March 17, 2021

Avid cyclist returns to his active lifestyle after a traumatic fall

Patient Stories | Trauma

When you’re used to being active every single day, time off is not what you’re looking for. For Greg Grossart, a spill off his bike landed him in the hospital and inactive for three months. He couldn’t have known the dramatic change his lifestyle would make when he embarked on a 160-mile bike ride with his group of friends.

What happened?

Greg booked 2020 full of races, rides and swim competitions before COVID-19 rocked the world and they all were cancelled. One of the competitions cancelled was a RAIN (Ride Across INdiana) ride, so Greg and seven of his friends decided to create their own. Beginning on the Illinois/Indiana border, near Danville, IL, the crew set out to ride 160 miles across the state. 

Twenty miles in, Greg fell off his bike. Greg called his bike crash “unremarkable,” as it was on flat ground and at a low speed, but it did enough damage for his friends riding with him to take notice.

“I wasn’t in much pain but knew I couldn’t put weight on my left leg,” Greg said. “Since I was in stable condition (no head trauma and no significant blood loss) we called our support vehicle from the mile 40-stop and they came and picked me up and drove me back to Indianapolis.”

Greg knew there was something wrong with his leg, but he didn’t know how bad it was because he wasn’t in very much pain.

“After arriving at the ER and having x-rays, it was clear my injury was worse than I thought,” Greg said.

Dr. Crichlow suggested two options to Greg. His first thought was a hip replacement, which would be a much quicker recovery and he would be walking within days. However, since Greg is an active person who is always looking for a new challenge, Dr. Crichlow felt like a hip replacement wouldn’t be sustainable.

The second option was a much more difficult surgery with a longer recovery time. This suggestion was a total hip reconstruction. Greg appreciates how Dr. Crichlow took his future plans into account and was willing to put the time and effort into a longer surgery.

“I could have ended up at any hospital in Indy with any trauma surgeon, and I feel blessed to have ended up at OrthoIndy at Ascension St. Vincent Indianapolis in the hands of such a caring, skilled, hip specialist as Dr. Crichlow,” Greg said.

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Hip Surgery

He was diagnosed with a femoral neck fracture,” Dr. Crichlow said. “We performed an open reduction internal fixation of his femoral neck. This involved opening up the hip joint, realigning the fracture and placing some plate and screws.”

Recovery

Greg began his recovery with non-weight bearing crutches for three months after his surgery. Greg has been accustom to a lifestyle that includes cycling, running, hiking, cross country skiing and most other outdoor activities, and he found himself unable to do the activities that help him stay healthy and manage his stress.

“We took a slow and steady approach, all the while knowing we were aiming for a full return to serious riding,” Dr. Crichlow said. 

After two months, Dr. Crichlow allowed Greg to begin swimming, so he resumed some activity at the OrthoIndy Foundation YMCA.

Three months post-operation, Greg began physical therapy and slowly worked his way on to the spin bike at the YMCA. When he began to gain strength and mobility in his leg again and was off crutches, Greg started to walk around his neighborhood, gradually gaining speed.

“Fortunately, other than having a stiff hip/thigh from the surgery and some swelling, I was never really in any pain from the injury or surgery,” Greg said.

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What’s your next goal?

Hip reconstruction and COVID-19 cancellations never stopped Greg from creating and achieving new personal goals.

His next goal included a summit attempt on Mt. Lennon by bike, between Christmas and New Years of 2020.

On Black Friday, Greg decided to attempt the 30-mile climb up the mountain. Just two months after being confined to non-weight bearing crutches, Greg made it to the top of Mt. Lennon and back down, a total of 60 miles on the bike.

“I can’t imagine having been able to accomplish that goal had I not had such a highly-skilled health care team helping me and a group of friends and neighbors selflessly supporting me while I recovered,” Greg said.

In 2021, you will catch Greg attending his annual Colorado snowboarding trip, a cross country ski trip in Wisconsin and continuing his physical therapy regimen to build more strength and flexibility in his hip.

Greg suggests not getting into an accident, but if an accident does occur, OrthoIndy is the place to go for surgery, as well as post-operation check ups.

“I have been incredibly impressed with the entire OrthoIndy crew at all of my post-surgical follow-up appointments with Dr. Crichlow,” Greg said. “From the front desk staff, to the medial assistants and imaging specialists, I can’t emphasize enough how efficient the clinic runs.”

Greg also wants to remind cyclists to always wear a helmet. If not for his helmet, his hip injury could have been a fatal accident. No matter how cautious you are, accidents can happen when you are least expecting them.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Crichlow, please call 317.917.4384 or request an appointment online at OrthoIndy.com/request.

Schedule an appointment

Your well-being is important to us. Click the button below or call us to schedule an appointment with one of our orthopedic specialists. If your injury or condition is recent, you can walk right into one of our OrthoIndy Urgent Care locations for immediate care. For rehabilitation and physical therapy, no referral is needed to see one of our physical therapists.

Schedule an Appointment Call OrthoIndy 317.802.2000
Gabby Carlson

By Gabby Carlson

Gabby was the Marketing Content Writer for OrthoIndy from 2019 to 2021. Gabby graduated from Taylor University in 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in professional writing.

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