Ultra Running

Ultra Champion Chooses to Amputate Leg for Freedom!

Photo: youtube

It’s hard to imagine the pain and frustration that David Mackey has been through for the last 16 months since his freak accident while trail running. A two-time US ultra runner of the year and winner of the US Trail Running Championship for the 50K, 50Mile and 100K distance, took a tumble off the trail during a routine trail run resulting in a badly fractured leg. Several surgeries and rehab left him barely able to walk and constant pain. With more  surgeries and complications in the future, Dave made tough decision to amputate his lower leg. Here is his post:

“It’s been a long 16 months since I fell off Bear Peak above my house, sustaining an open tibial/fibula fracture to my left leg. The long rescue followed, 13 surgeries, including skin, muscle and bone grafting, washouts of the open-fracture contaminated surgical sites, being in an external-fixator (think “iron lung”, only on the outside of the leg) for three months, and bone infection (which still resides). I have achieved a degree of success in mobility and some improvement. I went from not walking at all, to walking with a cane until this past July, to walking cane-free now. Running has not been an option in the least just yet. Riding a mountain bike most every day now is almost real freedom. But there is still pain whenever I walk and throbbing at night, and now intramedullary nail (a rod) is wobbling and the bone grafting at the middle if the fracture sight is not dense.

“So I am at a crossroads. Do I continue with more surgeries with very high likelihood of failure? More time in a hellish external fixator? And even then there would always be pain. 

“But there is another solution, the definite, non-reversible one, to be 100 percent to where I was before the accident and almost completely pain-free. There is a way to get here and I’ve decided to go this route. This would mean the freedom, if I choose it, to walk the kids to school without a thought, ski, run in 6-8 weeks, compete in races again, even take down Mike Wardian’s treadmill world record (okay, this will NOT happen). So the big news is that next week I will have my left leg amputated below the left knee here in Boulder.

Read the whole story at Competitor.com

This is the ultimate tough decision, I think he made the right choice for himself and his family. Could you do this?
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

To Top