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Eric Pollard Injury Update #2

April 25th, 2013 - Posted by newgard in LINE Skis News, LINE Team News

I’m doing much better now that I’m out of the hospital. I spent half the winter laying on my back, bed-ridden, and simply waiting for news from doctors. Basically what went down is as follows;

I broke my leg the first day of the first ski trip of the year!  A spiral fracture of my tibia, I spent a couple nights in a Russian hospital, flew from Russia to Germany on an air ambulance (Doctors decided it was very risky to fly back to the USA).   In Germany I had an operation to put a rod and some screws in my bone.   Days after the first surgery, my leg was in a lot of pain, and my good friend (the creator of Line Skis Jason Levinthal who was in the hospital with me) and I were very concerned that I had compartment syndrome.  We asked the doctors repeatedly to do the necessary tests on my leg, but the Doctors were convinced there was nothing wrong.  Unfortunately our suspicions were correct, and I did have compartment syndrome.  I was rushed into surgery in the middle of the night (after a full day of the worst pain of my life).  Once again, unfortunately for me, the surgery was done incorrectly, and the pressure in my anterior compartment was not released.  Lots of pressure in my leg caused tons of pain, and I had yet another fasciotomy surgery 6 hours later.  Because the anterior compartment had not been released on the first fasciotomy, the muscles then burst out of my leg.   As a result I had a lot of damage to that particular area, and I also had a very large wound with very swollen muscles.  I could not move my foot or toes up.  The massive cut/wound in my leg was open from my ankle to my knee and was about 9 inches wide.

I then decided I needed to be moved to a different hospital because I had lost confidence in the hospital I was at.  I had quite a few more surgeries while I was in my new hospital in Germany for over a month.  Surgeries to check my nerves, cut out dead tissue and attempt to close the wound.  I was stuck laying in my bed, meeting with neurologists and surgeons, getting bad news, and just hoping for the best.  The risk was that I had a huge open wound, and if I got an infection with all my compartments open, I would lose my leg.  The other fear I was facing was that I might not regain the use of my foot and toes because of nerve and muscle damage.  My family flew out, and I had a huge amount of help from the Line rep and his family from Frankfurt (thank you again Siamak, Linda and Rosheen).  Finally I was told that the only thing left to do was a skin graft because the wound would not close otherwise, so I had the operation.   After a month in the same position, waiting for my skin graft to heal, I was cleared to fly home to the United States.  Back in the USA I went to another hospital and had another two surgeries, bringing the total to 10!

When I awoke from my first surgery back in the States I was told that I my foot was partially paralyzed because my anterior muscle had been cut out.   As a result I lost the ability to move my foot upward, and because of nerve and other soft tissue damage I can’t move my toes.  I lost the muscle in my leg because of the pressure that was put on it from compartment syndrome.  Upon awakening, I was also told that I had fell victim to an infection, and I am on an iv via a PICC to fight the infection.   I have to wear a fanny pack that carries the anitbiotics, and I have a line that goes into my bicep and straight to my heart which delivers 2 hours of antibiotics three times a day.  The last surgery I had was to do a final debridement and close the wound.

I’m thankful to be moving forward with physical therapy and optimistic about getting back on my skis next season.  The entire experience has been very difficult, and I feel so lucky to have had so many people thinking of me.  I truly believe that it has made a big difference in my recovery.  Thank you to everyone for your thoughts and prayers.  I can’t wait to see you up on the hill!

Click here to view the first part of his story

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