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I'm not Tyler Hamilton...(6 posts)

I'm not Tyler Hamilton...tazdag
Sep 30, 2003 3:52 PM
but now I appreciate his ability to deal with pain.

I hit a rock (wasn't even a very big one) I didn't see while night riding and went down hard. Fractured my collarbone in two places. What am I looking at for recovery timeline? Anything I can do to speed things along? Are calcium supplements of any use?

Five days after the accident and I'm still looking forward to being able to lift my arm straight out from my body in front of me. It is absolutely beyond me how someone could race a bike, or even ride one, in this condition.
Actually,......I'm Two Tyler HamiltonsTWD
Sep 30, 2003 5:19 PM
We'll, I'm almost two Tyler Hamiltons in terms of weight ;-)
That guy needs to eat once in a while.

Hey, I've ridden with a broken collarbone and separated shoulder. Messed it up on a MTB ride 1 1/2 hours from nowhere. Had to finish that ride, and rode another 5 hours the next day. Like I was going to sit around the camp site for the rest of my MTB vacation.

I'm a stud though. Ok, maybe not. It didn't hurt that much while riding, although the pain from the weight of my arm hanging there while standing was a killer though.

From my experience, and from what I saw of Tyler's ordeal in the Tour, all collarbone breaks aren't the same. If you break the bone clean through and it separates, you aren't going to be riding anywhere. If it's just cracked (like mine was)it still hurts, but probalby not as bad.

Tyler is still the real stud of course.

Don't know about recovery time, but unless you're getting paid to ride your bike, there aren't too many good reasons to rush getting back on the bike (at least outside), especially this time of year. OK, so maybe catching the nice fall weather is a good reason, but not good enough to risk having it heal improperly and give you trouble down the road. Cyclocross season, another worthy cause......ah nevermind.

I'd say, get on the trainer if you want to keep in shape, but don't put any weight on the bar with that arm if it still gives you any sharp pains.

There's my free uninformed medical advice for the day.

"I'm not a doctor......but I play one on RBR!"
Sep 30, 2003 6:07 PM
I'm no expert but I don't see how it would hurt to increase your calcium intake. The best way to do that is not with processed, manufactured suppliments but to use the same method cows use... eat lots of green leafy veggies.
eat yogurtdaCaT_
Sep 30, 2003 8:12 PM
It about the most bioavailable source of calcium there is. Your body cant rebuild without the right nutrients,
re: I'm not Tyler Hamilton...Jack9
Sep 30, 2003 9:43 PM
I broke my collar bone the same day Tyler Broke his, broke some ribs too. Went endo and hit very hard. I was on my trainer soon after the accident and started riding 5 weeks after. Just went to the Md. yesterday and my collar bone isn't completely healed, but he says I have a very big break. Showed the X-ray to my family Md. and he said "Wow that's a big break!" Also I'm probably older than you at 54.
Hey, you stole my line . . .ms
Oct 1, 2003 6:06 AM
I broke my humerus (at the shoulder) in a fall on July 3. I agree with what other have said above. Here are some additional observations/recommendations:

1. Eat well and do not worry about weight gain right now. I had both road rash and the break. So, I cannot attribute my body's reaction solely to the break. But, I ate more than usual, had less physical activity and lost seven pounds during the first two weeks after my accident. My doctor attributed the loss to the fact that my body was working overtime to repair itself.

2. Manage your pain. My guess is that you are in a great deal of pain, expecially when you try to sleep. I usually am reluctant to take pain medication. But, you need to get sleep and pain will be a constant drag if you do not medicate yourself. Talk to your doctor about pain medication and take it. This is not the time for a stiff upper lip.

3. Ride on the indoor trainer. It will keep you in shape and you will not have to put pressure on the break. Your speed and bike handling skills may deteriorate, but at least you can maintain your aerobic fitness.

4. If you do decide to ride outside (I have done it even though I still am not supposed to ride outside yet): (a) realize that your range of motion may be limited -- I learned this when I thought that I was OK, went to reach for my water bottle and could not; (b) notwithstanding what I said about pain management, cut back on the pain medication before a ride -- pain is your body's warning system that something is wrong. If the ride causes your pain to increase too much, you probably should stop the ride (and then take all the pain medication that you can get); (c) take a route without too many rough roads or potholes -- you will learn to appreciate a smooth road when you try to ride.

5. I cannot speak directly to your recovery timeline, but I can tell you about mine. Three months after my fall, I still have residual pain in my arm and have increased pain when I put too much strain on my arm (such as when I had to move stuff out of my flooding basement during Tropical Storm Isobel). I now have about 90% of the range of motion in my right (injured) arm that I have with my left. I would say that about 75% of my recovery came during the first month, the rest has been much more gradual. Although I got on the bike ten days after the accident (and did the first 72 km of the Etape du Tour twelve days after the addident), I really was not able to ride comfortably until eight or nine weeks after the accident.

6. Good luck for a speedy recovery.