New year, broken hip

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  • New year, broken hip
  • rjj

    I dont comment much on here due to work but that may change as I am know off work for at least six weeks due to breaking my hip at the weekend after I hit some black ice whilst on the road bike – silly mistake to make. I now have a metal plate bolted the the top of my femur and have to undergo further tetss to make sure that I dont have a weak skeleton as it is rare for a 34 year old to actually break their hip!

    Anyone else have experience of this or can offer guidance on how long the recovery will take?

    Cheers and a happy new year to all



    Heal quickly!

    Double Ouch, GWS. Sounds like a heavy impact. Mate broke his hip in his 30’s after he fell off a 4 storey scaffold.

    Premier Icon Straightliner

    Get well soon, that’s a horrible thing to have done to yourself, and fingers crossed that all is fine in the not too distant future.


    I smashed my femur when I was 17, good luck heal fast.

    Premier Icon wwaswas

    I broke my hip when I was 36 (12 years ago).

    mine was a femoral neck fracture;

    I was advised by a GP friend to have a bone density scan for the same reason you have been – I was too young for that type of injury.

    Result was that I had the bone density of a 75 year old man. I was advised to do two things;

    1) take calcium (with whatever it is that helps absorbtion Vit D? Iron?) supplements

    2) do some impact exercise (obviously post being weight bearing on the leg again).

    I managed to return my density to age normal after 2 years and I’ve had bigger offs since with no significant bone damage so it’s clearly had some benefit.

    I also saw an endocrinologist (sp?) who did hormone tests etc but these were in the normal range (low testosterone can cause density issues).

    If the exercise etc hadn;t worked they’d have moved to some sort of drug treatment I think.

    For the immediate future I’d recommend;

    1) gettign physio asap.

    2) not let them treat you like a 70 year old where just ‘gettign mobile’ is the goal.

    3) get a full set of stretches – gettign full movement back in your leg is really important.

    4) do the stretches *a lot* even if it hurts (which it will if you’re doign it right but talk to physio about how much hurt to settle for). If you’ve ever used a foam roller then it’s going to be like that for a while when you do anything that pulls on the scar tissue and you’ll find that the whole leg will begin to atrophy quite quickly when you’re non-weight bearing.

    5) once you’re partial weight bearing walk a lot (I did 2-3 hours a day) – it really helps with building up strength and combined with stretches led to regaining full use.

    I assume you’ll get x-rays to make sure that bone necrosis hasn;t set in ont he ball of the hip due to loss of blood supply and hope this is all ok. I was told if I’d been 40 they’d have just gone straight to a replacement hip for this reason.

    Also, talk to your surgeon and ask about having metalwork removed in the future – I had my bolts out after 2 years and if nothign else not trapping muscles between bolt heads and desk/table edges was worth an overnight stay in hospital and a couple of weeks off the bike.

    sorry for the essay and hope your recovery goes well!

    Premier Icon Northwind

    I broke mine about 7 years ago- broke through the neck and slightly displaced, reattached with 3 big-ass bolts. I wasn’t doing bikes at the time so can’t give much comment on how it affected that- I was pretty unfit tbh. I was 4 months on crutches with reduced weight-bearing (that was extended from 10 weeks for caution’s sake) then allowed to weight-bear normally but was pretty debilitated by a mix of the surgery damage and the lack of use- I could have worked the physio harder, tbh, but I did all that was recommended. Make sure they know what the goals are- for me it was just “get back on a race rep motorbike” so they tailored it for flexibility, I didn’t need the strength I do now… But for a keen cyclist they should tailor for that. The basic job is just to get you walking, you need more.

    So, 7 years on… You’d not know it to ride with me, it doesn’t make much difference. I suppose I’ve had to work harder to get up to my level of fitness, but I’m still a stronger rider than most so that’s cool. It does hurt every day but I gather that wasn’t expected- it’s not bad enough for me to want them to open me up again though! I limp a bit, sometimes, but I can do anything I want to do, with just a slight loss of mobility. It’s largely the results of the surgery rather than the break, though- the bolt heads can be sensitive and cause irritation, and I’m missing some muscles. TBH I just treat the leg the same as I do the other so maybe that’s partly my doing.

    And yeah, bone scan- it’s perfectly possible to break your hip as a fully healthy 30-something but with me, it was osteoperosis caused by coeliac disease. Treatable and not life changing.

    All in all I give the whole experience 1 out of 5 😉 But I think these days, I’d have bounced back harder and faster with more motivation to recover and better fitness to start from. And considering the extent of the damage it’s pretty cool to be able to go downhill racing or ride up a proper french mountain with your mates. It changed my life for the better, probably.

    <edit- my bolts are straighter than Wwwaswas’s 😉 But otherwise pretty identical>


    Reading this is bad, I fell off Sunday also on black ice and landed on my hip, no major pain it’s just bruised but it just shows how easily it can be so much worse.

    Feel for you – all the best for a speedy recovery.

    Premier Icon Cougar

    1) take calcium (with whatever it is that helps absorbtion Vit D? Iron?) supplements

    Vitamin D. Get out in the sun.

    Mr Woppit

    Hi. Broke my back on September 1st 2013. After 4 months of slow recovery featuring a commute of rail plus short distances on my Brompton (after 3 months), I’m finally feeling like I will be able to return to the full 40 miles a day by February. Aiming to get back to the hills for some real biking in April/May.

    I’m 62, so you may well recover quicker than that!

    Good luck.


    Bad luck. I fell twice in five minutes on black ice on Boxing day, once on each side bruising my left hip and I’m amazed I didn’t break it as I’m 57 and don’t walk much nowadays – it’s all cycling. However I am the world’s no. 1 muncher of antacids, which are of course calcium carbonate so I wonder if that saved my hip? There are 680mg of calcium carbonate in a Rennie, equivalent to 272mg of calcium, which I take almost daily. Possible?


    Bloody hell Richard, you don’t do things by halves do you?

    Healing vibes from us mate


    I’ve read a lot of posts from people on various forums who’ve broken their hip after slipping out on ice. It doesn’t seem entirely uncommon, but this thread is interesting – it’s encouraging to know you can do stuff to help prevent it.

    Doesn’t help you though! So get well soon, and all that.

    Went down myself the other day. Lightly bruised hip (feeling lucky).

    Premier Icon wwaswas

    my bolts are straighter than Wwwaswas’s

    wish mine had been – he had to create a bigger hole in the muscle than the original operation when removing them so he could get some Mole Grips on (literally) as he managed to round one of the heads off a bolt.

    here they are ‘out’

    you can see the damage at the top of one.

    (coin present for scale purposes only).

    Premier Icon Northwind

    The last memory I have before going under pre-op is realising that they were using a Draper torque wrench. Stop the surgery, I have Halfords Pro! I did get individually custom-machined bolts though, which is definitely a step up from the stick-on go faster stripes I used to use to max up my leg

    Mine are still in, had a chat to the doc about it and they basically said “Meh, give us a good reason to go in either direction and we’ll do it but the default option is not chopping holes in you” which seems reasonable.

    If the bolts arent causing any trouble leave them be, second operation is putting you at further risk of infection. Anaesthetised a patient today to have his hip joint totally removed because of infection secondary to an arthroscopy, not cool.

    Premier Icon Northwind

    Aye… They give me some bother but nothing worth rolling the dice over IMO.


    All the best with the recovery


    Hope all goes well and you get back soon.

    I have now seen eight hip fractures in young cyclists who have fallen on ice.

    Temp less than five and I don’t road bike now.

    Jet (orthopod)

    Clearly there are many more folk we don’t see but it is scary….


    I broke my hip around 25 yrs ago while running!

    I didnt fall or run in to anything either… I kid you not!

    Took a number of weeks of lying on the sofa to heal, Incredibly painful at the time.
    It was a long time ago and I have never had any issues similar.


    I fell on mine on Boxing Day on ice, easily done, and it still hurts, but only bruising.

    I hope this doesn’t happen to me! But worry it may.

    Saw a forty year old road cyclist last week with a fractured hip falling on ice as well. Road bikes and ice are a bad combo it would seem.


    I had a total hip replacement 18 months ago – septic arthritis not a accident. I had 4 months with no hip joint at all but was back on the bike 8 weeks after operation. Make sure you exercise your lower leg as much as you can to stop muscle wastage elsewhere. My best exercise was walking in the swimming pool and can be done with minimal weight bearing and as soon as wound is clear. Also Pilates for core strength around your hip.

    Still hurts and needs more mobility but got used to it.

    Good luck and keep a diary – it will remind you how far you’ve come when you get down…


    Broke mine a five years ago, it was badly displaced, re attached with three srcews. Had the screws removed about a year later due to them sticking out and catching on stuff under the skin stopping me from working (do a lot of bending). I’m a low bone density case as well, so on vitiam D and other stuff.. Took nine months to get back to work (manual job)This could have been quicker if i’d paid more attention to my diet, my hip didn’t heal quickly but changed my diet and things started to come together, do your research on this! NHS gave me very little help on this but some hospitals are better than others about post op’ after care,
    Good luck!
    edit, must add i feel very lucky in that most of the time I feel like it never happened, really look after yourself, make your recovery the focus of the next six months and you should be as good as you were before 😀


    My mate did his hip last Sunday falling on ice, 3 of us went down like a sack of spuds and slid along for a bit, not a scratch on 2 of us…he ended up in an ambulance and had surgery the next day getting his fractured femur neck screwed back together. Bugger all you could do but not be there, road was verge to verge sheet black ice and you could even see it when you were stood on it.

    Get well soon and sent yourself some goals to aid recovery.

    benjamins11 – not wythenshaw hospital by any chance is it??


    Thanks for all the kind words and support. Spent yesterday doing some research around exercise and diet and hopefully I have put a successful plan together. TBH feel more sorry and upset that my wife now has to deal with three children without major help from me for a while as well as trying to sort out our new house!

    Premier Icon wwaswas

    feel more sorry and upset that my wife now has to deal with three children without major help from me for a while as well as trying to sort out our new house!

    that was the worst bit for me too – realising the impact it would have on my family.

    Our daughter was only 4 months old at the time. In the end I used to be parked on the sofa with a pile of toys, a changing bag and the baby whilst my wife got on with stuff. I think she got more time away from the baby than if I’d been at work, tbh, and I certainly spent more time with more daughter as a result.

    Try and think of it as 6 weeks or whatever at home with the family and try and plan stuff you can do together. Once you get up on crutches and are more mobile it does get easier (although I used to get really tired but that may just have been having a young child and broken sleep).

    Premier Icon Northwind

    FWIW, once I got the hang of crutches I was surprised by how little I couldn’t do. There’s wee life hacks and tricks you can find that make you more useful- ways of moving around or working one legged, etc. Even little daft things like, I found a plastic bowl that hooked nicely onto the end of a crutch grip so I could carry food around easily. Sounds like nothing, actually made a massive difference.

    I managed to change a motorbike wheel while still not weightbearing on the right leg, that was fun 😉 Obviously you need to be careful, but it’s surprising what you can do.



    I certainly hope that you are getting physiotherapy. It makes a BIG difference to morale and your chances of a good and full recovery.

    You should be getting hydrotherapy as soon as possible and at least once a week. Hydrotherapy is splashing about in a special swimming pool with a physiotherapist. After your first session you will feel a lot better, or at least less demoralized.
    You do need to get the hydrotherapy sorted out if you have plans to walk again. You will probably want to take your own swim-shorts rather than use the comedy-NHS-pair. But get physiotherapy/hydrotherapy As Soon As Possible.


    If you have a plate and screws then it will be something similar to this:

    You might find that you are going to be on crutches for a bit longer than six weeks.
    You will possibly be told not to put any weight on the affected leg (non-weight bearing) for the first six weeks. But you might be on crutches for a further six weeks were you will be told that you can only place half body weight on the affected leg. With a total of 12 weeks on crutches you can see how important to be getting physiotherapy. The hydrotherapy is the only chance you will have to practice walking because on the water will help support your weight.

    You will get fed up wriggling your toes but it does give you something to do to help with keeping the blood flow and foot feeling normal.


    There is a possibility that cyclists can be a bit more prone to hip fractures than runners

    Wearing impact-shorts can be a practical effective protection from hip and pelvis fractures.


    One of our road club in his 60s did his 2 weeks ago about 200m from his home after our Saturday ride. He was stuck in the gutter of a blind corner on a steep hill. He wasn’t sure how he crashed, but put it down to the winter crap on the road, and it’s a corner he knows incredibly well.
    Luckily a driver coming the other way stopped to help him as he would have probably been struck by a car coming the opposite direction. Surprisingly common injury, and he seems to be on good form now he’s out of hospital.
    Keep your chin up and do the physio!


    The physiotherapy is painful to do but it is important to get started ASAP.

    Yes, surprisingly common injury in cyclists and for a further reason not mentioned above; going down suddenly on one knee as will often happen as you lean into a corner will mean an awful lot of force from knee impact, sraight up the length of a strong femur. The weight of the descending body is against the ball sat in its joint up in the pelvis, so there is a powerful perpendicular force on the neck of the femur. I’ve watched this injury happen to a pal, turning right, leaning into a corner with knee out; bike slides out from under and kneecap hits tarmac with all the weight of the body behind it.
    Recovery, while slow, was complete.
    Get physio and if you can afford it, sort out private help as well from a sports injury specialist.


    This gives you an idea of the basic physiotherapy that you can do.

    But it is the physio in the pool, hydrotherapy, that makes a big difference.
    A sports physiotherapist might not be so useful at this stage.


    Thanks again for help and advice. Taken a look at the physio links and spoken to hospital again who say I need none at this time. TBH it is weight bearing and I can walk around on crutches so it’s not actually as bad as some those above so feel the need to man up a bit. Managed to get some chores done around the place today but it took about five times as long and the use of crutches as extendable arms.

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