In January 1948, Paul was injured in a near-fatal automobile accident in Oklahoma, which shattered his right arm and elbow. Doctors told Paul that there was no way for them to rebuild his elbow in a way that would let him regain movement, and that his arm would remain permanently in whatever position they placed it. Paul then instructed the surgeons to set his arm at an angle that would allow him to cradle and pick the guitar. It took him a year and a half to recover.
For non-guitar players, Les Paul not only invented the guitar that bears his name, but also was a fantastic player and a true innovator regarding studio equipment. He is credited as a pioneer with respect to multi-track recording.