Results 1 to 21 of 21
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    213

    Broken 5th Metacarpal Recovery Time?

    I broke the 5th Metacarpal in my right right hand 3 weeks ago (riding). The doc booked me in for a follow-up earlier than he meant to, so he ended up taking the cast off today. Unfortunately he was useless for advice on how long till I could ride again.

    I'm wondering how long till I can start trail riding again and how long till I can start riding downhill? (basic advice going from your experience).

    I'm a big guy 6'7" and 260lb so there's quite a bit of force when I land a jump.

    Obviously I'm not after any specific medical advice... just to hear about your experience with the same injury.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    88
    Hi there,
    I'm your size,and have had the same fracture.It's also called a boxer's fracture...that's how I got mine.I continued to ride before,and after cast removal.I experienced soreness for about four months or so,after cast removal.Let your body be your guide.Jumping was out of the question for a couple of months,as it resulted in swelling etc.I broke both my 4th,and 5th Metacarpal's.The bones mended really quickly,but as in a-lot of cases,including mine it is the surrounding tissue damage that takes longer to heal.If you bang the area in the next couple of months you'll know it..that's for sure! Good luck,and get back on that bike!
    Last edited by BigSwede; 02-05-2010 at 02:25 PM.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    213
    Thanks heaps for the advice. I'll give it another few weeks then start riding to work and some easy XC rides and see how it feels before I go smashing any downhill.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    199
    Give it time. I broke mine a few years ago. Broke it again in the same spot almost exactly 90 days later just riding xc and spent another 5 weeks in a cast. Down time is the worst, so it's best to just let it heal fully and do something else in the meantime. I wouldn't consider taking the big hits for at least a few months, but if you're young and your bones are still laying down the calcium quickly you might be able to do it earlier. I was 36 at that time and it definitely didn't heal as fast as other breaks I had in my mid-20's.

  5. #5
    ride the moment
    Reputation: Dogbrain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    809
    Broke my 5th metacarpal on thursday night. I was not riding. My dog was in the car. I had stopped at a friend's house for a bit and went back to the car to get my usb drive. When I opened the door she saw another dog and tried to bolt across the street. I managed to catch her harness with my pinkie finger only. 55 lbs at full trail dog speed and I felt the pop immediately. The break is not bad. The bone did not separate. It's really just a crack, but its in a cast. Needless tp say to you guys, the downtime is super flipping LAME! No, riding, swimming, lifting, or yoga. I'm gonna go bonkers. Maybe I'll get a pair of running shoes.
    Just because you read a book it don't make you conscious. - MC Lush

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    199
    I tried to do some trail maintenance during my down times...amazing what you can accomplish with with one hand using a pair of hand pruners and a small saw. That got me out on the trails and it was nice to see riding buds. The worst was when I shattered my radius...12 weeks in various casts and then a couple months of therapy to rebuild the noodle arm. My other hand got pretty strong with the pruners that fall and winter.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    10

    Broke mine too

    Hey Paranoid was wondering how your hand was coming. I broke mine riding back at the beginning of April and now 3 1/2 months later still having some soreness and stiffness in the hand and wrist. I was wondering how mine compared to yours. How did yours happen? I clipped a tree going about 10 MPH I caught the two outer knuckles breaking the 5th meta-carpal.
    Last edited by Shred303; 07-16-2010 at 10:28 AM. Reason: add title

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    199
    You can expect some soreness for quite awhile...even when the bone is fully healed there will still be twinges from time to time. Using a hand-exerciser (springy types of various kinds) and doing some PT stretching of the soft tissue in your fingers and wrist will help to ensure you get back any range of motion that was lost from the immobility period. Doing push-ups may be really uncomfortable for awhile but weight-bearing activities are good for bones (marginal benefit for a hand bone, though). For a boxer's fracture like this, no PT is usually necessary, but it doesn't hurt. I lost a bit of motion and still have frequent soreness from the radius fracture on the same side...sucks but you get used to it.

    If you still have sharp pain after 6 months or so you might want to talk to your doc or ortho for an xray, just to be sure it's healed or hasn't re-fractured. Mild soreness might be there for a couple years, and lots of people get weather-related soreness after a break. Not a big deal, really...you just get put into the scratch-and-dent category.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    213
    Quote Originally Posted by Shred303
    Hey Paranoid was wondering how your hand was coming. I broke mine riding back at the beginning of April and now 3 1/2 months later still having some soreness and stiffness in the hand and wrist. I was wondering how mine compared to yours. How did yours happen? I clipped a tree going about 10 MPH I caught the two outer knuckles breaking the 5th meta-carpal.
    I did mine when when some dick head clipped my hand while I was riding to work. He was riding on the wrong side of the bike path.

    I started riding after about 5 weeks and riding off road after 7 or 8. I have only very minor pain and stiffness and even that is very rare. I stopped downhill for other reasons so I've never really put it to a serious test but I'm sure it'd be fine. Good luck!

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    10
    Paranoid and Crank thanks for the replies. Very good for comparison. I still get pain when I put full pressure on my wrist so I'm definitely going back to the doctor and let him have a look. Today was the first day back on the bike, not just because of the hand it's really the first day I got around to it. 23 miles of road, rail trails and some rough railway service roads (work commute ride). Hand is pretty stiff, a little inflamed and a little sore and It's been nearly 4 months since the break. Doesn't seem normal compared to your experiences.

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    1

    Ouch!

    5-6 weeks of no riding?!?! Damn.. I just broke the 5th in my right hand two days ago. I was hoping to be back on the bike well in time for race season. But loosing that hope isn't as bad as facing 5-6 weeks of riding the trainer only! Well, I do have running shoes too, and plenty of trail to build and groom. I doubt I can work a shovel or benching tool but I should be able to build a bridge or two and work a chainsaw.

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation: HardTail4Lif3's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    12
    I broke the 5th metacarpal on my right hand, it took about 2 months to get back to 100% that was almost two years ago and it still hurts when i bump it.

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    6
    Broke my 4th. non-displaced fracture on Sunday.. Truly sucks with a 2 week old Tallboy LTC sitting next to me. Ugggg

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation: ricerockt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    10
    I broke the 5th MC last year and it took around 5-6 weeks before I was comfortable road or light trail biking, but it was a few months later before it was flly recovered. Just broke the 3rd and 4th on the same hand....still in the cast for another week. Hopefully it'll recover soon

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    2
    Broke my 5th metacarpal 7 weeks ago at Mammoth Bike Park. Went over the bars and slipped my pinky through the two by fours on one of the ramps, slid past it and it broke the MC. Had a cast on for 4 weeks. 3 weeks later, had a follow up xray. The bone is significantly shortened, maybe 5 mm. But what I'm worried about is the stiffness in my fingers and in my hand when making a fist. Still cannot make a fist.
    Anyone else have this? If so, how long did it take to work out the stiffness? Or ? And what kind of things did people do to get range of motion back?

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    213
    Quote Originally Posted by eastsidenils View Post
    Broke my 5th metacarpal 7 weeks ago at Mammoth Bike Park. Went over the bars and slipped my pinky through the two by fours on one of the ramps, slid past it and it broke the MC. Had a cast on for 4 weeks. 3 weeks later, had a follow up xray. The bone is significantly shortened, maybe 5 mm. But what I'm worried about is the stiffness in my fingers and in my hand when making a fist. Still cannot make a fist.
    Anyone else have this? If so, how long did it take to work out the stiffness? Or ? And what kind of things did people do to get range of motion back?
    I just broke mine for a second time. 3 weeks in to a 6 week stint in a cast up to the elbow. I found last time that it was shortened about 5mm but it didn't trouble me at all. As for rehab, I didn't do anything special at all. Regular use of the hand was enough. Maybe I masturbate more than the average guy though.

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    2
    So did you have the same stiffness (haha) in your hand after the previous break? inability to make a fist, etc?

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    213
    Quote Originally Posted by eastsidenils View Post
    So did you have the same stiffness (haha) in your hand after the previous break? inability to make a fist, etc?
    hehe Yep the hand definitely gets out of shape after that long immobilised. I felt pretty worried about clenching my fist let alone riding DH but it improved very quickly. A week made a huge difference.

  19. #19
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    10
    Just FX'd the 5th metacarpal (proximal break) yesterday when I hit a sandy soft spot on Brown Mtn above JPL. Right hand took the brunt of the force in the crash. 4-6 weeks in a cast. Could be longer but we'll see. Blows big time. No biking or SAR work for a while. Sigh.

  20. #20
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Zippy29er's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    133
    i broke my 5th metacarpal a little over a week ago in a race after i passed two people... bam! right into a small tree and only 2 miles into the 16 mile race. I broke my hand, my rear brake, and the small tree. still managed to finish the race without anyone else passing me which was a huge accomplishment in an expert level race for me since i had not done a race in about 13 years. I am in the cast 4-6 weeks. I go back tomorrow to get the first cast removed and for a fresh set of xrays, then hopefully only another 3 weeks of being in the cast after that. They could have at least molded it to my grips so i could grind out some gravel roads!
    Surly Karate Monkey, SNGLSPD
    Surly Puglsey

  21. #21
    mtbr member
    Reputation: dirtdan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    1,597
    I'm in for one of these injuries now too...

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •