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Broken bones... and training through to recovery(16 posts)

Broken bones... and training through to recoveryskimoviestar
Aug 9, 2002 12:07 PM
Hey LFR I hope you're feeling better! I feel some of your pain... I went down on my motorcycle two days ago and now have the pleasure of wearing the figure 8 and sling too. What can I do to keep my conditioning (or at least lose as little as possible) and keep my weight down while all my collar bone pieces try to regroup? This is especially frustrating since I was just getting into some local training/race rides and not getting mercilessly and uncerimoneously dropped like I did when I first started. Thanks in advance for all your ideas on this topic...
Aug 9, 2002 12:52 PM
My ortho happens to be a bike rider / racer as well. Plus I got some good tips from Sherpa.

What the Dr. told me wasn't much except to let pain be my guide as far as testing the limits on movement and weight bearing. His experience with cyclists and his own broken CB has brought him to the conclusion that we crazy roadie types tend to do whatever the hell we want to anyway and to hang with what the doctor says...

What Sherpa told me was not to worry if I couldn't bring myself to ride the trainer, especially since it's the end of the season. Look at injury breaks as well-needed rest from the stresses of training. When you get back on the bike, you'll be raring to go and in love with it all over again. If you bore yourself to death on the trainer, you might regret it and not look forward to riding as much.

It's safe to ride the stationary trainer. Hell my boyfriend rode his MTB (one handed, in a sling) to school and back every day right after he broke his in 2 places and cracked the scapula, but he's never been known for his common sense. It depends on how you feel about the trainer. Make sure your trainer is rock solid steady though. Clambering on and off of your bike / trainer while doped to the eyeballs on painkillers can be a bit of an adventure depending on how coordinated you are.

I despise the trainer. I've ridden it some, but for the most part I've settled for doing some pretty tough hikes in the foothills around Boulder to keep an aerobic base. My discovery is that the daggone thing hurts no matter what, so you might as well be out walking or hiking instead of flat on your back in bed or sitting on your butt watching TV, because make no mistake, it all hurts. The jarring from stepping off a curb or jumping off of rocks will get to you for about the first 2 weeks or so.

Without going into too much detail, you'll be able to tell when the fibrous join has been made and is solid enough to bear the weight of your arm (not necessarily your upper body), because you'll suddenly realize that the broken ends are no longer moving around (painful in the extreme).

As far as diet, just use common sense and don't go hog wild. Stick with a balanced diet of unprocessed foods (lean meats and vegetables, whole grains, etc.) and get as much fiber as you can while you're on painkillers (you'll know why). I find that when I'm less active, I'm also not as hungry as when I'm training, but I watch my intake carefully nevertheless and stick to things like salads and clear soups and really back down on my starch/sugar intake as much as I can.

A final word to the wise. Plan not to sneeze for at least the next three weeks.
Aug 11, 2002 9:45 AM
Hey LFR, thanks very much for the thoughts and advice. I feel the same way about the trainer and your ideas and experience are great help. My CB is broken in two place and, yes, I can't wait for the connections to be made because much movement right now really generates some serious and attention getting PAIN. In the meantime, the figure 8 is possibly more painful than the initial impact and injury. Oh well, I'll stop whinning (at least for now). Thanks again for the good thoughts!!!
go ahead, whine away :-)lonefrontranger
Aug 12, 2002 2:58 PM
I won't tell, only sympathize. My boyfriend officially deserves a Congressional Medal of Honor for having put up with me for the past three weeks. If you've never dealt with a stir-crazy injured female athlete forced to inactivity, then the term "b*tch on roller skates" should strike fear into your very soul. The poor guy was relegated to the guest bed while I healed, now THAT's rough!

And yes, I hated, hated, HATED that figure 8 brace. I feel your pain!
go ahead, whine away :-)skimoviestar
Aug 12, 2002 3:35 PM
Thanks... I just got back from the ortho and, of course, he wants me in the figure 8 for the next six weeks. Fortunately, he is a dedicated mountain biker and maybe if my brittle CB cooperates, he'll let me out early for good behavior. I can't believe I've got to sleep in this thing!!! So, any tips on riding the trainer with one of these things on? If it didn't hurt so much, it would be funny... a figure 8 and a trainer... now that is cumulative torture indeed! Thanks for the sympathetic voice out there...
Broke my CB in a Cat5 crit yesterday.Biking Viking
Aug 12, 2002 4:40 PM
Two fractures with a floating piece. I am lucky to have very little pain - actually it's just a slight discomfort. I only take Vicodin during the night to sleep - since they make me drowsy. Doc says I should be back on the road bike in 6 weeks and the mountain bike in two months. Once I've gotten enough strength in my right arm to true my rear Ksyrium, I'll be back on the trainer.

She said that even if the fracture looks scary, it will heal to 100% functionality - but I'll get a bump on my shoulder. Good luck to us both.

That is the friggin' coolest thing I've seen in a LONG time NMSherpa23
Aug 12, 2002 4:53 PM
why is everyone breaking collarbones? nmweiwentg
Aug 12, 2002 6:17 PM
why is everyone breaking collarbones?Sherpa23
Aug 13, 2002 8:31 AM
Because you probably put your hands out when you fall. Rule #1 in collarbone breakage avoidance: keep your hands on the bars. Yes, that's why I shave my arms, too.
Aug 13, 2002 10:40 AM
Sorry, have to disagree with you on this one.

If you put your hands out when you fall, you break your FOREARM (or wrist). Sherpa, have you seen the scars on my left forearm? That was a compound fracture of both radius and ulna which was the direct result of crashing while riding no-hands (I was fifteen...). Without the bars in hand, reflex caused me to put my hands down to stop myself... SNAP!

Since I've had proper coaching, I do not *ever* let go of the bars, even in the midst of one of those slow endos on the MTB I hang on, bend my elbows, tuck my head/shoulders under and try to roll and dissipate the impact as I fall. Partly because I'm convinced I'm gonna save it until I hit the ground. Partly because that is what I was taught: you hold your handlebars _all the way to the ground_, regardless. I broke my CB at Niwot partly because I hit the curb and "augered in" straight down without being able to tumble first. I have crashed and gone over the bars innumerable times on both the road and MTB over the years, and this is the first time I've ever been seriously injured racing.

A broken collarbone is much, much less severe and debilitating an injury than a broken wrist or CB. Take it from someone who's experienced both.
Think of it this way...Wayne
Aug 13, 2002 11:19 AM
your collarbone is a strut for the shoulder girdle. So any forceful blow from the outside or even downward (if ligaments don't tear and you seperate your shoulder) is most likely to break it since it's the weak link. Landing on an outstretched hand could break your collarbone since depending on the angle the force could also be directed medially through the collarbone via the humerus and scapula. But more likely in this instance your going to break your radius or worst case scenario, your scaphoid bone in the wrist. The latter is probably the worse because it has a notoriously bad blood supply, so it doesn't heal well, and often requires surgery to try to fix the problem down the road. Lonefrontranger is right, hold onto the bars, a fractured collarbone is the preferable injury!
Aug 13, 2002 11:44 AM
Well then I am wrong about that. Glad to hear that you don't let go of the bars, though.
That looks like mine! Hey BV, best wishes w/ recovery (nm).skimoviestar
Aug 13, 2002 8:16 PM
that looked like mine, tooweiwentg
Aug 14, 2002 6:41 AM
and I forgot to say it, but best wishes from me, as well. 6 weeks sounds about right (all things being equal).
two years ago..........Soultrain
Aug 12, 2002 10:05 PM
I fractured my C-6 vertabra(sp).
Had to wear a c-collar for six weeks. I was scared out of my mind that they would put me in a HALO. anyway, It healed pretty good. still get the ocasional muscle spasm from it. I have the film at home. You have to know what you are looking at because it is an MRI and just shows the horizontal slice, of the vertaba.
In about a month or so I'll post it here along with a pic of my new bike waiting for me.
Just try to stay positive. I didn't and
I nearly became an alcoholic after I hurt myself.
Heal fast and stay try to keep a positive attitude.
Daniel H.
Thanks Soultrain... PMA is good. Get the new bike pic soon (nm)skimoviestar
Aug 13, 2002 8:26 PM