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I Want To Ride My Bicycle

Bicycle Race (I Want To Ride My Bicycle) by Queen

It has been seven weeks since I crashed on the descent of Fraser’s Hill.  My recovery has been slow, but that is not surprising given the extent of the injury to my left arm and shoulder.

I spent the first two weeks trying to do physical therapy.  Unsuccessfully because of the pain in my shoulder.  So the rotator cuff injury was treated with a Ultrasound Guided Left Glenohumeral Joint Injection. This is a fancy name for injecting steroids into the joint capsule to reduce inflammation and pain. In my case inflammation and pain in the long head of the biceps tendon.

Diagram courtesy of

The steroid injection did the trick.  The inflammation and pain subsided in a few days, and I was able to work on increasing the range of motion in my left shoulder.

However the rotator cuff injury was the lesser of my concerns.  I also had a Brachial Plexus injury.  This was the more serious injury.  The injury that was causing muscle weakness, finger numbness, and neuropathic pain.

I already knew that I had been extremely lucky not to have been more seriously injured in the crash.  My orthopedic surgeon pointed out yet another lucky escape.  A frequent outcome of high-speed falls is the complete tearing of the nerve root from the  spinal cord.  This is known as an avulsion, and can cause pain and loss of function in the arms, shoulders, and hands.  Neuropathic pain can be treated with medication, but muscle function can only be restored through surgical reattachment or nerve grafts.

Fortunately mine was a stretching injury rather than a tearing injury.  It has taken a while, but the nerves are repairing themselves.  I am regaining muscle strength, although there is some way to go before my arm is 100% again.

More importantly the neuropathic pain, which at times had been debilitating, has stopped.

So my upper body is ready to handle a bike ride.  At least a short one to start with.

But since the Fraser’s Hill crash another, unrelated issue has presented itself.  An issue that is going to keep me off my bikes for a while longer.

A month ago I had surgery to drain an anorectal abscess.  The formation of the abscess was unrelated to my cycling.  It was just an unfortunate coincidence that the abscess developed so soon after my crash.

If all goes well, the cavity formed by the abscess heals from the inside within a few weeks.  However in approximately 50% of cases, patients will develop a fistula after the abscess has been drained.  The fistula prevents the cavity from healing.  Which is what has happened to me.  So I will have a second surgery on Friday to repair the fistula.

The initial indication is that the type of fistula that I have is easy to repair.  My surgeon will have a more definitive view after my operation.  Hopefully I will be back on my bike six weeks after the operation.

Graphic courtesy of Christopher Martin at

Graphic courtesy of Christopher Martin at

About alchemyrider

I left Malaysia in 2008 as a non-cyclist. I am back home now with three road bikes and all the paraphernalia that goes with being addicted to cycling.

2 responses »

  1. Pingback: I Want To Ride My Bicycle | operation CDL

  2. Pingback: All Clear | Old Roots, New Routes

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