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Avatar universal

So I fell snowboarding...really hard

*This is a very long post, spark notes are at the bottom*

To start off, this is my first post.  I am an experienced snowboard (10 years, 5 years skiing before that) and I am a 20 year old male, 185lbs, 5'9".

This occured on Sunday

The jump was 40 feet long, sending you 13 feet above the landing.  I've hit many this size before, and this was by no means out of my capabilities.  It happened on the third time i hit it.  First time i just did a straight air over it, the next time a 360, and landed fine on both of them

Third time, i went for a corked (off axis, so my feet would be above my head at one point) 720.  The more you spin off the jump, the more speed you lose, so i went a little faster than i did on the 360.  Everything went great, spun good, grabbed the board good, i thought everything was going to be perfect....I was wrong.

As i was coming around on the last 180 degrees of the spin, my back was facing down the mountain, which is how it is supposed to be, which means you pretty much come into the landing blind.  I went to put down my feet to land, and there was just nothing below me, its a horrible feeling, I have been there before.

In my mind i knew i was going to fall, and knew it was going to be hard, but did not know how far i was actually overshooting the landing by.  I overrotaed, hit really low on the landing but not on completely flat ground, directly flat on my back. My board never hit the ground.  It was probably 20 feet from my max height to where i landed and probably 50 feet in distance.

The wind was immediately knocked out of me, and my back hurt.  I lied there until i got my wind back, my friends came over asking if i was alright, and I just told them that I had fallen like this before, although never as hard, and that i just needed a few minutes to regain my composure.

So after some time, I decided to get up, and not knowing what was coming, I stood straight up, and it was just the worst pain i had EVER felt, and it was very sharp, very severe, very hot, and running from my lower back down my legs.  It scared the **** out of me. I have had numerous injuries, but never a back injury, and i was very nervous that my legs hurt when they never hit the ground.

I made my way to the bottom, hunched over, because that was the only way I would not get that horrible shooting pain down my back and into my legs.  I walked to ski patrol, which was very difficult, and i found that if i took a step too big or the wrong way, i got that horrible shooting pain.  At this point, I could not straighten my back at all without this pain.

I was 4 hours away from home, and 1 hour away from the nearest hospital, and I was responsible for driving 3 other people home as well, so i needed to find out if i had to go to the ER immediately.  The ski patrol guy told me that i could probably wait until i got home to go to the hospital for 2 reasons:1, if it was a truly life threatening/serious issue, i would still be on the hill waiting for the ski patrol stretcher to come get me, and 2, that since it didn't hurt to the touch, which it didnt surprisingly, that i most likely did not have a broken bone or ruptured disk.  He gave me some ice, had me fill out paperwork, then i was on my way.

So i made my way home in the car icing my back occasionally, which was actually fine once i got seated, getting in and out was a different story though.  Did some research online when I got home and figured it was something with my sciatic nerve because of the pain in my legs, and slept that night on my side with my knees raised a bit.

It is now Monday

I went to the hospital the next day which was a holiday so my doctor wasn't in.  I saw a different one instead.  My pain today was pretty much as bad as the first, but walking was a little easier, but still if i stood up straight or pushed it to the point where the sciatic nerve got pinched, the pain was unbearable in my back and legs.  My doctor had me bend a couple ways until the shooting pain occured, felt my stomach, and took a urine sample to check for blood, which there was none.

She said rest for the rest of the day, tuesday, and wednesday, to take ibuprofen, and get a heating pad/take warm showers.  I told her i had to work and did not want to take that much time off.  I told her at work i just sit at a desk, and she said that if i could manage the pain then i could head into work.  She also said she had opened a referal with an orthopedic doctor, but to only take it if the pain did not lessen over the course of the next few days.

So i took the rest of monday off, took 800mg of ibuprofen every 6 hours, and put the heating pack on my back every so often.  I was always either lying on the floor, or in a reclining sofa, but pretty much any time i got up from that position i tweaked the nerve, and had the horrible pain again, although now it was not shooting as far down my legs as before.  I fell asleep on my back for the entire night.

It is now tuesday

I woke up, and felt good...until i had to move.  It took me several tries to get up because the pain was too much.  And then another few tries to stand because of the pain.  Once I got standing, walking was harder than the day before, but manageable.  I made my way down stairs, called out from work, then got onto the couch again.  After some time and a few ups and downs to the bathroom/fridge, walking because easier, but the ups and down still hurt unbareably.  By noon time, i was perfectly comfortable just sitting so I took the trip to work, which is where I am now at 3pm.  I am perfectly fine sitting at my office chair, but if i go to get up the pain is still there....and its still just as bad.

The big difference now, and the big difference from the day it occured, is that it is now very very painful to the touch.  If i straighten my back and apply pressure anywhere on the left side of my spine on the lower half of my back it is very painful, and if i run my hand up the lower part of my spine, specifically on the left side, it is excrutiating.

Spark Notes
-Travel 50 feet in distance while falling 20 feet in height off of a snowboard jump onto a slightly sloped landing and landed 100% flat on my back.
-Knocked the wind out of my self, went to stand up straight when i got my wind back, and had excrutiating, sharp, hot pain down my lower back into the back of my legs
-Hurt to walk, cough, laugh, or use any back muscles
-Getting up and sitting down were excrutiating and triggered the sharp leg pain.
-Ski patrol said it was okay to wait until tomorrow to go to the hospital because i could walk, and move all parts of my body and nothing hurt to the touch.
-Slept on my side at night
-Hurt just as much as the first day
-Saw my doctor who performed ROM tests until i got the sharp pain, checked for blood in my urine, and felt my stomach
-I was told to rest, apply heat, and take ibuprofen for 3 days, and go to work if i could manage the pain but just to sit in my chair and rest at work
-A referall was opened with an orthopedic doctor but i was told to only use it if the pain does not decrease in a few days or if it gets worse.
-The next morning took several tries to get out of bed because the pain was too much while moving, but walking got easier as the day went on.-I went to work the next day at noon, which is where I am as I post this.
-The pain does not extend as far down my legs as before but it is still there if I tweak the nerve
-My back hurts to the touch now though, on the left side of my lower spine, and is worst when i run my hands up the bottom of my spine on left side

I want to know what I should do now.  Should i head back to the hospital?  Should i call and get a referall for a neurology doctor instead of an orthopedic?  Should I head to the ER?  Or should i wait out the next couple of days and see if the pain lessens?  What could this be?  What tests should I ask for?

Thank you!
4 Responses
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Avatar universal
So almost this exact same thing JUST happened to my husband. He'a been snowboarding for about 20 years. He didn't scope out the jump first and instead of there being a surface to land on it was just a constant decline (different from the other jumps) and when he went off the jump it shot his board straight up into the air and he couldn't get his board down...So he landed on his back really hard and is having a lot of the same exact symptoms as you. Pain moving around and twisting. Any kind of pressure, can't lift anything, can't cough sneeze or laugh...and now he has a sort of fluid in his back. He can feel "bubbles" We are trying to get to an orthopedic doctor ASAP. Any news?
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Thanks for the responses.

So the sciatic nerve pain is virually gone.  I have not yet felt the shooting pain down my leg all day today.

But, instead, my lower back, especially on the left side, is extremely sore all the time.  Also, it is very painful to the touch, especially a massaging like motion.  If i go to use my back muscles, it kills.  The most noticeable is opening a car door.

Sound like a pulled muscle?  Could a pulled muscle have triggered the sciatic nerve pain?  Should i head in to go see the doctor again?


Helpful - 0
675923 tn?1296238011
I love Spark Notes......sorry about your injury. Snowboarding is a dangerous sport. I've ski'd for years, took one boarding lesson, rec'd multiple concusions. I'm not sure about your individual case but I know I would keep going to the doctor until I got some relief/answers.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
My husband fractured a disc in his back and has many of the same symptoms you are having, he fell from a very tall ladder.  I would start with the orthopedic (bone) doctor first and not worry about a nuerologist.  I think you are scared cause it was so hard to move but feeling the pain indicates the nerves are working and doing their job.  They are trying to tell you something.  Hope you get better soon!!!!
Helpful - 0

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