Mar 15, 2002
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From a press release:<BR><BR>Update on Oliver's medical condition and recovery process.<BR><BR>Rich Oliver paid a visit to his Orthopedic Surgeon, Dr. Malcolm Ghazel on Wednesday, March 13th for his first examination. His broken pelvis and amputated ring-finger tip were both checked by Dr. Ghazel. <BR><BR>As far as the pelvis fracture is concerned, the displaced section of the iliac crest is only 2mm apart from the original location in the hip socket, but the gap does increase to about 7mm as the fracture continues up and to the top of the left iliac wing. This point on the pelvis is where the quadriceps muscle attaches, and since this section has broken away from the main body of the pelvis structure, it's now difficult for Rich to lift his leg in an upward direction. <BR><BR>Rich gives these related comments, "I really wanted to ride the race at Daytona, but I knew I had to sit it out because I couldn't get my foot on the footpeg. I had to lift my leg up with my arm, and if my foot were to slip off in the race, you can imagine my problems then! Otherwise I think I could have still done well and gained some valuable points."<BR><BR>The good news from Dr. Ghazel is that no surgery will be required until the gap in the hip joint is over 4mm. The goal now is to fill in that 2mm gap with new bone and check the progress with new X-ray films on Wednesday, March 20th. Rich has been ordered to keep off the leg and rest until then. Rich comments further, "This rest time is killing me, but I know I have to do it. I'm downing the vitamins and minerals, along with lots of AST protein drinks and Cytomax. I'm hopeful Dr. Ghazel will see some good healing progress on the films next week."<BR><BR>The situation with Rich's ring finger is more straightforward, as the stitches are out and Rich is using the "new' finger as much as possible to acclimate to the different sensation and length. The range of motion and strength are fine, but the nerve endings are very sensitive at this stage. Kushitani has been FAXed new hand tracings and special gloves are in the works in Japan at this moment. <BR><BR>Rich had this to say in closing, "I can move my leg more and more each day, so I think when the crack starts to fill in some I'll be OK to ride, I feel that I'm really making a huge improvement every day. I also want to thank all my family, friends and fans for their concern about my condition, it really motivates me that much more to come back and ride to win again."