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DO NOT LAND FLAT or straight legged. ACL at risk
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14164

PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2013 6:13 pm    Post subject: DO NOT LAND FLAT or straight legged. ACL at risk Reply with quote

Any of you who have ever landed even a modest head-high jump with the board flat on the water know what a surprisingly harsh shock it is to your whole body. This wasnít even a flat landing; I simply had my leg/knee fully extended during a normal, tail-first touchdown from a bigger jump, at which instant I was certain I had injured my back knee. Sailing in was impossible; it was averaging 30 and I was a mile offshore. Ye Olde Hooked-In Waterstart Position Butt Drag saved the day.

An X-ray and an MRI later, I see why so many big-air kiters are injuring knees despite having smaller boards and a parachute. I ripped my ACL right out of the tibia, crush-fractured both the tibia and fibula [correction: tibia and femur], crushed both menisces in multiple places, sprained the MCL and other ligaments, exacerbated existing cartilage damage in the tib/femur interface, enlarged and ruptured a previously unknown Bakerís cyst, and partially tore the end of my gastrocnemius (calf) from its upper anchor. Iím sure that if I had also landed flat, I could easily have also done that much and more to my ankle, knee, and/or hip.

How did it happen after 30 years of jumping these things and 20 more jumping motorized toys without (knee) injury? Easy; poor depth perception and lack of attention; I obviously extended my knees too soon in anticipation of an earlier return to the surface. Landing is supposed to be an active event, not a passive return to the surface; weíre supposed to land like an athlete, not a rock. We should extend our bent legs as we land to engage the fin lightly and in control before the full impact of our weight spins it out, but doing that too soon eliminates the cushioning effect of slightly flexed knees. i.e., our quads -- not our bones, cartilage, and ligaments -- should absorb the impact energy.

Lesson: make damned sure you have at least a little flex in your knees as you land. Straight legs remove our quads from the picture, leaving primarily breakable structures to absorb shock. It is almost exactly like using your carís bumper and crush zone structures, rather than its brakes, to stop it.

Mike \m/


Last edited by isobars on Wed Jul 17, 2013 3:54 pm; edited 6 times in total
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slinky



Joined: 24 Aug 2007
Posts: 419
Location: Old Saybrook Ct.

PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2013 6:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow! Sorry to see you got hurt. Landing flat sucks! i always go for the tail first landing, but sometimes things can go wrong. If you don't damage yourself with a flat landing, you just might break equipment. Once I landed a big jump flat and landed so hard I thought my foot would would go through the board! Fortunately it did not. I had my knees bent.

Bend those knees! Like the man said!

Wishing you a speedy recovery.
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ascott72



Joined: 12 Jun 2006
Posts: 100

PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2013 8:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bummer. Sorry to hear that isobars. Wishing you a speedy recovery as well.
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cgoudie1



Joined: 10 Apr 2006
Posts: 1250
Location: Killer Sturgeon Cove

PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2013 9:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That sucks Mike. Sounds like a lot of surgery, casting, and rehab.
Wishing you as fast a recovery as possible, but with that much damage,
you're probably out for the season. My surgeons tell me people in
good shape heal faster than those in poor shape. Hope that's true.

-Craig
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inf2003



Joined: 15 Jan 2009
Posts: 137

PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2013 9:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow sorry you had such horrible injuries. That really stinks. Hope you heal quick and get back to sailing soon. I guess you've got to look on the bright side. At least you will have more time to post on the forum and do some typing while you are recovering. Get well soon
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johnl



Joined: 05 Jun 1994
Posts: 1170
Location: Hood River OR

PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2013 10:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike, crushed fractured both leg bones??? In both legs?? And is that like a shattered bone or a cleaner break?? I know it sounds morbid Crying or Very sad but I'm trying to figure what that is. Although with everything else.......

Hang in there and try to look forward to next year! Or maybe a windsurfing vacation in the winter Very Happy
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LUCARO



Joined: 07 Dec 1997
Posts: 223

PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2013 11:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That really sux. thanks for passing it on
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d0uglass



Joined: 28 May 2004
Posts: 1078
Location: Bonita Springs, Florida

PostPosted: Sat Jul 13, 2013 9:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ouch! What a nightmare. Good luck with your recovery.
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ronm41



Joined: 02 May 2007
Posts: 172

PostPosted: Sat Jul 13, 2013 9:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, In all the years I have been windsurfing, that is the worse leg injury I have heard of. I am also a avid skier and never heard of a knee blowout that bad either. Reguardless, hope for a recovery for you and able to continue with your activities. Sounds like when you came down there must have been a twist along with the compression. Crying or Very sad
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PeconicPuffin



Joined: 07 Jun 2004
Posts: 1211

PostPosted: Sat Jul 13, 2013 10:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

On the positive side (look for the positive) you'll have a chance to give all your joints and dings a rest while you rehab.
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http://www.peconicpuffin.com
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