Surgery on Thursday

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This isn’t 100% for sure, but probably. If all goes as scheduled, I’m going to see the doctor on Wednesday and then have my thumb fixed on Thursday. It’s not something that I’m looking forward to. I’ve been sort of in denial, but that isn’t something that behooves a good outcome for this. I guess a thumb injury has a much higher chance of success the quicker it gets repaired. I think that the injury builds up scaring and that is harder to reattach than fresh, acute injury. I have a hard time believing that my thumb injury is acute, but that is what the MRI says, I guess. Maybe if anyone can understand the mumbo-jumbo below, let me know what you think.

We didn’t get to ride much yesterday. Spent most of the day doing core work. Lifting and moving wood. We had an all day, all night, all day fire going. Dennis had a lot of old wood laying around. Downed trees, un-splittable knots, etc. There is something about the smell of a wood fire close to fall. We all sat out there most of the night and just sat.

Today I think we are going up to Bayfield County up by Lake Superior. I’m not sure exactly what we are doing there. Picking some apples for sure. Maybe sea kayaking or canoeing in Lake Superior? The Porcupine Mountains? I’m not exactly sure. Any ideas? Seems like a good idea to take my mind off of more serious things.

I thought Sven Nys was going to win last night. I wasn’t sure he was going to smear everyone like he did. I guess he’s just that much better. He’s won both the races he’s done this year in the US, Cross Vegas and the World Championships. I think he came over here quite a while ago and raced in the Northwest, but I’m not positive about that. He was doing some of those after the Tour de France start $$$ races, so he had some form. And the course in Las Vegas doesn’t even suit his incredible technical skills.

Okay, I think I’ll go ride some. It is in the 60’s and muggy here. There is a cold front moving through, so the temperature is going to drop like a rock later.

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

The fire was pretty hot.

The fire was pretty hot.

This is a bottle that was in the coals for about 3 minutes.

This is a bottle that was in the coals for about 3 minutes.

Trudi was making s'mores.

Trudi was making s’mores.

We did a neighborhood tour and Hawkeye was hot.

We did a neighborhood tour and Hawkeye was hot.

I fell on a slick root riding down to swim in the lake.  Obviously my chainring caught my calf.  I have this exact "tatoo" under my hair by getting ran over in a Gant Challenge race back in the 80's.

I fell on a slick root riding down to swim in the lake. Obviously my chainring caught my calf. I have this exact “tatoo” under my hair by getting ran over in a Gant Challenge race back in the 80’s.

This is my friend George's secret hid away out in the woods.  It's underground.  He sneaks off in the middle of the afternoon to take naps and get some alone time from his kids.

This is my friend George’s secret hid away out in the woods. It’s underground. He sneaks off in the middle of the afternoon to take naps and get some alone time from his kids.

16 thoughts on “Surgery on Thursday

  1. Eric Roche

    Steve take the ferry over to Madeline Island from Bayfield. A short ferry ride. Do some kayaking, biking over there. Stop off at Tom’s Burned Down Cabin for a cold one. There is no bar like it. You will wont regret it.

    Big Bay State park has some great leisurly hiking trails over there along Superior.

  2. Gary Crandall

    Steve – pop out to Madeline Island and check out Big Bay Town Park and state park – also Tom’s Burned Down Cafe (if they are open today) – Dennis knows all the good spots to eat in Bayfield.

  3. Herb C.

    Hello Steve,

    Had a time sensitive bicep tendon tear in March. Basically, I was told get it fixed within two weeks or have an arm that works at 25%. The injury was a complete bicep tendon tear from the forearm and I had it fixed on the 14th day post/injury. I understand your denial, Steve!
    All good now!!!
    Good luck!!!
    Herb (I wouldn’t pay to see last night’s ‘cross race either….too much for a sub..)

  4. Karen (Sproule) Larson

    I highly recommend sea kayaking in the Apostle Islands. Especially inside the sea caves if the waves are very low. They’re really cool. We spent a few weeks paddling to different islands for our honeymoon this time of year and repeat it whenever possible.

  5. Steve Tilford Post author

    Euro-The answer to that is pretty much no. Not on the road, but off road. Here in the Midwest, if you come back from a ride and didn’t draw blood, you were riding gravel. There are way too many trees and stickily things over hanging the trails to make it out unscathed. Digging a chainring into my calf isn’t a normal thing, but riding on mossy logs when it is wet isn’t something I do that much, other than on race days. But, you need to have as many skills as possible, so I don’t avoid obstacles that I will have to ride in a race situation when I’m out training.

  6. dave

    I’ve admired your bicycle racing achievements since the early 1980’s when I would see your picture in black and white in Velo-News – which was much more of a news paper back then instead of the slick magazine that it is now. To this day when I see your name I envision you in a Levi’s/Raleigh jersey. I used to ride my bike and race vicariously through you and your teammates.
    You’ve got a serious injury in your thumb. Ulnar collateral ligament repairs after a complete tear are no joke and not to be taken lightly. On top of that you’ve got additional connective tissue damage that will likely require even more extensive surgery to restore stability to your thumb. Unlike the poster with the biceps TENDON injury (in my clinic we move elbows after that repair almost immediately to prevent scar adhesions and stiffness) you have a LIGAMENT injury that will likely require post-op immobilization in a cast for an extended amount of time. You’re likely to be stiff for a long time and might not ever regain full motion, ever. The chances for a “suboptimal” (bad) outcome go up exponentially with poor compliance. You’ve simply got to understand that the doctor’s instructions need to be followed to a T, without waiver, if you have even a hope to have a normal functioning thumb after surgery. It should go without saying that the biggest predicter of a good post-op outcome is patient compliance. You do not know what’s best this time.
    Please, if you haven’t already, talk and LISTEN to you surgeon. Make sure that they understand what you want to be able to do with your hands after surgery – long term I mean. Make sure that they also understand your propensity for ignoring medical instructions.
    Good luck! I hope to be reading about you racing for a long time to come.

  7. mike crum

    steve, try and pick up a beer without using your thumb. try and pick up a pencil without using your thumb.. you better take care of that thing..

  8. H Luce

    Here’s a nice wiki article on a UCL tear: And you can seriously forget about cyclocross season this year – for you, that war is over. And if you try, you really ought to have your head examined. The report already says you’ve got osteodegenerative arthritis going on, and if you like pain, there’ll be a neverending supply of it from that. I’d suggest ankle weights, about 25 pounds on each ankle – or leg irons – anything to keep you off of the bike and off of that thumb.

  9. Will Gault

    In 2006 I had the same thumb surgery you will have after a crash at Joe Martin. I spent the summer riding my road bike in a cast. I couldn’t race, but at least I could ride; and that was enough.


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