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Broken Tib/Fib Recovery

Old 06-14-17, 10:44 AM
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Broken Tib/Fib Recovery

A little over a year ago I broke my tibia and fibula, not on my bicycle, but rather my motorcycle. I caught my foot on a concrete bumper while pulling out of a parking space.

I had a rod placement that was removed two months after the insertion.

Before this I had been recovering from a crash on my bicycle. I was riding hard into a uphill turn and had a front tire puncture. Needless to say I went down immediately and hard. I fell on a twenty-six year old hip replacement. Thankfully the replacement held, but I was in quite a bit of pain with limited motion for a while.

I say all of that to say this. It has been about eighteen months since I've done anything except sit at my desk at work and walk to and from my car.

I rode my bicycle today for the first time in that time frame.

I rode about a mile and climbed one very short, but moderately steep hill. My thighs were were on fire. I have never experienced anything like it. I've had a little burn, but this made my eyes water and my legs shake. I suppose I'm simply out of shape like I've never been before. I'm 60 years old and want to get back to where I was. I was riding thirty to forty miles a day four or five times a week before my injuries. I was climbing hills on a regular basis.

Is there anyone here that has experienced anything similar after a long inactive injury recovery period?

Any input is appreciated.
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Old 06-14-17, 11:19 AM
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Cracking the top of my femur, in a cycling fall, was no fun & many years ago, IDK How long it would take at 70..

Muscles did atrophy , from not being used.. like Astronauts in the space station.
(its why they exercise in their weightless situation..)



...
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Old 06-14-17, 01:25 PM
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Count your blessings and forget about what you used to do.

Originally Posted by MojojoM View Post
I'm 60 years old and want to get back to where I was.
Judging the quality of today's fitness/ride/life based on yesterday's performance is asking for disappointment. If you do it is a gift. If not then it is just part of life. Don't look back.

Just my opinion. Few care what I think and that's OK.


-Tim-
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Old 06-14-17, 01:49 PM
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As a boy and young man, I played a trumpet and practiced every day. If I missed even a single practice, it was felt in difficulty reaching high notes. I see the same effect in riding a bike. I try t o ride almost every day even it it is just a ride of a mew miles, say to the library in town. We are able here to ride most winter days but ride fewer miles. As temperature and weather warms up in Spring, it is always a bit painful to build up to longer rides again.

I am nearly 80 y.o. now and everything takes longer, even getting back physical conditioning. Don't worry about it. Just do what you can and be glad you can.
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Old 06-14-17, 01:50 PM
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I lay off every winter; basically no biking from mid-November until April. It's like starting from scratch every spring. Keep at it, you'll get back eventually.
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Old 06-14-17, 01:56 PM
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IME, recovery rates are a function of how far you've fallen off your peak and your age.

In my 20's, could go all winter without touching the bike, suffer through a century ride in late March, and be good to go within a week or two.

These days at 67 it's hard enough maintaining condition, and recovering and improving is a slow process. I feel like a dried out rubber band where all the snap is gone.

But, on the bright side I find recovery to be somewhat proportional to condition, so while it may take a while to get to 20 miles, getting from 20 to 40 miles will be much faster (just not like when you were 20).

In your case, the good news is that the injury doesn't seem to be a limiting factor, and shouldn't be one going forward.

Hang in there, you'll be back to form this summer, ready to break something else.
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Old 06-14-17, 04:05 PM
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I was off the bike completely for three months after doing a number on my arm a couple of years back (broken wrist, elbow and collarbone), and it took more than a
year to get back riding properly, partly because the Canadian winter got in the way, and partly because they went back in to take out the metal bits at the 10-month stage. I remember riding down to the Lake, which is all of 3km, at the 4-5 month stage, and needing to stop for a rest when I got there.

My lessons:

Find a bike that's really comfortable for your new body. I borrowed a friend's hybrid for a chunk of the recovery (she took one of my road bikes), and the front shock meant it was much easier on the injured arm, which was still full of chunks of metal. I tried a borrowed recumbent too, but that was evil -- I freaked on the hills, and the bike was too heavy for my injured arm to push.

Take your time. You will not be able to do those hills and those long rides at the start. But that one-mile ride will soon turn into two-miles, and the hills will get more gentle.

The accident was in June 2015 - almost exactly two years ago. My elbow still won't straighten all the way, and it never will now, but I'm riding as well as I ever did.
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Old 06-14-17, 07:23 PM
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Originally Posted by MojojoM View Post
A little over a year ago I broke my tibia and fibula, not on my bicycle, but rather my motorcycle. I caught my foot on a concrete bumper while pulling out of a parking space.

I had a rod placement that was removed two months after the insertion.

Before this I had been recovering from a crash on my bicycle. I was riding hard into a uphill turn and had a front tire puncture. Needless to say I went down immediately and hard. I fell on a twenty-six year old hip replacement. Thankfully the replacement held, but I was in quite a bit of pain with limited motion for a while.

I say all of that to say this. It has been about eighteen months since I've done anything except sit at my desk at work and walk to and from my car.

I rode my bicycle today for the first time in that time frame.

I rode about a mile and climbed one very short, but moderately steep hill. My thighs were were on fire. I have never experienced anything like it. I've had a little burn, but this made my eyes water and my legs shake. I suppose I'm simply out of shape like I've never been before. I'm 60 years old and want to get back to where I was. I was riding thirty to forty miles a day four or five times a week before my injuries. I was climbing hills on a regular basis.

Is there anyone here that has experienced anything similar after a long inactive injury recovery period?

Any input is appreciated.
I had a fib and tib break about 20 years ago in a climbing accident, and cycling was part of my rehab program. It took me about 10 years to get back to the level of skiing I was at prior to the accident. I lost about 10 degrees of motion in the ankle, and still have a plate and 7 screws holding it together.


Why did you wait so long? Just get on your bike and ride.
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Old 06-14-17, 08:10 PM
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We lose fitness with inactivity very quickly. But we can get it back; it just takes time and effort.
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Old 06-15-17, 11:03 AM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by JanMM View Post
We lose fitness with inactivity very quickly. But we can get it back; it just takes time and effort.
And probably a target or goal of some sort. OP, set your target as doing a 30-mile ride in, say, three months' time. Remember also that you are starting at base level, like a beginner. Gradually build up your ride distances. And yes, I believe that you CAN look back at what you did before, and at least try to emulate those efforts. 60 is not old by any stretch.
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Old 06-15-17, 01:59 PM
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Not exactly the same but on July 24, 2013 I crashed and broke my neck. Had C1 & C2 fused. By November I was back on the bike. I am now 71 and last week did a 1 mi. Strava segment in my best time e VC er at 24.2 mph. It takes time but you will get there. Be patient, enjoy the adventure and use the Force, Luke.
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Old 07-03-17, 03:22 AM
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Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
Not exactly the same but on July 24, 2013 I crashed and broke my neck. Had C1 & C2 fused. By November I was back on the bike. I am now 71 and last week did a 1 mi. Strava segment in my best time e VC er at 24.2 mph. It takes time but you will get there. Be patient, enjoy the adventure and use the Force, Luke.
I'm impressed by your quick recovery. I'm glad your injuries weren't worse. I will take your words to heart. Patience isn't one of my strong points, but I know overdoing it can set me back further.

Thanks
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Old 07-03-17, 03:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
And probably a target or goal of some sort. OP, set your target as doing a 30-mile ride in, say, three months' time. Remember also that you are starting at base level, like a beginner. Gradually build up your ride distances. And yes, I believe that you CAN look back at what you did before, and at least try to emulate those efforts. 60 is not old by any stretch.
Sounds like a reasonable and doable plan. I've been easing back in. I rode about 10 miles yesterday on mostly flat paved trail. I felt much better than expected.

Thank you for your input.
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Old 07-03-17, 03:27 AM
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Originally Posted by JanMM View Post
We lose fitness with inactivity very quickly. But we can get it back; it just takes time and effort.
I just need to remind myself that I didn't get where I was before overnight.

Thanks
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Old 07-03-17, 03:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post
I had a fib and tib break about 20 years ago in a climbing accident, and cycling was part of my rehab program. It took me about 10 years to get back to the level of skiing I was at prior to the accident. I lost about 10 degrees of motion in the ankle, and still have a plate and 7 screws holding it together.

Why did you wait so long? Just get on your bike and ride.
I don't really have a good answer for why it took so long. I was as up and walking within days of the rod placement, but after the complications and rod removal there was a lot more pain and some ankle motion issues. I just didn't trust my leg and ankle. Quite frankly my right leg is a little shorter than the other now. It kinda bummed me out and made me angry for a while.

I'm glad you recovered and eventually got back to where you were. I think it's amazing yiu can ski at that level with all that metal in your ankle.

I rode 10 miles yesterday. I'll get there eventually.

Thank you for your input.
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Old 07-03-17, 03:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Boudicca View Post
I was off the bike completely for three months after doing a number on my arm a couple of years back (broken wrist, elbow and collarbone), and it took more than a
year to get back riding properly, partly because the Canadian winter got in the way, and partly because they went back in to take out the metal bits at the 10-month stage. I remember riding down to the Lake, which is all of 3km, at the 4-5 month stage, and needing to stop for a rest when I got there.

My lessons:

Find a bike that's really comfortable for your new body. I borrowed a friend's hybrid for a chunk of the recovery (she took one of my road bikes), and the front shock meant it was much easier on the injured arm, which was still full of chunks of metal. I tried a borrowed recumbent too, but that was evil -- I freaked on the hills, and the bike was too heavy for my injured arm to push.

Take your time. You will not be able to do those hills and those long rides at the start. But that one-mile ride will soon turn into two-miles, and the hills will get more gentle.

The accident was in June 2015 - almost exactly two years ago. My elbow still won't straighten all the way, and it never will now, but I'm riding as well as I ever did.
I rode my wife's hybrid 10 miles yesterday. I'll heed your advice and stay off my road bike for a while.

Another thing that's helping me is that I'm riding with a friend that rides a handcycle. He had a complete ankle replacement and needs more surgery. When riding with him I don't focus as much on the distance. We chat and take it easy. I think we only averaged about 11 mph on our ride yesterday. Without him I would have probably over did it and paid a price.

I'm sorry to hear about your accident, but glad you're doing well.

Thanks for your input.
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Old 07-03-17, 03:51 AM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
IME, recovery rates are a function of how far you've fallen off your peak and your age.

In my 20's, could go all winter without touching the bike, suffer through a century ride in late March, and be good to go within a week or two.

These days at 67 it's hard enough maintaining condition, and recovering and improving is a slow process. I feel like a dried out rubber band where all the snap is gone.

But, on the bright side I find recovery to be somewhat proportional to condition, so while it may take a while to get to 20 miles, getting from 20 to 40 miles will be much faster (just not like when you were 20).

In your case, the good news is that the injury doesn't seem to be a limiting factor, and shouldn't be one going forward.

Hang in there, you'll be back to form this summer, ready to break something else.
Excellent perspective.
After reading your post and others I'm feeling more hopeful already.

Thanks.
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Old 07-03-17, 03:54 AM
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Originally Posted by JanMM View Post
We lose fitness with inactivity very quickly. But we can get it back; it just takes time and effort.
I'm beginning to see this is true. I was just really bummed out for a while. I rode 10 miles yesterday. Feeling better already.

Thanks
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Old 07-03-17, 03:56 AM
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Originally Posted by berner View Post
As a boy and young man, I played a trumpet and practiced every day. If I missed even a single practice, it was felt in difficulty reaching high notes. I see the same effect in riding a bike. I try t o ride almost every day even it it is just a ride of a mew miles, say to the library in town. We are able here to ride most winter days but ride fewer miles. As temperature and weather warms up in Spring, it is always a bit painful to build up to longer rides again.

I am nearly 80 y.o. now and everything takes longer, even getting back physical conditioning. Don't worry about it. Just do what you can and be glad you can.
Bern
Wise words. Great analogy too. I'll take them to heart.

You're still riding, but do you still play the trumpet ?
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Old 07-03-17, 03:59 AM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
Count your blessings and forget about what you used to do.



Judging the quality of today's fitness/ride/life based on yesterday's performance is asking for disappointment. If you do it is a gift. If not then it is just part of life. Don't look back.

Just my opinion. Few care what I think and that's OK.


-Tim-
I rode 10 miles yesterday. That's a start. I'm setting some realistic goals. As I approach them I'll keep setting others. Time will tell. Right now I'm gonna just keep on moving.

Thanks for the input.
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Old 07-03-17, 04:02 AM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Cracking the top of my femur, in a cycling fall, was no fun & many years ago, IDK How long it would take at 70..

Muscles did atrophy , from not being used.. like Astronauts in the space station.
(its why they exercise in their weightless situation..)



...
Slow and steady with some realistic goals is part of my plan. My wife reminds me everyday not to fall into my usual trap if doing too much too quickly.

Thanks
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Old 07-03-17, 04:54 AM
  #22  
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MojojoM, you're already much fitter than most your age. Just keep taking it quietly. As my daughter in law is finding, it's very easy to overdo things when recovering from broken bones. Ride at a comfortable pace and for a comfortable time, slowly increasing it week by week. Because you're in recovery mode, don't push to do extra (coz you'll wind up doing less). Listening to your wife for a change is probably a good idea too.
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Old 07-03-17, 05:44 AM
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Originally Posted by MojojoM View Post
I'm impressed by your quick recovery. I'm glad your injuries weren't worse. I will take your words to heart. Patience isn't one of my strong points, but I know overdoing it can set me back further.

Thanks
Patience is not one of my strong points either. I'm still trying to learn at age 71. I just decided that I had to do what my docs told me and it worked out just fine. Hang in there.
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Old 07-03-17, 12:16 PM
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Ive had fractured Lt femur (rod in place to this day), Rt tib/fib (rod removed '07), Rt tibial plateau fracture (2011) facing knee replacement aug 21 that healed wrong.
I've had to make alot of mods to my bike to ride with any semblance of confidence, namely: wider MTB platform pedals on my hybrid, 1" spacers to move them out so my bad knee doesn't hit the frame and knock my foot off the pedal, srping seat post (actualy helps my legs).
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Old 07-03-17, 12:20 PM
  #25  
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Consistency is part of the game plan. I have a belief that exercise (or in more formal terms, PT) is vital. I see it that the heart rate increases, the blood flow through all the body in greater, and importantly, the exchange of elements between the healing tissue and the blood is faster than if you are sedentary.

By doing a bit of riding each of every other day, you are, in my opinion, speeding the healing process, especially as the area that needs healing is not necessarily well serviced by blood vessels at the best of times. Again, of course, don't overdo it, but also don't let that feeling of "is it worth it to get on the bike today" overtake you.

Riding the hybrid also is a very good thing. You can adjust that saddle height so you feel more comfortable putting your foot or feet to ground when you need to. Riding a road bike can make that more difficult.

Last edited by Rowan; 07-03-17 at 12:24 PM.
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