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  1. #1
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    Distal Clavicle Fracture... Experiences?

    Hijacked another thread in a different forum, thought this forum would suit me better.

    I had a distal clavicle fracture with some damage to the AC joint that required 'stabilisation'. I had a hook plate fixed in me 4 weeks ago and the crash was 5 weeks. I started riding on the road at 4 weeks post crash and have rode 5 days straight. Don't have any significant pain but a slight bit of discomfort, I assuming have a plate screwed into me is half the cause?

    Just after some first hand experiences from those that have had similar, how did you go about your return, how often were you riding? What did you feel, etc. etc.

    I'm coming from a 500km+ average week training background, so would obviously like to get back ASAP, without affecting the healing too much.
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  2. #2
    \_(ツ)_/ Ygduf's Avatar
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    AC joint damage will likely hurt for longer. Once the clavicle is plated, and you're riding already without much pain so you know, it's pretty good to go. Healing might be slow that far at the end of the bone. Though I had 2 breaks at the same place (both sides) that healed at totally different rates anyway, so you maybe can't know exactly how long it will take until the time is taken.

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  3. #3
    Senior Member grolby's Avatar
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    I broke my clavicle back in November and had a pin implanted to stabilize the bone (actually just had that removed this week). I didn't have a distal fracture, my break was at the other end, but if you're able to tolerate riding at only 5 weeks post-injury, that's really great progress. I could barely contemplate getting on my trainer at that stage, let alone riding outside - the pain was really still too much. I think you might find it hard to get rock-solid advice on what to expect, it seems, based on mine and other 33'ers' clavicle breaks, that the experience can vary a lot depending on the specific injury. For example, I seemed to have some really persistent pain and difficulty compared to others for a longer time after the crash and after the repair. That may have been due to the nature of my break (the bone was in 5 or 6 pieces, including a longitudinal split), or it may have been due to my diet, the phase of the moon, whatever.

    I think the only thing I can advise with any injury is to err on the side of caution. If you push too hard and make it worse or delay the healing process, it'll be that much longer before you can return to your normal riding schedule. At 5 weeks or so, you're actually in probably the biggest danger zone, because you're still forming bone matrix in the injury site, but it probably hasn't started calcifying yet. It's really easy to disrupt that process through putting torque on the injury site, you can put tears in the collagen matrix and delay that calcification process. So I would be very cautious. But that's all I can really offer.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by grolby View Post
    I broke my clavicle back in November and had a pin implanted to stabilize the bone (actually just had that removed this week). I didn't have a distal fracture, my break was at the other end, but if you're able to tolerate riding at only 5 weeks post-injury, that's really great progress. I could barely contemplate getting on my trainer at that stage, let alone riding outside - the pain was really still too much. I think you might find it hard to get rock-solid advice on what to expect, it seems, based on mine and other 33'ers' clavicle breaks, that the experience can vary a lot depending on the specific injury. For example, I seemed to have some really persistent pain and difficulty compared to others for a longer time after the crash and after the repair. That may have been due to the nature of my break (the bone was in 5 or 6 pieces, including a longitudinal split), or it may have been due to my diet, the phase of the moon, whatever.

    I think the only thing I can advise with any injury is to err on the side of caution. If you push too hard and make it worse or delay the healing process, it'll be that much longer before you can return to your normal riding schedule. At 5 weeks or so, you're actually in probably the biggest danger zone, because you're still forming bone matrix in the injury site, but it probably hasn't started calcifying yet. It's really easy to disrupt that process through putting torque on the injury site, you can put tears in the collagen matrix and delay that calcification process. So I would be very cautious. But that's all I can really offer.
    Thanks Grolby. My main concern isn't reversing the healing process or causing anymore damage. I feel like I can keep riding as I can put up with the discomfort, but its always the thought of how much is too much. Im assuming with the break that once you know its healed (hopefully 8-10 weeks) you can go full gas back into normal training?

  5. #5
    Senior Member robabeatle's Avatar
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    I'll echo the above: the healing process varies a great deal. I broke my clavicle and had a titanium plate inserted. In three days, I was on the trainer. I felt like I could ride outside after 4 weeks, but the doc told me to wait. I held out for a few more weeks and was then cleared. Cleared meant that if I went down on it again and it broke, it would likely be in a different location.

    Good luck and err on the side of caution.

  6. #6
    soon to be gsteinc... rkwaki's Avatar
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    I had a Grade 5 AC Sep and it ****ing sucked, I struggled with it for a long time, wish I had just broken my collarbone instead. Thankfully with a lot of weight work it is fairly strong again.
    "if you ride it the way it's meant to be ridden there's no way any wife is less of a ***** than a bicycle." - gstein

  7. #7
    Senior Member grolby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tjamesw89 View Post
    Thanks Grolby. My main concern isn't reversing the healing process or causing anymore damage. I feel like I can keep riding as I can put up with the discomfort, but its always the thought of how much is too much. Im assuming with the break that once you know its healed (hopefully 8-10 weeks) you can go full gas back into normal training?
    8-10 weeks just isn't realistic. Bone healing takes about three months in adults. But yes, you can be full gas back into normal training. Possibly before it's fully healed, just be aware of the risks.

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