In May 2018, I had a little mishap on the bike which resulted in what doctors call an “open stellate patella fracture”. In laymen’s terms: my kneecap was smashed, and there was blood. Some 15 months later, in mid-August 2019, I will be on the start line of the 1200km Audax Paris-Brest-Paris. This is what happened in between.
On the tarmac
The pain wasn’t too bad immediately after I hit the tarmac. The problem started when I was trying to stand up.
I failed to do so, as my right leg could not bear weight anymore. I crawled off the road and hugged the post of a pedestrian traffic light on the other side.
I then realised that I could not even stretch the leg anymore, and that I had a really bad swelling above the knee.
Two young women had seen me flying over the handlebars and thankfully came to my help. They called an ambulance as well as the police and then fetched ice from a nearby restaurant to cool the leg.
They also explained to me what had happened. I had run into a bend black bollard that was leaning into the cycle path about ten centimetres above the ground, hidden in the shade of a traffic light.
All I had noticed was that for one reason or another, my Brompton had disappeared underneath me, making room for the tarmac. Apart from the knee, which landed on the handlebar, I was fine. The bike was alright too.
In the ambulance, before calling my wife, I asked to which hospital they would take me . “Well”, said, the nurse, “ BGU of course. With an injury like this, you really want doctors who know what they are doing.” Continue reading “Cycling after a (very) fractured patella”