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Advive On 15yr Old Son

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    Knucklehead Racing

    I welcome you to CareCure. I do apologixe for the behavior, bickering and rude attitudes displayed. I also apologize for not acting sooner. The new injury forum is NOT a place for this type of behavior.

    You as a family have some difficult choices to make. I am happy to hear that you will be making them as a family. I am even happier to hear your son was missed by this bullet. As the parent of a driven sports playing 14 year old, I appreciate how hard these choices are.

    Again, welcome to CareCure.
    Every day I wake up is a good one


      Knuckle Head's son,

      I think I understand how you may feel about racing even though I never got to do something I really loved as a young girl. I was injured at a very young age and even though it was not a high level injury, it did rob me of doing many things I did love or wish I could do. Many of the basic things are lost in an injury to our spines. Well, they are not just basic but very important to our daily lives. As you can read from the previous posters, they enumerate the things you risk losing. Sadly they are taken for granted by most of us until we lose them. I believe that there are many things that we can also do which can bring us joy and maybe some sort of adrenaline rush that may not be such a risk to us which you may enjoy too. But then again this will be up to you and of course to your family to decide. I would recommend that you weigh the risks with careful consideration however before you come to a conclusion. I think time, thought, and education on this subject is of essence to your decision. I will not tell you don't do it nor will I tell you to do it. I feel that I am not a risk taker but have been considered as one by my friends and family at times. My wish(dream) is to go skydiving but have put that desire on hold until my doctor gives me a nod on my osteoporosis. Maybe I will not do it if things don't change for me but then again, I am way older than you. I can understand the urgency you may feel to do this because you are younger. Just be careful and consider all things first before you decide. Hope you make the right one for you and your future and also that you never get hurt again. My best wishes for you and your family.

      Btw, I am a parent and grandparent. Do understand your parents' concern for your well being. But like I have told my son, "I am not trying to take away your fun, it's just that I don't want to see you getting hurt, that's why I am letting you know the risks involved". And I don't. I love him too much.

      One idea I noticed that wasn't addressed to much by others here is from Bspill1 which might not be a bad idea.

      Originally posted by Bspill1
      He could always ride and stay involved in what he loves without racing
      Whatever you decide, I wish you the best luck.

      Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones; and when you have laboriously accomplished your daily task, go to sleep in peace. ~Victor Hugo~

      A warrior is not one who always wins,
      but one who keeps on fighting to the end ~ Unknown ~


        Originally posted by KNUCKLEHEAD RACING
        My 15yr old son races motocross, he was injuried during practice and suffered a compression fracture of the C5 and L1. The C5 is the more severe injury. Has complete movement and feeling. No pain what so ever. The CT scan shows the C5 broken into 5 pieces. No damage to the spinal cord. The dr has called it a bag of bones. He has also torn ligments around the C5. He will be in neck brace for 12 weeks then we will decide if surg is needed. Dr says he is very very lucky. Now the question is should we continue to let him races as he wishes?
        Any advice would be great.
        Is there anything that can be done to help strengthen his neck if he does race. There is a new neck brace out Leatt Brace that we would purchase.
        i broke my neck driving, i still drive,,my little brother fell of a roof broke his neck when he was in 6th grade no nerve damage, later he rode bulls & broncs broke his leg riding broncs broke his arm on a 4wheeler.

        if he was my kid i would not want him to ride dirt bikes again but i would probably let him


          I just wanted to add...

          Some of the opinions presented will be partially biased due to the fact, the majority of the people on this site are in wheelchairs and probably (i'm making an assumption) wouldn't be if they had the choice.
          With that in mind, we know that most things we do carry some sort of risk. For the most part, that doesn't stop us from doing them. Motorcross racing is dangerous and aside from death, sci are the biggest risk (no source, again just an assumption). I'd say most motorcross racers are aware of that, however, its something they love to do and it's an adrenaline rush... like bungee jumping or sky diving. As the parent, you knew the big risks involved before he started racing, correct? A big accident may make the risks more of a reality because it proves we are infact not invincible...
          We can't go through life avoiding things because of the risk, ENTIRELY or else we wouldn't have people to do a lot of jobs in the world. For example, my dad was hurt from cutting wood, but I wouldn't not cut wood just incase...
          Bottom line is, IMO, that, DO listen to the doctors. If they say he will make a full recovery and be able to continue racing, then go for it. Ultimately, he will decide what he wants to do.


            I haven't read through the entire thread as yet but I do know about the wondering of when it comes to questions as such. My own naiveness w/ risks of five herniated (one severe enough), etc. discs for twelve years until my son suffered para injury 2002 on his his racing fever that continues and will always be a part of who he is.

            Knucklehead, I didn't truly understand all those years why the docs would state my need for taking such caution with my neck vs. my own passion to waterski and what have you until a few days into my sons injury and the desperate research I embarked on to find help. What I mean with this is yeah, I hurt every day, my fingers would go numb just from shivering and if I did exert myself in some serious, all out way, I'd pay for it days later- weak armed, tight neck/shoulders and in extreme pain.
            What I learned as I read was the gamble I had been truly taking and staying with my son for 55 days I saw even more...
            now I am not going to say I haven't since continued taking my own type risks even so but I do know now to be ever more so cautious when I feel strong enough, good enough (I've lupus as well) and the urge to have some fun or do some type tough work around the house.
            My point comes to knowing what it is like to want to do as we will and can... and although my son may be limited by his para injury, he continues his racing passion through his car and timed trials, mud bogging, etc. He will find his way back to bikes eventually, albeit a street bike, not a dirt bike. He knows his risks but he also has that adrenaline need that will always be a part of who he is, so he changed his area of pursuit within the racing world... hell, he was watching SuperX a few days into NICU. I wanted to throw up. But then I realized that although life can take away the racing from someone, it will never take it out of them.
            IMHO, I'd seek an alternative type of racing... your son has a serious enough warning but I understand his passion. Take care. ~ T.
            "I want to make a difference! However small it may be~ as long as it's a positive one, then this is what my life will have been about and I will go knowing I did my best.~ T.


              KH, I broke my neck while MX racing. My identical twin still races Vet Pro. My other bro stopped for a while after my accident. Then he tweaked himself waterskiing a couple months later and rationalized that he would go back to racing because you can wad yourself up doing anything or nothing. You never know!

              People ask me if I would race again and I think about the condition of my neck. Turns out I have very few joints that work between metal in my spine that would not do well rag-dolling off a bike. Certainly, for that reason I would not race.

              It's a gamble that you won't take a hit that you can't handle.

              Good luck.



                I would like to thank everyone for there insight. We have thought about this long and hard. We have made the decision to let him ride again if he is fully cleared by the doctors. We go back to dr in July and if cleared will start working out again. He will not mount a bike any sooner than Sept. as we will have alot of strength training to do. We will be purchasing a new neck brace before he rides. We have asked God to lead us and feel that with this guidence he will prevail. Life is very short and we feel that we should allow him to live life to the fullest even if we object. God Bless you all and Thank you


                  KNUCKLEHEAD, we are right there with you! Jimmy was riding again, paralyzed, long before he would have been released to ride under other circumstances. Motocross is not just a sport it's a way of life. Jimmy lost his ability to walk, but lost much more when he lost the ability to race.

                  I think you understand and accept the responsibilty and the risks everytime your son throws a leg over that bike. I think you are acting responsibly, especially with waiting for your doctor's approval and the strength training. Wishing you the very best!


                    I'm a motorcycle Para

                    First... be very careful... pain doesn't set in until the 5 month mark. He could go from no pain, to life in hell.I hope to god this does not happen but if it does... that will answer all your questions automatically. You will not have a say in the matter, the pain will tell you what is possible. Hopefully, you will be in a situation that you can decide. then its up to you. DO you want to live in a chair and in pain the rest of your life... or do you want to maybe squeak through, not have any accidents at all and get through it cleanly. Because if he rides again, its not if he will wind up in a chair.... its when!
                    Mike (Florida)

                    Cant we get 1 do over?


                      Originally posted by mike bauer
                      if he rides again, its not if he will wind up in a chair.... its when!
                      That's an ugly thing to say and based on what exactly? Do you seriously mean to say that EVERYONE who races a bike will end up paralyzed? That's an awfully big blanket to be throwing out there.



                        Knucklehead Racing,

                        Let me see if I can try to put together the arguments both for and against allowing your son to race.

                        • Racing may be a big part of his life and it is not fair to him to stop him from doing something that he loves (I am trying to state Tiger Racing's argument).
                        • Risk of physical injury is part of the sport. It is not good psychologically for him to retire from the sport with fear of injury as the main reason.

                        • He is 15 and he should be doing many other activities besides motorbike racing.
                        • He has had one injury and luckily escaped without neurological damage. Whatever caused the first injury, the fact that it occurred once suggests that it is likely to happen again unless he changes the way and approach that he rides.
                        • If he has rods or other devices placed to stabllize the fracture site and he fuses, the likelihood that he will damage the first site again is low because the fused fracture is stronger than before. However, the probability of an injury to the surrounding segments is higher. The reason is because the spinal cord is designed to spread the acceleration and movement across many segments. This not only slows the movement but makes the movement smaller per segment. The reduction of flexibiity of the spinal column will concentrate the movements to the spinal segments adjacent to the injury. The doctor may well say that the fused area is stronger. But, it is the surrounding area that you need to worry about.
                        •* It is likely that he had some damage to his spinal cord, even though he recovers full function. He would recover fully, for example, even if he lost 50% of the spinal cord. However, if he injured the spinal cord the second time, his threshold for further injury will be lower. In other words, a lesser injury may lead to greater loss of function because his reserve is less.

                        Forbidding is probably not a good idea. Discussion, however, is critical. It would be best if he came to the decision himself with your guidance and all the information. Please do ask if there is anything that we can do to provide that information. As you can see, many of the people on this site have spinal cord injury from racing.



                          Thanks, Wise. I am not sure she will be coming back here to see this...we can only hope.

                          I just sincerely hope that she will not need to come back to our forums for any other reason in the future!

                          The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.


                            I have found myself checking this forum several times a day. But to let everyone know that the decision we make to let him continue racing is not a sudden one. We have talked about this over and over and I have been watching what everyone has to say. My son who is now 16 is not the average 16 yr old. We have discussed the pros and cons on the decision that we make. His spinal cord was not injuried at all. We have discussed what might happen and we are willing to deal with that if and when the time comes.
                            What I have gotten from this forum is that there are alot of people out there that have alot of anger built up because this happened to you. Things can happen to you no matter the situation this is just part of life. Should I keep my son locked in his room the rest of his life in hopes to protect him? If he has a car wreck do I make him stop driving. If he falls while walking should I make him crawl. If the doctor comes in tomorrow and tells us he will die in 6 months should I make him stop living right now. Yes he is only 16 but I feel I have taught him to know right from wrong, be responsible and to always know what could happen. If he chooses to race or not we will support him. If he is injuried again and is paralized again we will continue to support him. No matter what he decides or what happens we will support him. We love him unconditionally and will always stand behind him. All we can do is turn to God and seek his guidence.


                              [quote=Wise Young]Knucklehead Racing,

                              • He is 15 and he should be doing many other activities besides motorbike racing.

                              You say he should be doing other activities, lets see football, basketball, track, soccer, tennis, running, walking, golf. Seems to me that with all these sports there is a risk of sometype of fall in which he could break his neck and or back again. Well theres always video games and over eating and then society will look down on him for being over weight. My point is that I have given my boys then chance to try every sport they have interest in and there has even been times we have done 2-3 different sports in one season. I can't always protect him and I can only try. I can't keep a pillow under him 24-7.


                                What Wise said.
                                Last edited by mom277; 5 Jul 2007, 12:29 PM. Reason: eta