Viewing 17 posts - 1 through 17 (of 17 total)
  • Broken Collarbone Recovery Times
  • Blackflag
    Free Member

    Its my second time in a sling and 10 years since the first and my memory is vague as i’m old. So, ive read all the NHS stuff but what are your real world experiences?

    And how long before i can a) lose the sling? b) drive a manual car? c) ride a road bike? d) ride a mountain bike properly?

    I’m not looking to rush it, i’m just thinking ahead.

    welshfarmer
    Full Member

    Everyone is different. I had an Alps trip booked 9 weeks after I broke mine. I had a great time in the Alps doing everything that everyone else did. But I was determined to be fit so did everything I could to heal quickly. I was left shoulder and I was able to drive a manual car after about 3 weeks. I got on the turbo at 2 weeks, was doing light road rides at 4, on the level easy hill rides at 6 weeks and did a XC type race at 8 weeks. Then, as said, lift assisted enduro type Alpine trip at 9. No surgery. floating piece in the middle of bone rather than a clean break.

    crazy-legs
    Full Member

    First one, I was back on a bike in 10 days although taking it fairly easy. Second one (other side) was a more minor break and I think that was a week until I was back riding. I only used the sling for public transport (driving was too painful with arm elevated to put my hand on the wheel) which was actually very useful as people gave you a lot more room, offered you their seat etc.

    Both were relatively minor breaks though, neither required pinning or surgery.
    If you absolutely shatter it or there’s bone poking out the skin, it will be a LOT longer.

    jimw
    Free Member

    Depends a lot on factors such as age and severity of the break.
    I have broken mine twice, the first time I was mid 40’s and it was a relatively straightforward break so I was out of the sling permanently after about four weeks, on a turbo trainer at about the same time and driving at about 5 weeks. I didn’t go back on a mountain bike for probably 12 weeks. The driving issue is very much dependent on how you assess the risk, there is no hard and fast rule, basically the consultant told me I could drive when I was sure that I could look over my shoulder without pain and could complete an emergency stop comfortably. The limiting factor for me was mostly as it was a right shoulder break, the seat belt was right over the fracture site and I couldn’t tolerate it for very long. His point is that I would need to convince my insurance company that I was safe in the event of an accident.

    singlespeedstu
    Full Member

    I’m 20 months in and it still hurts every day.
    Hope you have better luck than I did.

    [url=https://flic.kr/p/2jiTmaW]IMG_20200707_082951594_HDR[1][/url] by multispeedstu, on Flickr
    [url=https://flic.kr/p/2jSPQf8]plate and screws[/url] by multispeedstu, on Flickr

    Singletrack Reader Awards - Most Desirable Mountain Bike: Atherton AM 150

    Singletrack Reader Awards - Most De...
    Singletrack Video Archive: Singletrack Reader Awards - Most Desirable Mountain Bike: Atherton AM 150
    Blackflag
    Free Member

    ouch! sorry to hear that singlespeedstu

    steveh
    Full Member

    physioclinic.net in Ipswich all used by all the pro mtbers/mxers/horse riders and others in the high impact sport world use them. I’ve been after a couple of collar bones and immediately less pain, more movement and good recovery. back riding mtb in 4 weeks gently, 5 weeks was pretty much normal on a week in Scotland.
    Will cost a few hundred quid and is 4.5 hours from me but I’d still go back in a heartbeat. Friends have used them too and all say the same.

    singlespeedstu
    Full Member

    Just for balance.
    I also went to physioclinic.net in Ipswich and it didn’t really help me any.

    shermer75
    Free Member

    As above, everyone and every injury is different, but if it’s an uncomplicated fracture and you don’t have any relevant comorbities or drink excessively or smoke at all (and obviously I’m assuming you are following your treating teams advice, not this) then:

     a) lose the sling? 2 – 4 weeks

    b) drive a manual car? Between you and your insurance, every insurance company has different stipulations. You need to contact them

    c) ride a road bike? Min 6 weeks

    d) ride a mountain bike properly? Min 12 weeks

    If it’s comminuted or displaced then it may take longer/need an ORIF

    UncleFred
    Free Member

    I’ve done mine 3 times, twice left, once right. All clean, undisplaced breaks. Last one was 6 weeks before Transpyr. On the turbo after 4 days, lost the sling after 2 weeks and back on the MTB two days before Transpyr start. But everyone and every break is different. Physio and coach both had the view that recovery should be determinded by pain.

    Broke my Pelvis back in January and that was 6 weeks before i could turbo and still not back on the road bike. Hopefully will be ok for the Dirty Reiver.

    judetheobscure
    Free Member

    My list of breakages (all as an adult) includes both collar bones (both plated), humerus (because the collar bone was reinforced – that one really hurt), four vertebrae (crush fractures from landing on my head), scaphoid and ulna.

    So I have a fair bit of experience of this but most of what I will write below has been relayed to me by orthopods over the years – i.e. it’s not ‘my’ opinion.

    Everyone is a little different but not that different and generally bones in (all) adults take six weeks to create a stable union, which is when you no longer need to provide the break with support. It will then another six to maybe 12 weeks to fully calcify. It doesn’t matter who you are, before at least 12 weeks, the bone is not fully healed and will continue to have a soft crumbly property that will come apart all too easily if you subject it to another knock. If that happens, your healing outcome can be significantly compromised.

    Fractures and breaks also vary; those people saying they were able to do x, y and z after breaking their collar bones haven’t had fractures that were displaced. When that happens (both mine ended up in three pieces), you lose all mobility in your top right quadrant. Plating merely stabilises the break; it doesn’t mend it.

    When I broke my humerus my consultant radiologist friend warned me from even going near a bike again before the end of three months and recommended at least four as a healing time. He said that an innocuous fall could cause the bone to crumble again and then my outcome could be very poor; worst case he said is that the bone dies all together and I’d risk losing the arm.

    In practise I felt fine to get back on a bike but having had that advice from him, I stayed well away (given that my track record for not crashing wasn’t exactly exemplary!)

    felltop
    Full Member

    Mrs Felltop broke her left collarbone on 30th December. Back riding a mountain bike properly after 12 weeks. After 12.5 weeks, big crash, left collarbone OK, right fractured…… Waiting for assessment by orthopaedic surgeon right now, to decide if it needs plating. She’s 64 going on 16.

    gardentiger
    Free Member

    It totally depends on the break. I did mine in an exotic way (not the classic hands out job), taking the impact direct on the top/back of the shoulder. My collarbone smacked against my sternum or dislocated at the inner end and the end fragmented into a comminuted fracture. I had 75% movement pretty much immediately and ditched the sling after a fortnight – being ‘guided by pain’. Mid shift fractures take longer and fractures near or between the ligaments at the distal end are even worse.

    gardentiger
    Free Member

    I should also say back on the bike after 6-7 weeks – gingerly.

    If the fracture is mid shaft or wider and more than 100% displaced you are looking at 12 weeks plus.

    adamweld
    Free Member

    So, just collarboned myself, looking for some advice. I was pretty sure it was just my AC joint since I can press on the bone without feeling much but the pictures show otherwise.

    Still waiting to see an ortho but I’m not sure how much I need to restrict my movement at the moment. I’ve been driving (manual) and typing since the incident without pain, it’s not displaced, and in fact pushing on the fracture itself doesn’t hurt more than a 2 on my scale. Range of motion is OK with some pain if I try and move too quickly or put my arm straight up. Not in a sling either since hanging down is more comfortable than tucked.

    Has anyone had a similar break that can advise on how their recovery went? I’m sure they will recommend avoiding surgery, which is better for long term strength? I don’t mind some more pain now if it’ll be stronger in the long run.

    [image removed – MODS]

    tjagain
    Full Member

    If you can avoid surgery that is best long term but imo only if the break aligns

    Judes post above is basically the right advice. 12 weeks minimum healing time. All those riding before that are gambling with future issues.

    timmycee
    Free Member

    Broke my right collarbone at the AC joint end 26 weeks ago.
    Back to work on admin after a week.
    Driving after another week (had holiday booked, 1000 miles to, around and back from Cornwall) was sore at times but not unbearable.
    Road/gravel after 12 weeks.
    Still kind of painful so went back to fracture clinic and it still wasn’t healing.
    Have been on one very tentative, wheels on the ground MTB ride a few weeks back. Have no confidence in my shoulder. Back to fracture clinic again in December, so fingers crossed for proper riding in winter.
    Been going at the calcium supplements religiously to no avail. Never had a break not heal like this one.
    May have over done it in the early stages plus I’ve separated this shoulder before so don’t think the ligaments are holding it stable all too well.

Viewing 17 posts - 1 through 17 (of 17 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

Thanks for popping by - why not stay a while?IT'S FREE

Sign up as a Singletrack Member and you can leave comments on stories, use the classified ads, and post in our forums, do quizzes and more.

Join us, join in, it’s free, and fun.