How soon is too soon?

Printable View

  • 03-16-2016
    How soon is too soon?
    So I broke my L clavicle 4 days ago in first race of year and went to hospital and ortho as per usual. I have a non displaced fracture and do not require surgery. 6-8 weeks in sling.

    My question is about riding the trainer and how soon is too soon? The pain is pretty much gone and I have way more mobility than I remembered from previous clavicle breaks.

    I feel too damn good(and fit) to sit around and was wondering if the micro bobbing that occurs while riding the trainer even with sling on would cause the injury to worsen or if it would slow the bone setting process? I know there are healing benefits to getting the blood flowing regularly whilst injured but don't want to push it too far too soon.

    I know what Doctor will say so looking to you MTBR Doctor's for testimonies pro/con on the subject.

  • 03-16-2016
    Blood flow is good for healing.

    Go as much as you are comfortable with. Maybe just start with some light spinning and see how you feel.

    Only you know how much discomfort you can endure.
  • 03-16-2016
    Yeah I am good with the pain just wondering if there is any detriment to the healing process if I start too soon. Like should I wait a couple weeks to ensure the bone is set before starting.

  • 03-16-2016
    Bones generally heal at the same rate however larger bones take longer. There is some research that indicates we can heal bones faster by exercising, having a good diet and avoiding smoking.

    Your body can heal a bone by itself but it needs to stay aligned. To prevent displacement, broken bones are almost always supported with casts, or splits to reduce movement, while still allowing the you to stay mobile.

    That said , keep your arm in the sling and exercising the rest of your body should be ok. Exercising your legs, core and even your good arm. You just want to avoid any weight bearing too soon during the healing process

    I found this handy reference:


    The time it takes for a bone to completely heal and to be back to its normal condition depends on the type of bone that is broken and where it is located. Generally, bones with a reduced blood supply will take longer to heal. Other factors that affect the duration of the healing process include activities like drinking alcohol and smoking.

    Here is a list of the bones in some parts of the body and their estimate time of healing:
    Collar bone takes 3-8 weeks of healing time
    Shoulder blade takes 6 weeks of healing time
    Ribs takes 4 weeks of healing time
    Upper arm takes 4-10 weeks of healing time
    Lower arm takes 6 weeks of healing time
    Wrist takes 4-12 weeks of healing time
    Fingers takes 4-6 weeks of healing time
    Pelvis takes 4-6 weeks of healing time
    Upper leg takes 12 weeks of healing time
    Knee takes 4-6 weeks of healing time
    Lower leg takes 10-24 weeks of healing time
    Ankle takes 6 weeks of healing time
    Foot takes 3-12 weeks of healing time
    Toes takes 3 weeks of healing time

    I fractured multiple major bones last August. The first 3 weeks I physically could not exercise (I was limited to walking!) . I returned to the gym and my coaches introduced some movements I could tolerate. At each visit I did a few more reps and as my body mechanics allowed new exercises introduced. My bones eventually healed
  • 03-17-2016
    last year i had a pretty severe clavicle break. it was displaced and in pieces. there were 9 days between my break and my surgery, i rode a trainer on days 7 and 8.

    I guess i didn't have to worry about moving it around, it was going to get fixed anyway, but i think if i was doing damage the pain would have been unbearable. i kept it in the sling and just used one arm on the bars. (side note: be careful getting on and off, you don't want to trip/fall and make things worse. plus that would hurt like hell)

    if yours is just cracked, i think you would be fine after a week or two. of course use your discretion and if it hurts or feels wrong, stop.
  • 03-23-2016
    Thanks everyone.

    So I have been doing 30-45 minutes per night just to get blood flowin, keep legs alive and to burn calories. So far it seems fine, no pain whatsoever so I guess I will keep it going.

    I am still wearing the sling so it is hard for me to get a 'real' workout in. I cannot get both hands onto the hoods much less in drops so no intervals yet. Almost all z2 spinning but have been trying to get my HR up with 20 minute steady state sets and real short hard bursts every couple rides. Impossible to get HR where I am used to but I figure that as long as it is not hurting clavicle it is of some benefit for later when I transition back to road bike then mtb.
  • 03-23-2016
    Biking certainly is built on a culture of suffering! Like many of us who have had injury, like broken bones, tissue damage, we chomp at the bit to get going again, but remember sometimes more is not better. Do what you can while the break can heal. For the majority of us, a few more days isnít going to ruin a season. You had a good level of fitness prior to your injury. You've had a set back but now you are doing what you can, as tolerated. You will return to your former level (maybe even get stronger :) ) Keep spinning, and throw some squats and other strength building exercises :thumbsup:
  • 03-23-2016
    I hate to say it, but recumbent. Not on the road, but at the gym. no pressure on the arm, and you can get in a good hard workout. And stairs stepping if you really want to burn your legs without using your arms. Stairs are a whole lot more difficult when you can't move your arm.
  • 04-09-2016
    Too my case more was less. ;o(

    Went back for my 3 week checkup and the bone growth was not where he expected it to be. So I got honest and told him that I had gradually begun doing more and more with my injured arm because I felt so good. You know - riding the trainer, then riding trainer without sling, then riding trainer on hoods and in drops, not wearing sling around house, carrying stuff.

    He slapped me around, told me that he wanted me back in sling full time and to not carry anything heavier than a coffee mug for 6 weeks. Said if the growth doesn't occur we may be talking surgery.

    So that got my attention and I am following Dr's orders going forward. I am bummed as that kinda kills my race season but at this point I just want to be healthy and sound.