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  1. #1
    Steve Peter
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    Broken collarbone but no longer after 1 week...is that normal?

    Hi all,

    I get hit by a car and fell on my shoulder. And yes I get a broken collarbone. Although mine still looks very intact. See on the image:

    Broken collarbone but no longer after 1 week...is that normal?-collar2.jpg

    I read everywhere that people are only getting back to trainer after 4-6 weeks at least. But for me, after 1 week it was no longer painful. At certain position it feels numb but not stinging anymore. I've been back to my indoor trainer since and every day I've been able to stretch my arm more and more.

    Is that normal or should I wait until a bit longer because my friend reckons the bone may not heal properly and may grow wrongly otherwise? I still wear sling day to day just in case although I can if I choose not to. I can already move my arm as high as my chest. Reaching handlebar is not a problem although pressing the brake will give pressure on the collarbone so I decide not to do that.


    Thanks heaps for the advice.


    Steve
    Last edited by stevepeter833; 07-26-2015 at 04:05 PM.

  2. #2
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Was it broke in half?
    What did the doctor say?
    You can do what ever you want, but if it doesn't heal, you'll be back in the sling for 4 weeks in a month.
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  3. #3
    Forever a Student
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    You're probably just fine. It would have a plate if it needed one to stabilize the break. Stay on the trainer but keep the pressure off of it. Keep your fitness and spirits up while letting it slowly heal. It'll probably feel healed in 3.5-4 weeks from the incident.

    This is an injury that can be a really big deal or a fairly minor one. You're on the minor side which is great for you.
    use a torque wrench

  4. #4
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    I broke my collarbone in a crash, and although the bone was completely broken and offset they didn't do surgery. I was off the bike, including trainer for 11 weeks, and in the sling for most of that. Docs insisted any pressure on the break from weight on handlebars, even on the trainer would make for a much worse condition and longer recovery. 65 yrs old.

  5. #5
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    I broke mine and a couple of ribs back in January crashing from my mountain bike. I had surgery to place a plate and 7 screws about 5 days after. Prior to the surgery my arm was pretty limp, but immediately post, movement was pretty good and I felt confident. Being no stranger to stupidity, I went out for about a 30 mile road ride (out and back). Got half way and it was starting to get sore, the ride back was terrible. I didn't do anything after that for 3 weeks and teh pain was worse than immediately after the crash. My advice is to take it slowly, I think my ride put me back about 2-3 weeks. My surgeon told me that he has had people rip screws out of these surgeries because they feel so good and go off to the gym and lift weights.

  6. #6
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevepeter833 View Post
    Hi all,

    Is that normal or should I wait until a bit longer because my friend reckons the bone may not heal properly and may grow wrongly otherwise?
    I broke my collarbone and sprained my AC joint on June 18, 2015.

    My orthopedic guy said I could ride indoors immediately, although I waited for three weeks which was one after I last accidentally caused myself severe pain at the break, and rode no-handed or on the tops until my AC joint was less sensitive.

    YMMV.

    My AC joint can still really hurt if things move wrong, as I discovered in PT today nearly 6 weeks later.

    I still wear sling day to day just in case although I can if I choose not to.
    They gave me a figure-8 brace which helped and is far more convenient.

    I can even put it on and off without help. I shrugged like that to remove my sweaty jersey after a trainer ride without thinking and the brace came off too; with motion like the scapula squeezes the PTs have me doing I figured that was safe. It goes on the opposite way. My doctor did not object to that when I asked and he told me to keep wearing the brace and riding inside until I came back in 3 more weeks (9 total).
    Last edited by Drew Eckhardt; 08-05-2015 at 06:58 PM.

  7. #7
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    I broke my collarbone last Spring and was on the trainer after 10 days and riding again after 15 days. It healed fine but for the usual bump. I broke it and rode back to the house about 20 miles thinking it was maybe not broken but I knew it was. Went to the Hospital and was given a sling. Bravo Spanish medicine system, the whole thing cost me 130 Euros. Sleeping was much more painful than riding.

  8. #8
    Pay heed people
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    A couple thoughts -
    First, you should redact some of your info on that picture. If it is actually your picture, your full name and DOB are on it. That's often enough for someone to get enough into your life that they can jack it up.

    Second, in that picture, it looks more like a separation to me, not a broken collar bone. I'm not a doctor, so I'm happy to be wrong, but it definitely looks like a separation. In which case, I wouldn't be surprised about a 1 week recovery. After I wrecked and dislocated and separated my shoulder last year, I wound up riding a race the next morning and the support from the handlebars actually alleviated the pain that was normally there from letting the shoulder dangle. (I didn't actually know for sure that it was separated and dislocated until 2 days later when the pain got to be enough that I went to the doc - at which point they called me insane).

    Whatever the case, listen to the doctor.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Corenfa View Post
    A couple thoughts -
    First, you should redact some of your info on that picture. If it is actually your picture, your full name and DOB are on it. That's often enough for someone to get enough into your life that they can jack it up.

    Second, in that picture, it looks more like a separation to me, not a broken collar bone. I'm not a doctor, so I'm happy to be wrong, but it definitely looks like a separation. In which case, I wouldn't be surprised about a 1 week recovery. After I wrecked and dislocated and separated my shoulder last year, I wound up riding a race the next morning and the support from the handlebars actually alleviated the pain that was normally there from letting the shoulder dangle. (I didn't actually know for sure that it was separated and dislocated until 2 days later when the pain got to be enough that I went to the doc - at which point they called me insane).

    Whatever the case, listen to the doctor.
    Have you previously injured that collarbone, and it healed. And this is a fresh break? At any rate, that's a break, not a separation.

    If you feel good and your doctor is ok with it, ride. I would give it until week three personally. I broke mine racing dirtbikes 8/30. It's still broke, doesn't hurt to ride a bicycle, but doesn't feel good enough to get back on the dirtbike yet.

  10. #10
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    I've had a very similar experience but took a very stupid approach to it and it has worked out "Okay". Got in an accident with a car last spring. Ambulance came, I told them to shove it (was unbelievably angry at the time, car had cut me off then slammed on the brakes at about 25 mph) and the police rode me home as my bike wasn't in shape to ride. Roommates helped stabilize my shoulder and clean me up.

    I was out riding the next day and continued my normal regimen like nothing had happened. Hurt a lot initially but I was riding road, not mountain so I dealt with it okay as long as I avoided cranking on the handlebars. About 2-3 months later I had full mobility/flexibility without pain. Occasionally it felt out of place slightly but other than that it was back to normal. The biggest issue by far is that my shoulder now has about a 1-2 inch sag compared to the intact shoulder which visually looks like I'm always carrying a heavy backpack from one shoulder. Swimming returned to normal shortly after as I was back to at least 3 times per week for about 4000 yards a trip without issue. I have developed the limping freestyle that I've always wanted because of the lower shoulder which was the only convenient result of the accident (even a little faster now too)... Turns out my collarbone was broken then sort of fused itself back together incorrectly. While this isn't a problem at all for me now, but I can't imagine it not coming up down the road as I get older whether it be flexibility or general use. Moral of the story, see a doctor right away, listen to him/her then go home and do what he/she says.

    You are miles ahead of me already but I would continue to be cautious as you approach returning to full action and take your time. The fact you are concerned by the fact you don't have very much pain has to be a good sign. Hope it turns out alright, good luck!

  11. #11
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    I and another racer I know were both back on the trainer in a week.

    I had to rig up a stand so I could ride sitting up right and rest my arm on that instead of leaning over. But it worked.

    I suspect it has more to do with the break/if surgery's required/etc, though, and surely isn't a one size fits all thing

  12. #12
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    Nice 52nd birthday present. Typically it takes six weeks for the bone to heal completely.

  13. #13
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    Picture worth 1k words, fall again and risk more damage and to a few critical things.


    Quote Originally Posted by Robt57/Me!
    Everything you read that I post is just '1' guy's opinion, try to sort it all out best you can. ;) I will try to add value in my posts, if I miss the mark please let me know using a little decorum.

  14. #14
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    [QUOTE=David23;4893143 . .even on the trainer would make for a much worse condition and longer recovery. 65 yrs old.[/QUOTE]
    Fractured my distal clavicle at 48 YO and was not able to sleep lying down for eight weeks, and no cycling for 12 weeks. Ortho said 16 weeks would be smarter. Bone matrix typically takes a very long time to stabilize.

  15. #15
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Yikes.. That is a scary graphic

  16. #16
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    I know this is an older thread, but couldn't stop from mentioning this: both are correct, the ac does appear separated, but it's separated as a result of the clavicular shaft fracture. To see it, follow the line of the superior scapula from the ac joint proximal and you'll see the significant discontinuity as it hits the mid scapula portion. You can also see the skin elevation and subsequent dip as you do the same.

    Dr. C

    Quote Originally Posted by Corenfa View Post
    A couple thoughts -
    First, you should redact some of your info on that picture. If it is actually your picture, your full name and DOB are on it. That's often enough for someone to get enough into your life that they can jack it up.

    Second, in that picture, it looks more like a separation to me, not a broken collar bone. I'm not a doctor, so I'm happy to be wrong, but it definitely looks like a separation. In which case, I wouldn't be surprised about a 1 week recovery. After I wrecked and dislocated and separated my shoulder last year, I wound up riding a race the next morning and the support from the handlebars actually alleviated the pain that was normally there from letting the shoulder dangle. (I didn't actually know for sure that it was separated and dislocated until 2 days later when the pain got to be enough that I went to the doc - at which point they called me insane).

    Whatever the case, listen to the doctor.

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