. It took months to get back to that level

I did a very gradual return to intensity. Basically one month of endurance, one month of tempo, one month of sweet spot, then a month of threshold.

Above was where I capped things, not to say I did only sweet spot for a month.

At the conclusion of those four months my ftp was back to where it was before the crash. Of course this was close to the surgery which set me back slightly, but my fitness has largely returned to what it was beforehand

It will often seem like an impossibly long recovery timeline. Be gentle with yourself and any setbacks. Do less instead of more. You’ve got this💪



I’ve never had the amount of physical damage you have suffered, but have had my share of injuries, some quite frustrating ( almost all running related).

First, remember what Eddie said - you have alareayd made massive improvements.

I had a friend who suffered a significant injury many years ago….in a coma for awhile, etc. I remember sitting with his wife shortly after and her breaking down, struggling to understand why some days he seemed better and other days much worse. I made the connection to training……his “bad days” were his recovery days, his days when his body said “I need rest so I can recover from all the work I have put in”.

Remember during your rehab that recovery is not linear and that there will be good days and bad days……but that “bad days” are just as vital to your total recovery.

As others have said, make sure you have a good doc, trust the process and be patient (I know that last point is really hard and I don’t say it lightly). You’ll get back, and when you do, the effort spent will 100% be worth it.

Keep us updated as things go…you’ll get plenty of support here!


Hey there,

I just wanted to share a bit of my own journey with you.

Back in January, I had a pretty serious accident where I fell off a bridge, about six meters high. The fall resulted in a broken L3 vertebra, several ribs, and both of my ankles. It’s been a tough road with 8 surgeries. I’m now in a place where I won’t be dependent on a walking stick for the rest of my life.

It was a long process, but by September, I was finally able to stand and move out of the wheelchair. There were definitely some setbacks along the way, but once I was up, my body recovered surprisingly quickly.

What I really want to convey to you is this: as athletes, we often have a mental and physical edge that can aid our recovery. Once you’re in a position to start some form of training, you will find your recovery pace picks up significantly.

Just remember to stay patient and keep at it. You’ll make your way back to where you want to be.

Best wishes,


Massive kudos and respect to you for your ongoing recovery journey.

A few years back I broke my superior and inferior pubic ramus on one side. It was just over a year before that felt normal.

Good to hear you’re on the mend - take your time, listen to the doctors to a certain degree but don’t let them tell you what you can’t do.

My accident & recovery :slight_smile: -

20 years ago I was climbing and screwed up, with my gear pulling out and letting me fall 20m (60ft) to the ground. I was conscious for the first part, and regained consciousness shortly after hitting the ground (people were just reaching me).

I was helicoptered out and taken to A&E to find I had:

  • Dislocated and broken both ankles (the soles of my feet were facing each other; I saw this while I was waiting for the medics)
  • Had my femur pushed through my pelvis, breaking it into several pieces
  • Broken both bones in my left wrist (doctors said they looked like gravel when they opened it up)
  • Broken several ribs, which punctured my lung
  • Broken several smaller bones in my feet

I was in hospital 20 days, and had several operations. The one to bolt my pelvis back together took 7 hours and they filmed it for training. My ankles were so bad they had me sign a waiver in case they needed to amputate one or both feet. My wrist was pinned an plated, and had an external brace for a couple of weeks to keep it in place while it set.

My left wrist and ankle both have permanent limited motion, probably about 80% of normal.

Now the cool part!

Since then I have

  • Ranked in the top 10 Ballroom and Latin dancers in the UK (I didn’t dance before and have since stopped but I was pretty good when I did it).
  • Completed several sprint and Olympic distance triathlons
  • Completed a 70.3 triathlon
  • Completed 4 140.6 triathlons
  • Run 5 marathons and 2 ultra marathons
  • Climbed many 4000m (13000 ft) mountains and one over 5000m (16500ft)
  • Taken up racing sled dogs in a sport called Bikejor, where I race a MTB while being pulled by a purpose-bred dog (not a Husky!). I’m the defending Vet50 National Champion, just placed 2nd in the first race of this season and recently placed 9th in Vet50 at the IFSS World Championships. I race for the GB team and have competed in Italy, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany and Spain.

As you can see, there’s plenty of stuff you can accomplish if you take the time to heal, push yourself within reason while healing and don’t let your injuries or loss of function stop you. Your mind is the best thing you have to help you - believe in yourself and you can do what you want, although maybe not in the way you would have before.

Best of luck with everything; I know it can be hard. PM me if you want to talk :slight_smile:

Photo just because!


Sounds to me like you ARE the inspiring recovery story.

I’m recovering from a broken collarbone bone and 6 ribs. Living alone it was really hard to deal with everything. I found a book Meditations by Marcus Aurelius to be helpful as well as a website

1 Like