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View Full Version : Cyclist seriously injured, staying at Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington



CultureFuturist
06-08-2012, 01:00 PM
Posted in Stephen Szibler's Facebook account: http://www.facebook.com/stephen.szibler
Attention Friends! I fell off my bike earlier today, and I have broken bones in my neck and face! I've been admitted to Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington, VA. I don't have my phone, and it's hard enough to go through this at all, let alone by myself! Please come and visit me! -This note written by his Physician Assistant since he is in a neck collar on his hospital bed. (please come... he'd do it for you!)

I don't know any detail about how this happened. Does BikeArlington ever organize efforts to be supportive of people seriously injured in bicycle accidents?

Mark Blacknell
06-08-2012, 05:58 PM
Ugh. Poor guy. Please give him this stranger's best.

Tim Kelley
06-11-2012, 09:14 AM
Does BikeArlington ever organize efforts to be supportive of people seriously injured in bicycle accidents?

Since BikeArlington is part of Arlington County government, we don't really ever get into anything like that. We provide tools (like this forum!), if you want to get the word out yourself. Also, WABA would be a good place to start since they are the region's advocacy group.

Allen Muchnick
06-12-2012, 10:33 PM
Stephen Szibler is an active member of the Potomac Pedalers Touring Club. Word of Stephen's injury and hospitalization was conveyed to the club and posted on the club's unofficial Google Group on June 6. On June 9, Stephen himself posted that he has been released from the hospital and is healing at home.

Stephen wrote, in part, "What I know so far is that I have a broken neck in three places, but that it is a stable break - chipped - and I don't have to wear a cervical collar according to the neuro-surgeon. Although PT people have said I should be wearing it - so contradictory information. The surgeon advised fusion surgery, but after I mentioned the type of insurance I have the "team" came back with a "wait and see" plan. I have some continued paralysis of my right hand and arm. I'm unclear if the origin is cervical, shoulder, or arm related. I'd kind of like to know! The surgeon was uncertain whether full use would return."

"I've been able to get out for walks, but the biggest challenge is trying to rest with all these insurance and care fears constantly running through my head, as well as possibly not being able to work for 3 of the biggest weeks of my year. My job is "as needed" in clinical education, again without any benefits - ironic. On the positive side I had some fantastic caretakers while I was in the ER and surgical suites until Wednesday."

Although I've never met Stephen in person, I wish him a speedy and complete recovery.

Allen Muchnick
Arlington VA

DaveK
06-12-2012, 11:47 PM
The surgeon advised fusion surgery, but after I mentioned the type of insurance I have the "team" came back with a "wait and see" plan.

This makes me so angry I don't even have the proper words.

Best wishes for a complete recovery, and I'll keep a lookout for any fundraisers or similar.

PotomacCyclist
06-13-2012, 12:26 AM
On the other hand, many surgeons have been accused of recommending fusion surgery too frequently because it's more lucrative. There can also be severe complications from fusion surgery, including death. He may actually be better off not having that surgery. (Disclaimer: I'm not a doctor or a medical professional, but I've done a fair amount of reading on the topic.)

pfunkallstar
06-13-2012, 09:01 AM
Ditto, I'm REALLY not a doctor, but I have done reading on fusion/disc surgeries - it is often better to leave it be.

Hibbert: [whistles] Your spine is more twisted than Sinbad's
take on marriage. [chuckles]
Homer: So? Just give me some drugs and surgery.
Hibbert: Oh, I'd love to but, uh, to be honest, modern
medicine has a lousy record of treating the back.
We spend too much time on the front.
Homer: Yeah, there's some neat stuff on the front.

Mark Blacknell
06-13-2012, 09:13 AM
This makes me so angry I don't even have the proper words.

I do. "Universal healthcare."

Certifried
06-14-2012, 09:32 AM
On the other hand, many surgeons have been accused of recommending fusion surgery too frequently because it's more lucrative. There can also be severe complications from fusion surgery, including death. He may actually be better off not having that surgery. (Disclaimer: I'm not a doctor or a medical professional, but I've done a fair amount of reading on the topic.)

They have quotas to make. I don't blame the doctors, I blame, mostly, the insurance companies and hospital administration. No, I'm not a doctor, I'm a patient. I had one neurosurgeon literally tell me "there's nothing I can do for you" once he realized I was not a surgery candidate. Yes, I get he's a "surgeon", but his office was a "pain center". It was very clear that he was just a mass production line for surgeries and had no interest in treating people. I ended up going to an anesthesiologist and have managed to maintain an acceptable level of pain reduction. (my X actually saw the same doc, had a spinal fusion, and is in as much or more pain these days than she was in before)

KLizotte
06-14-2012, 10:46 AM
I do. "Universal healthcare."

+1

I lived in the UK for a while and even though the National Health Service there did have some problems it provided an excellent and more equitable service at about half the price most of us pay here for healthcare.

Dickie
06-14-2012, 12:22 PM
My best wishes go out to Stephen, I hope the recovery is fast and proper and he can find a way to get back to a life he loves. Worrying about the bills and cost of proper care is perhaps the worst feeling in the world, something has to change in this country. I have lived all over the world as this is the first time I have been afraid of getting sick or having an accident.... very very sad indeed.

PotomacCyclist
08-23-2012, 04:38 PM
Here's another example about the potential problems of spinal fusion surgery:

http://sports.yahoo.com/news/bills-place-dt-torell-troup-193250431--nfl.html

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) -- The Buffalo Bills placed Torell Troup on the season-ending injured reserve list Thursday in the latest setback of the defensive tackle's young career.

Troup spent the past month showing very little progress since having back surgery in December. That's when he had two disks fused to repair a nagging injury that limited Troup to just six games last season.

The Bills had high expectations of Troup when they selected him with the 41st pick in the 2010 draft out of Central Florida. He had a promising rookie season in which he finished with 23 tackles and two pass breakups in 15 games, including three starts.

A series of injuries began hampering Troup during training camp last year. He was eventually placed on IR in November.

This year, Troup was held out of the team's spring minicamp practice sessions with the anticipation he could be ready for the start of training camp last month.

Coach Chan Gailey said Troup ''looked good'' during a conditioning session a day before camp opened in suburban Rochester last month. But Troup then had a setback the following day and spent much of the rest of camp either working on his own or getting very limited practice time.

Troup said two weeks ago that he had been in constant pain since having the operation. He second-guessed himself on why he had the procedure, even though doctors said it would be necessary.

''If I could go back, yeah, I probably wouldn't have wanted to deal with this,'' he said.

***
It could be very possible that the spinal fusion surgery may end this player's NFL career.

Certifried
08-24-2012, 09:54 AM
My x-wife and I both went to a spinal surgeon a few years ago. We were both having significant lower back pain. Hers was years of slips and falls, mine was just overuse from the Army and general arthritis. The surgeon determined she needed a spinal fusion and she went under the knife. The surgeon determined that I wasn't a good candidate for surgery and, literally, said "I can't do anything for you". Nothing. Basically just brushed me off. Aaaaand I'm so glad he did. I've gone on to dealing with my spinal issues in non-invasive and "lesser invasive" methods, physical therapy, etc. My X went on to have 6 weeks of excruciating pain where she couldn't even get out of bed much of the time, and still has as much (if not more) pain now than previous to the surgery.

I'll wait until the already proven disc replacements are possible* in the US like they are in other parts of the world. Third world medicine here sometimes.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intervertebral_disc_arthroplasty#History

* while "approved" for use, many insurance plans won't cover it.