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recovery experiences from collar bone fracture

 

   


runboorun

Jan 22, 06 10:45

Post #1 of 25 (3022 views)
recovery experiences from collar bone fracture Quote | Reply

I did my first bike race yesterday, and it should have been a great day, but instead I found myself with a fractured collar bone caring for a downed rider that was in need of immediate medical care. The wreck involved about 15 bikes from what I heard later so I consider myself lucky that I wasn't being air lifted out of there and in ICU.
Nevertheless, I am going to be trying to get healthy enough to start training again ASAP since IMAZ is right around the corner. My xrays show that I do have a hairline fracture with a possible break on the top of the bone. I will find out more about the possible break tomorrow, but for now, I am trying to get an idea of recovery time before I can swim, bike, run again. I will probably start riding on the trainer in a moidfied position, and I can see myself running with a splint on and my arm secured to my body, but what about swimming? That's where I need the most work right now! Who has had a similar injury and can remember their times to recovery?
56-11...the only way to fly


toolguy

Jan 22, 06 11:05

Post #2 of 25 (3018 views)
Re: recovery experiences from collar bone fracture [runboorun] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Give it time to heal,I went to a DR and was told four weeks and your good,never wore the sling after the first,was moving the arm a lot to help it heal,then rolled over on it in my sleep,the pain woke me,went to a different Dr and was tols to sling it and not move it for six weeks,after the first week the pain had gone away and i was not taking any meds for pain, after rolling over on it, it hurt for six months and i had to take meds for the pain, A friend broke his but had no pain so he continued to ride and after nine months it had not healed and had to get it pinned


Da5idRicardo

Jan 22, 06 11:06

Post #3 of 25 (3017 views)
Re: recovery experiences from collar bone fracture [runboorun] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

I think it varies a lot so don't freak out too much by my experiences. I have broken mine a couple of times. Bothtimes I had very little arm strength for 6 weeks. I had a great deal of difficulty sleeping comfortably for about 3 months (like a rotator cuff injury) (I sleep with arms up...is this weird?).

I could imagine biking in a modified position. Running after a couple of weeks possibly, but swimming with any sort of power would have been impossible for me within 6 weeks.

However, mine was a complete and ugly break, and 8 years later I can still feel the join. A minor fracture could be a completely different story. Many bike/motorcycle racers break this all the time and are back in action the next week. Of course they are being PAID!

best of luck. Sorry about the bad experience in your first race.
James


(This post was edited by jamesh on Jan 22, 06 11:08)


Chris L

Jan 22, 06 11:18

Post #4 of 25 (3008 views)
Re: recovery experiences from collar bone fracture [runboorun] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

I broke mine in Dec a few winters ago. It was a little worse than yours, a complete break and displaced almost a CM. I could'nt do anything for about 2 weeks. After that I was riding the trainer one handed and skiing with one pole. After a little more than a month I could finally ski again with a backpack and use 2 poles properly. I was running after about 3 or 4 weeks. I don't think I tried to swim for about 2 months or so, but I was not in a real rush since it was during ski season. I remember being pretty freaked out the first few weeks that it was not healing right, but everything ended up being fine. Be patient, especially the first few weeks.


dbh1

Jan 22, 06 11:21

Post #5 of 25 (3005 views)
Re: recovery experiences from collar bone fracture [runboorun] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Listen to your Dr. and do whatever he says. I broke mine (hairline fracture) about 5 years ago. I didn't realize it was broken, just toughed it out for a week until the pain was gone. Months later I started getting numbness in my arm, and after several visits to the Dr. finally traced it down to my collar bone not healing back quite "straight," and pinching the nerves where the exit the chest cavity (thoracic outlet syndrome). After a couple of months of physical therapy, the numbness was gone, but I've never fully recovered my upper body strength. The numbness occasionally comes back, but doing a few of the therapy exercises for a week or so fixes it.

Bottom line, take it seriously and don't shortcut your recovery, you may be paying for it years later!

Unfortunately, I don't have a good story to tell about how I broke it--it was in a parents vs kids soccer game, and the kids were 4th grade girls!


TriBodyboarder

Jan 22, 06 11:50

Post #6 of 25 (3001 views)
Re: recovery experiences from collar bone fracture [runboorun] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Sorry to hear about the misfortune! I broke my collarbone about 7 years ago snowboarding. Cracked it in the middle, but it wasn't a compound fracture. Maybe similar to yours. I got that brace thing that pulls your shoulders back, and a sling. I took Advil for pain the first few days to help sleep and had to rig pillows to prop myself up so that I could sleep with the brace on. I wore the brace religiously for the first two weeks, then just the sling. I really babied my injury and drank LOTS of milk, at cheese...calcium-rich stuff. I didn't do anything more than walking (I wasn't into triathlon then...only surfing), and gained abut 10lbs in the 5 weeks it took to heal, but by week 6 I was as good as new. I know IMAZ is only about 10-11 weeks away, but really baby that injury in the first few weeks so the bone can calcify. I'd say spinning on a trainer would be fine, but you don't want that clavicle to be bearing any weight, so you might have to sit up while you ride.
------------------
My business-eBodyboarding.com


brider

Jan 22, 06 11:58

Post #7 of 25 (2997 views)
Re: recovery experiences from collar bone fracture [runboorun] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Mine was a complete separation, with the bone in 3 pieces. Basically, the outer part split down the middle. This happened in May, and I was out for the wholeseason. It took over a year before I could do backstroke.

With yours, you could be back on the road in 4 weeks.
---------------------------------------------------------------------
"People are always envious of those who are richer or those who are fitter, yet they are unwilling to do the same work as those who they choose to shoot down. " devashish_paul

http://www.bridersplace.com/


mcoker

Jan 22, 06 14:52

Post #8 of 25 (2973 views)
Re: recovery experiences from collar bone fracture [runboorun] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

were you at ATC earlier?
--
mcoker


tigerchik

Jan 22, 06 15:03

Post #9 of 25 (2966 views)
Re: recovery experiences from collar bone fracture [runboorun] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Oh I'm so sorry to hear that. I can sympathize with bone injuries, I've had several fractures. I was born with a fractured collarbone, but don't remember it at all.

Don't try to swim. That is putting a lot of stress on your shoulders and bones in that area. Like someone else said -- baby it.

"possible break on the top of the bone" -- ??? you should be able to tell, well your doctor should, whether the thing is broken or not!
_________________________________________
Proud member of Fishtwitch and the ST Grammar Police
send a PM for blog accesshttp://www.tigerchik2.wordpress.com"]


runboorun

Jan 22, 06 15:04

Post #10 of 25 (2964 views)
Re: recovery experiences from collar bone fracture [mcoker] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

that's me. Now I have made the connection..see ya at the shop
56-11...the only way to fly


runboorun

Jan 22, 06 15:07

Post #11 of 25 (2960 views)
Re: recovery experiences from collar bone fracture [tigerchik] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Since its Sunday, I had to go to the Minor Emergency Clinic, and I am not too keen on those places, but I wanted to get some xrays and get the ball rolling. Definitely their is a hairline fracture, but at the top, it looks like its either breaking or it could be the film. I am having othopod look at it tomorrow, and I will know more then. For now, I am just thinking about my possible options with IMAZ being my biggest concern.
56-11...the only way to fly


mcoker

Jan 22, 06 15:19

Post #12 of 25 (2954 views)
Re: recovery experiences from collar bone fracture [runboorun] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

awesome. I was reading this, thinking it was too coincidental to hear the same story from 2 people in the same day :)
speedy recovery, see you soon
--
mcoker


tigerchik

Jan 22, 06 15:28

Post #13 of 25 (2951 views)
Re: recovery experiences from collar bone fracture [runboorun] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Try to see an orthopod who deals with athletes a lot.

Get lots of calcium, good luck .
_________________________________________
Proud member of Fishtwitch and the ST Grammar Police
send a PM for blog accesshttp://www.tigerchik2.wordpress.com"]


jhendric

Jan 22, 06 15:42

Post #14 of 25 (2948 views)
Re: recovery experiences from collar bone fracture [runboorun] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Broke mine a couple days before xmas (similar to yours - small fracture, no displacement) and separated my AC joint (which, according to my brother who's an ER doc, is the more serious injury - bones heal quickly compared to soft tissue). I was able to ride the next day. Pretty much anything that provided support to my arm/shoulder was fine (such as riding with my hands on the tops of the bars), but moving was horribly painful. Never used a sling, but I couldn't even hold a cup of coffee with the arm for about a week.

It's been almost a month and I can do most things, but some silly things are just too painful, like sleeping on the same side as the injury. I also found that using my arm as much as possible (but within reason), while uncomfortable, seems to be helping it heal faster. However, I couldn't possibly swim, as range-of-motion is pretty painful in some positions. Running? Probably, but I don't run :)


(This post was edited by jhendric on Jan 22, 06 15:43)


runboorun

Jan 22, 06 22:52

Post #15 of 25 (2932 views)
Re: recovery experiences from collar bone fracture [runboorun] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Thanks for all of the replies. Its always helpful to get real life experiences opposed to "give it 6 weeks and take IB as needed" from the doc. I have been in denial that this injury will stop me from qualifying for Hawaii at IMAZ, but I am beginning to accept that IMAZ may not be the race I wanted it to be. If I can start swimming by the last day to request a partial refund, than I am stayin in and going for it, but if I have not been able to swim by then, I am pulling out and using the money for Buffalo Springs.
For the record, I wouldn't advise bike racing for anyone that has high goals in triathlon that season. Its not worth it.
56-11...the only way to fly


Football Mom

Jan 22, 06 23:10

Post #16 of 25 (2930 views)
Re: recovery experiences from collar bone fracture [runboorun] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

I went down in a solo bike accident and broke my clavical in two place, lucky it didn't break the skin. Whole body was sore and had no use of right arm for almost a week. I got a second clavical brace - which I highly recomment as they get pretty nasty quick and need to be washed frequently. About a week into it found out that sleeping propped up at an angle was much more comfortable. I started out just walking and kicking using a Boogie Board so I could immobolize my body well on it. Also got on the trainer as soon as I could sit comfortable. Jogged a 5K about 4 weeks after, quite sore but used common sense. Ran an 8 Miler 7 weeks after (still wearing brace) and slowly started back swimming.

Buffalo Springs may be a wise choice, but only you can judge how things are headling and where your training is. Fortuately swimming is the shortest of the three distances and has the least impact on your overall day.

______________________________
Have you hugged Your Mom today?


glitch

Jan 22, 06 23:39

Post #17 of 25 (2924 views)
Re: recovery experiences from collar bone fracture [runboorun] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

So there I was... playing soccer in Davis, CA in 2001 while wearing running shoes. Bad idea -- they had no traction on wet grass. I was sprinting down the field and tried to turn sharply. I flew through the air and landed on my shoulder and fractured my collarbone.

It just so happened that I was at a conference on medical imaging. A photo of my x-ray was shown at the last day of the conference and won some award (sympathy, mostly) but I was on a plane home by then.

Alright, so you really wanted to know about the fracture -- mine was very bad. It was distal (near the shoulder rather than near the neck) and the two pieces were very far apart. A couple of MD's wanted to do surgery right away, but an older more experienced orthopaedic surgeon that I saw recommended letting it heal on its own. It did. It's crooked and I have a lump at the break point, but it still works. I was doing simple things (e.g., typing) after one week and using it for most other things after two weeks. The basic rule is -- don't do anything that hurts.

There was damage to the rotator cuff, which I had previously damaged in a car accident, so I did a fair amount of physical therapy to strengthen some of those muscles. If yours is only a hairline fracture then you probably haven't torn the tissue in the area. You might still need/want to do some exercises to strengthen those muscles. These are actually good exercises to do anyway, and can help prevent some swimming injuries and keep things strong in case you crash on your shoulder again.

As everyone says, talk to your doctor about it. It sounds like you were acually pretty lucky. Sorry to hear about your crash and fracture!
__________
there was no one chasing us... distance is its own reward.


callidus

Jan 22, 06 23:53

Post #18 of 25 (2922 views)
Re: recovery experiences from collar bone fracture [runboorun] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Broke mine snowboarding a few years ago - complete break near the shoulder. I wore the shoulder brace thingy and a sling initially as I couldn't do anything with the arm. Was on some sort of pain killer also. Didn't/couldn't do anything for two weeks. The whole time I was drinking lots of milk. By about week 6 I had removed the brace but was still babying it, slowly trying to build muscle again (it's amazing how much muscle mass you lose when you stop using your arm). I broke it mid-December, I guess I was swimming again by Feb/March as I was trying to build upper body strength for my yearly windsurfing trip in April. My advice - baby it and make sure it heals correctly.



------------------------------------------------------------
Searching for the bliss of ultimate exertion.


SpinHo

Jan 23, 06 3:51

Post #19 of 25 (2911 views)
Re: recovery experiences from collar bone fracture [runboorun] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Take calcium supplements!!!!!!! Seriously! I won't bore you with my collarbone story, but suffice it to say supplements will help ENORMOUSLY.





"In order to arrive at what you are not, you must move throught the way in which you are not."
T.S. Elliot


blue_tool_guy

Jan 23, 06 6:46

Post #20 of 25 (2894 views)
Re: recovery experiences from collar bone fracture [runboorun] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Sorry to hear about your collar bone, did the same this summer and wiped up my whole New England season.

It will heal though. The docotor jokes, that I boke it really well and I would be lucky if I was running in 12 weeks. I was 36 and 10-12 weeks is the typical time they give.

It throbbed like a bastard for two weeks, couldnt sleep, was in constant pain. Suddenly one day the throbbing went away, gradually my arm got full range of motion. It was a week by week thing.

Saw the doctor 7 weeks out, it felt preatty good, but a little odd still. Doctor did 2-3 stupid tests, push down, push my hands apart ect.. Looked at an x-ray, sent me on my way. Gave me cleranace to swim, run, lift, told me to take it easy on the bike because the bone was still healing, didnt want me to crash again.

You will get through, it will heal faster than you thing, but not quick enough to do the kind of training you want. Take a few weeks off and let it heal, you will be glad you did and it will heal faster. I did calcuim supplements but have no idea if that helped.

Good Luck!!


runboorun

Jan 23, 06 6:56

Post #21 of 25 (2889 views)
Re: recovery experiences from collar bone fracture [clysedale] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

I am giving a thumbs up to the calcium supplements. I will be chasing them with a 1/2 gallon of milk. I am going to have to restrict me normal eating habits too since I tend to gain weight fast. The internet and this forum are great assets to an athlete in need of information.
Maybe I will get a bionic arm out of this and I can just do sidestroke with my Super Arm?

Hey, just a thought...for any swimmers out there, what stroke puts the least pressure on a collar bone?
56-11...the only way to fly


support crew

Jan 23, 06 17:10

Post #22 of 25 (2862 views)
Re: recovery experiences from collar bone fracture [runboorun] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

http://forum.slowtwitch.com/...=gonnagitcha;#202443

Support Crew
This information contained herein has been assembled for your assistance and convenience. It is believed to be reliable, however, its accuracy cannot be guaranteed. All opinions shown are subject to change without notice.


mcoker

Jan 23, 06 17:13

Post #23 of 25 (2860 views)
Re: recovery experiences from collar bone fracture [runboorun] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

dude, a bionic arm is the best idea I've ever heard.
--
mcoker


Aus(Justin)tin

Jan 23, 06 17:15

Post #24 of 25 (2859 views)
Re: recovery experiences from collar bone fracture [runboorun] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

I had a clean break. Within 4 weeks I was racing BMX bikes again, pulling up hard on the bars and taking lots of jumps.

----------------------------------
Justin in Austin, get it? :)

Cool races:
- Redman
- Desoto American Triple T


DonL

Jan 23, 06 18:27

Post #25 of 25 (2849 views)
Re: recovery experiences from collar bone fracture [runboorun] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

I agree with the advice you are receiving. Healing can vary widely depending on the person and the break. Personally I am still recovering 2+ years after a bike fall, surgery and therapy. Hopefully you will have a quick and full recovery. Best of luck.

   
 
 
 



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