- Thanks, how long and what will happen next?
I had a little bit of a stack at BikePark Wales last Saturday on the Vicious Valley section which resulted in the head of my left humerus being shattered into 5 pieces.
I’d like to thank the guys at BPW for all their post crash assistance, and also the guy who stopped to check we were OK while Stewart was sorting me out on the trailside.
To the guy who rode past shouting ‘don’t leave your f****ing bike on the trail’ while Stewart was trying to get me out of the way – you’re a cock. I hope the same happens to you sometime, especially as the bike wasn’t even on the trail.
So now I’ve got that off my chest: what can I expect to happen now? My 1st fracture clinic is Friday but does anyone here have any experience of this sort of injury?
I know it’ll take quite a while to heal but don’t have much more info at the moment.
Cheers in advancePosted 6 years ago
Get well soon, Pinky!
*or, ahem, your you know what arm?Posted 6 years ago
You’ll be put back together, your bones will heal, you’ll be a bit stiff, you’ll get some physio, you’ll become less stiff, you’ll have a shoulder that works pretty well, your shoulder will get stiff on cold days, you’ll get arthritis in your shoulder when you’re older and then you’ll die.
In short you’ll probably be grand.Posted 6 years ago
CaptainFlashheart – Member
*or, ahem, your you know what arm?
I’ve always had to put down one or the other – opposite sides had never occurred to me 😯
Nights in the pub will never be the same againPosted 6 years ago
CaptainFlashheart – Member
Get well soon, Pinky!
*or, ahem, your you know what arm? ‘fraid so. Got all this time off work* and can’t even have a decent
*been signed off for 3 months – I’m gonna go mad!Posted 6 years ago
Use your other hand. Feels like someone else is doing it.
Drinking your beer, that is.Posted 6 years ago
Had similar last August. Mine wasn’t shattered, clean break.
6 weeks to heal and many months of physio – infact still another year to go. You’re probably in it for the long haul, hopefully you’re younger than me and won’t end up with some side effects (problems with my hand).
I had 7 weeks of hydrotherapy once a week which was amazing and really aided my recovery.
The first 2 weeks were the worst, pain wise, sleepless nights etc., it will soon pass.
4 months before I could drive and 5 months off the bike. Also couldn’t work for 3 months (very bad as I’m self employed)
Really hope you mend soon and will be back on your bikePosted 6 years ago
Thanks Bunnyhop. I’m 48 if that helps although the Prince Charles hospital in Merthyr managed to add another 10 years to that.
TBH I feel more like 158 ATM.Posted 6 years ago
Ouch. That sounds rough for you OP.
I’ve nothing to add except healing vibes. Go well.Posted 6 years ago
Not so bad but I fractured my shoulder ‘greater tuberosity & humeral neck’ in March. I was pretty mobile from the start which helped. But what they ^^^^ said. 3 months off bike – 12 weeks is more realistic for the bone to heal properly. Regular physio – still going & building strength back up gradually. I”m a wee bit (but not much!) younger than you & it is harder to bounce back than the younguns; but don’t worry you’ll be right. Oh & don’t rely on the NHS… Find a good physio.Posted 6 years ago
My mate did something similar. It’s a very long story and not that good. Blood flow is important as if the bone doesn’t heal there are some serious implications. He ended up with Dr funk in Wigan with a new fangled humeral head replacement.Posted 6 years ago
Fractured mine in a couple of places back in February. Initially things went pretty well (if you don’t count the pain and the inability to sleep properly). I didn’t take any time off work, but then I don’t have a manual job and type one handed anyway. Set the bike up on the turbo after a couple of weeks to maintain fitness and had the first outdoor ride (a gentle bimble with the kids) after 6 weeks. So, all in all, I guess I got off pretty lightly. I’m 49 by the way.
However, I still can’t lift my arm above my head (or get the weight back properly for manuals etc) and the physio has basically diagnosed this as a “frozen shoulder” which they can’t do much about. It should resolve itself, but may take 2-3 years!
Mind you, I was pretty crap at manuals anyway and at least now I’ve got an excuse 🙂 Actually the only thing I can’t do that I’d like to is put the bike on the roof rack. It has had a significant effect on my riding though and I’m much more likely to walk anything even slightly dodgy as I really don’t fancy doing it again. But I dare say the confidence will come back in time and in the meantime I’m learning to enjoy the pleasures of less demanding XC rides. Exploring new areas etc.
Anyway, good luck. Hope you are back on the bike sooner rather than later.Posted 6 years ago
Mr Bunnyhop here
As Bunnyhop says this is not going to be quick sadly. The best advice I can give is to speak to your fracture clinic when you first go on about getting physio as soon as practical. You don’t want to cause further damage, but you don’t want lack of physio to lead to other issues.
We knew no better so only went to physio when the fracture clinic signed off her break and sent us along after six weeks in a sling. In that six weeks, Bunnyhop had taken her arm out only occasionally. Physios were not quite horrified but definitely disapproving – had we gone along earlier they’d have asvised on exercises to prevent the stiffness in joints and so on that lead to restrictions in mobility and other issues. It’s not quite a frozen shoulder (voice of experience here after a collision on a ski trip – that’s another story) but it’s taken several months to get the injured arm moving “properly”. Even now Bunnyhop doesn’t have the full range of movement and strength of even her left arm, never mind of her right arm before the break
best of luckPosted 6 years ago
Thanks for all the feedback folks, much appreciated.
I’m planning on seeing what can be done privately after the first clinic as I want to get it sorted ASAP, obviously.
PinkyPosted 6 years ago
Had a clean break at top of my humerus about a year ago, so recovery probably easier for me but there may be some common factors.
First of all, if you’re right handed – be very grateful it’s your left! You’ll probably appreciate this more fully later in your recovery.
When you go to fracture clinic, don’t be afraid to ask the doctor to slow down and give you an overview of the process you can expect. I found this was lacking and had to nag a bit.
I found the NHS physio service good, but resources are definitely an issue and I think this may have lengthened my recovery.
You’ll lose a lot of strength in your arm – and for me that was one of the biggest problems getting back MTBing – I felt like I wouldn’t be able to hold the bike straight after drops or on v technical stuff.
As I said it’s almost a year since my break and I’ve only just now getting back to the same sort of downhill speed that I had before.
Someone mentioned turbo trainers – I got one and put my road bike on it for the summer in the living room, pedalling along to the tour de france highlights on Sky Plus. Did a lot to keep me sane and actually did my fitness good and I had probably gained a bit by the time I was ready to hit the roads/trails again.
Roverpig – Drop me an email if you want to talk about frozen shoulders, I was in same position as you but have just about overcome it. Might be able to give you some tips/encouragement.Posted 6 years ago
If your midlands way let me know and the mate who did his is working that way and I can pass on his details.Posted 6 years ago
Were you the guy in the Marmite top? Heard you’d had a stack as we were stopped at the end of vicious valley. We heard it was just a collar bone, if we’d known it was rather bad we’d have headed up.Posted 6 years ago
Very similar to chakaping (who I got in touch with and gave me some fantastic advice from here).
I too borrowed a turbo trainer and it really helped with getting some fitness back.
Strength is still an issue, not helped by another stack a few weeks ago when I bruised a rib.
Very unsteady on my mtb and confidence is an issue now. (my accident wasn’t from an mtb btw, fell from a speeding stunt micro scooter 😳
I have partial frozen shoulder which is still giving me problems, also the area of impact was on my elbow and that is still bruised and tender 11 months on.
YOu can’t rush these things, nature has to heal you.Posted 6 years ago
Cheers mikew, I’m in the deepest darkest depths of Cheshire though.
mrhoppy – Member
Were you the guy in the Marmite top?
Yep, that was me. TBH I thought it was just dislocated – turns out I was a little bit wrong. Don’t worry about it, I was in good hands. Thanks anyway though.Posted 6 years ago
Healing vibes. Have a check whether you can access exercise on prescription as part of the rehab, gives free access to gym which might help maintain fitness whilst you recover. Worked wonders for Mrs Hoppy during rehab from an op.Posted 6 years ago
Cheers, will look into thatPosted 6 years ago
Just to add to/ reiterate what’s been said. I did my left arm & am right handed – phew. I’d have been stuffed otherwise. Also got a turbo trainer & was on that by week 2. Couldn’t really lean on the handle bars but it kept me sane. I paid to get an MRI which was invaluable as it showed the full extent of the fractures, but also crucially, identified that I had no tendon damage. All this was on the advice of my physio who then as soon as the results were in gave me exercises to do, so week 2 I was already working it. I’ve been seeing her once every 2 weeks, until this month & am now at longer 3 week intervals. She too identified the potential for frozen shoulder & was really careful to watch how my range of movement developed. She was primed to get me to the docs for a steroid injection if needed, because as people have said it’s a weird condition that can linger. I’m now at exactly 4 months & have great range – not perfect, but overhead all good & am building up to full weight press-ups. Not quite ready for handstands yet!
My advice, be proactive & go get/ pay for if you need to, whatever you it takes to get mobile & active again. If you get given exercises, do them daily.
All the best, let us know how you go.Posted 6 years ago
Don’t take ibuprofen for the pain as it inhibits the release of a chemical needed to heal the bone, take co-codamol instead. First couple of weeks really sore then it gets much better. Take the pain killers don’t try to be a martyr.Posted 6 years ago
Also, do wee bit research on the different stages of healing it helps you to understand why your arm is making certain noises that might concern you but are in fact entirely normal.
Thanks for the offer chakaping, I’ll drop you a line.
A few more bits of advice for the OP.
Don’t hesitate to get the consultant at the fracture clinic to explain things a few times.
Don’t feel afraid to ask for a second opinion. I had one consultant who was keen to start physio after a couple of weeks and another that was firmly of the opinion that I should leave it in a sling for at least 6 weeks then he’d start physio (to sort out all the problems caused by keeping your arm in a sling for 6 weeks!).
Don’t assume that they actually know what is best for you. They are basically working to a script for what seems to work for most people and even that isn’t necessarily optimum, it’s just what seems to work and doesn’t cause too many problems for the general population (who tend to be older and more sedentary than you).
Do keep as active as you can and learn to enjoy what you can do rather than get too stressed about what you can’t. It will all recover in the end.Posted 6 years ago
Another thing OP – I tried to cut the co-codamol back a bit as it was making me fuzzy headed, but that just led to more pain, less sleep and increased crankiness.
The first few months were quite hard and frustrating TBH, and being on co-codamol all the time can make the process a bit confusing too.
Good luck with the healing, keep us posted.Posted 6 years ago
Chakaping – that is exactly how I was.
Just a bit more advice – as above I wore my sling a lot, however I saved my neck and elbow from further physio by resting the arm (in sling postion) on a cushion (mostly in the day so the weight wasn’t in the sling which may be pulling my neck.
I was then able to move the elbow joint as it was out of the sling. Other wise you could end up with a stiff neck (you’d be amazed at how heavy an arm is) and stiff elbow.
I always wore the sling at night and when out and about (had to sleep sitting up for at least 6 weeks) so the arm didn’t move around and was supported.
I also lost quite a bit of weight and was continually cold. Your body has had a shock and is using up many calories to mend itself, so I ate healthily, little and often.
I hope you understand the above. I’m better talking on a phone than typing things out.Posted 6 years ago
Hope you’re seeing some progress and feeling better Bunnyhop.Posted 6 years ago
Frozen joints will be your biggest problem, all you’ll hear is people telling you to take it easy don’t move and allow nature to take it’s course. Definitely get advice from a specialist on this as if your shoulder freezes you’ll have no end of problems.
I’ve always stuck with the advice a specialist gave me when I broke my Scapula (shoulder blade) in two and that was to get the joint moving as soon as I could, I started with little movements, just letting my arm hang and circling it around as far as pain would allow, over time these movements got bigger and as a result I needed no physio and suffer very few ill effects today. If I’d not had the advice and just had the fracture clinics I’d probably still be suffering today as they really were useless.
I’ve just recovered from a broken pelvis around my hip socket along with a few other things and whilst I had to be non weight bearing for the first 4 weeks I kept it moving and am now walking (almost) fine without the need for physio 5 weeks on. Just sitting around not doing anything and feeling sorry for yourself can just prolong the pain.
Speaking to a specialist who knows your specific injurys is the way to go, I found the fracture clinics to be useless in this regard.Posted 6 years ago
Let the bone healing part get well under way, but keep your fitness up generally. I’m of the belief that exercise drives blood flow around the body and the site of injury which helps healing. Don’t do anything that you don’t feel ready for, though from experience, light bit of gentle riding before you may have been fully signed off (which could be months away) is okay if you feel the bone knitting is done. But officially, take the doctor’s advice 😉
Physio is the big one though. NHS won’t give you much, but grab what you can for free anyway, but if you feel it’s not doing enough, get some private physio. Important thing is to keep the exercises up and get joints moving asap. Something I’m struggling to do enough of at the moment after my BPW off recently, though as mine was hand/finger related it turns out gripping bars and pulling brake levers is pretty good physio 😀
Ps, Merthyr A&E were quite reasonable in my experience. I’ve had far worse.
And NHS fracture clinics are basically box ticking services with the intention to get you off their books as quick as possible. Push for the physio as they may not want to offer it. It’s occupational based so they judge the need based on the injury restricting your job.Posted 6 years ago
Just got back from the clinic. Had more xrays & shoulder doesn’t look as bad as previously thought – it appears to only be in 3 pieces and they seem to be settling in OK but I’ve got to go back next Friday for more xrays.
Surgery is looking less likely though.
I’ve also been given some basic exercises to stop me seizing up.
Certainly not sitting here feeling sorry for myself and am on Co-codamol but by ‘eck they’re strong.
Once again thanks for the advice & suggestions.Posted 6 years ago
Hope you’re seeing some progress and feeling better Bunnyhop.
Ah thanks Chakaping, same to you.
I hope everyone who is going through all if this is getting all the help they need and a quick, painless, recovery.Posted 6 years ago
Pinkster – I can’t give you any words regarding the bone break.
But I know just how bad the Asebstos problem is in the Prince Charles Hospital – your shattered limb isn’t your biggest concern 😉
Best of luck with the recovery 😀Posted 6 years ago
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