Spine Damage via Raffle Shooting?


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El Tejon
March 22, 2005, 08:42 AM
Yesterday I was in the office early and ducked next door for a cup of coffee. I ran into an Eastside detective who is a fellow gun nut.

Had not seen him in a while and notice he had put on the lbs. I joked that it would hurt his SRT rating. He shook his head and advised that he had a bigger injury disability than a spare tire and love handles.

Apparently he had been at a "countersniper" school and damaged his neck (C2 and C3) during a course of fire. :what:

I asked if it was a .338 or .50. He advised that it was his issue Remington .308.

The officer, early 40s, had always been in decent shape, running, Judo and weights with no preexisting conditions. He underwent surgery and I was told that the surgeon said that he was very close to using a wheelchair for the rest of his life.

Was this a freak accident? Anyone here heard of this before? Positioned his head just right? Any docs with an opinion as to what caused this?

What can we do to minimize the risk that something like this could happen to us?

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Waitone
March 22, 2005, 09:33 AM
I have a problem shooting rifles and shotguns because of my personal dimensions. I am tall and have a bigger than standard distance between my eyes and shoulder pocket. I inevitably have to scrunch down to get a cheek weld unless I have a rifle with a longer than normal drop. Morgan Pads work nicely. To answer you question, I have trouble but not that much trouble.

JohnBT
March 22, 2005, 10:39 AM
"Was this a freak accident?"

I'm not a doc, but I've worked with individuals with disabilities since I finished grad school 30 years ago and there's no way to tell without seeing his medical records.

I had back surgery in 11/03 and the doctor(Princeton, UVA med school, Duke orthopedic) said it was just one of those things - not an accident, no problem with the disc, no problem with the vertebra, the MRI was negative, nothing...just constant crippling leg pain from the hip to the toes, but no back pain.

So, with no diagnosis we plowed ahead. He opened me up and found the sciatic nerve mashed flat & stuck to the vertebra. It took him 2.5 hours to peel it off and try to make it round again, but he didn't have to cut the disk and saw no sign of degenerative bone disease. Even better, he does not expect to ever see me again. Let me tell you, the morphine machine didn't help much for the 2+ days I spent in the hospital and 14 oxycodone didn't touch it the first day home. Whew, I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.

John

Henry Bowman
March 22, 2005, 10:46 AM
My wife has a similar injury, though not caused or aggravated by shooting. It could happen to anybody, but if you have a naturally occring weak area in your spine, it might happen any time.

The cause is holding your neck in a strained or unnatural position for an extended period of time. Think of a "whiplash" (you must know what that is, El T) that happens over an extended period of time instead of suddenly, There are usually signs that are ignored. Pain (that just seems like muscle ache), spasms, tingling or numbness in the hand or arm. DO NOT IGNORE YOUR BODY TELLING YOU THAT YOU ARE HURTING IT!!

My wife ignored it and had to have a cervical fusion (and narrowly avoided a second one). She has been rehabing for 3 years now and only has a few limitations in order to avoid aggravating it. She will always have some numbness in her fingers.

W Turner
March 22, 2005, 11:44 AM
You mentioned that he had hurt it at a countersniper school. It may have been a combination of a poorly fitting stock, hours spent behind a scope requiring him to crane his head to get a sight picture, and a quirk of his anatomy.


W

Bear Gulch
March 22, 2005, 01:20 PM
I have 4 disks that are screwed (2 Lumbar, 2 thorasic). Most orthopods will tell you that most adults past 50 will have some disk protrusion, bulging or rupture and most suffer no illeffects from it.

It is a bummer that this officer is having this problem a good regimine of pt might be able to help.

rdbrowning
March 23, 2005, 07:41 PM
After spending 3 days laying in a pasture shooting prarrie dogs, I had neck and shoulder pain for a few weeks. Fortunately it gradually cleared up, but I can certainly see how it could have been worse.

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