What specifically were RJ’s wrist/hand injuries from Gatorback?

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2/17/2018 9:27 AM

I didn’t want to derail the Roczen hand injury thread.
Don’t want a fight or discussion about Roczen.

But I want to know, and have always wondered, what exactly were the injuries to RJ’s hand/wrist?

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2/17/2018 9:32 AM

https://www.dirtrider.com/features/online-exclusives/141_1201_ricky_johnson_injury_map

"Right wrist "Both my wrists have been broken. My right wrist was way worse. In practice in 1989 at the Gainesville national I passed Danny Storbeck and kind of scrubbed a jump to stay low; he jumped high. His front wheel hit me in the back of the arm and shoved my arm bones up into my hand. It was hot, burning, but it didn't feel broken. I looked down. I knew I was screwed. My glove was half ripped off, and it looked like someone took my hand off and set it on the side of my arm. About a year and a half after that it got to where I couldn't ride anymore . It was starting to lock up on me; my hand would involuntarily let go. I came back and won that Gainesville national a year later, but I had minimal success. I was close but never the same."

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2/17/2018 9:32 AM

Broke his right Navicular fairly badly...to the point he tried a thumb throttle and a left side twist throttle as his wrist motion and support was so poor after the injury and eventual fusion.

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2/17/2018 9:34 AM

Hand = Junk

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Ex Pro BMX rider. Lover of all 2 wheeled machines.

1978 XR75
1994 KX250
1997 KX250
2008 CRF450
2004 YZ250

2/17/2018 9:35 AM

If I remember correctly RJ had a lot of pain in the wrist right where the thumb wrist forearm connected.
Seems like Roczen has the same break Herlings had but could have a lot more stretched out parts.

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2/17/2018 9:38 AM

Should be noted that surgical techniques have improved massively since RJ’s day. For example Baggett has one surgically repaired wrist that probably would have driven him out of the sport in the 1980s.

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Old MXer turned Superfan.

2/17/2018 9:38 AM

ML512 wrote:

Broke his right Navicular fairly badly...to the point he tried a thumb throttle and a left side twist throttle as his wrist motion and support was so poor after the injury and eventual fusion.

Such a shame to have that injury.. lingering pesky things naviculars are.

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Ex Pro BMX rider. Lover of all 2 wheeled machines.

1978 XR75
1994 KX250
1997 KX250
2008 CRF450
2004 YZ250

2/17/2018 9:39 AM

Navicular/Scaphoid

Photo

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2/17/2018 9:46 AM

The scaphoid is a bad bone to break because it heals very slowly due to poor blood flow. Most people are too impatient and ride way too soon and never let the bone heal properly. It will eventually become necrotized (dead) like mine did, and require a bone graft. The bone also happens to be in a very unfortunate location for a motocrosser because once it has been broken, it's never quite the same. Mine always hurts.

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2/17/2018 11:00 AM

hamncheeze wrote:

Should be noted that surgical techniques have improved massively since RJ’s day. For example Baggett has one surgically repaired wrist that probably would have driven him out of the sport in the 1980s.

I don't think this can be overstated. It's a different world these days.

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2/17/2018 11:23 AM

Motocross Kid wrote:

The scaphoid is a bad bone to break because it heals very slowly due to poor blood flow. Most people are too impatient and ride way too soon and never let the bone heal properly. It will eventually become necrotized (dead) like mine did, and require a bone graft. The bone also happens to be in a very unfortunate location for a motocrosser because once it has been broken, it's never quite the same. Mine always hurts.

So true. I remember making a comment like "so this is about as bad of a bone to break in your body in terms of long term effects and healing" to my ortho when we were discussing the route I was gonna take with mine. His reply of "that's probably the best way I've heard it described" made the decision easy for me, surgery and a pin it was.

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2/17/2018 1:51 PM

As I recall, RJ has admitted that he also tried to come back way too soon, and that waiting for it to heal properly would have greatly increased the chances of a lot better outcome.

The tough part of MX is how short (for most) the time at the top is. I would imagine it’s a big gamble between coming back too early vs waiting too long and missing your “window.”

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2/17/2018 2:30 PM

Sorry no exact details, but it was MUCH worse than just a navicular (scaphoid) break. IIRC, he was coming back and then broke his scaphoid at Daytona...and that pretty much finished him off.

But yeah that is one of the worst to break...I broke mine the same day Denny Stephenson broke his in 1990, and not to compare myself to the champ, but it was all down hill from there for both of us.

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