Fractured wrist - when can I resume?

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Fractured wrist - when can I resume?

Postby Cowcorner » Tue May 20, 2014 10:44 pm

OK - here's the story. Came off the bike on 22 April ( wet tram tracks. :oops: ). The net result was 4 fractures in the right wrist (radius x 3 & ulna x 1) resulting in 2 plates and 12 screws which I think will stay in. The cast came off two weeks ago - currently in a splint and I've been doing low level rehab exercises for the last week and a half. However, the knuckles on the right hand are still swollen and can't make a proper fist as yet.

The doc's say I have to be non weight-bearing for at least six weeks, which means I can't even drive for the moment. Needless to say I'm going stir-crazy as the way things are going I'm not really sure when I'll be riding again. Has anyone had any experience with this sort of injury, or know when realistically I might be back on the bike?

Cheers....
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by BNA » Tue May 20, 2014 11:07 pm

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Re: Fractured wrist - when can I resume?

Postby cp123 » Tue May 20, 2014 11:07 pm

what's stopping you riding a trainer?
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Re: Fractured wrist - when can I resume?

Postby Cowcorner » Wed May 21, 2014 8:46 am

cp123 wrote:what's stopping you riding a trainer?


Nothing - and I'm doing that, but it's still 4 walls and not the same as the real thing. This is more a "state of mind" question rather than a maintaining fitness thing. To give you an idea, I've been back at work for a bit over a week and PT is already driving me nuts. I guess this was more a question as to when I could reasonably expect to be back on the bike commuting again as, at this stage, it doesn't look like any time soon. :(
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Re: Fractured wrist - when can I resume?

Postby simonn » Wed May 21, 2014 8:54 am

FWIW, I broke my wrist (triquetrum) in a stack and did not need any surgery but was off the bike and had physio for six weeks.

Heal properly or you'll regret it.

At least you can read a book on PT. I had to drive and that was just wasted time.
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Re: Fractured wrist - when can I resume?

Postby Cowcorner » Wed May 21, 2014 9:12 am

simonn wrote:At least you can read a book on PT. I had to drive and that was just wasted time.


Good point. Haven't read much in recent times, so it's probably the perfect opportunity. I wouldn't want to drive anyway, even if I was allowed to.
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Re: Fractured wrist - when can I resume?

Postby jlh » Fri May 23, 2014 11:41 pm

Friend of mine dislocated elbow then broke arm bone when putting back in. He was back on the trainer in 1 week (1 handed) and riding on the road in 4....
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Re: Fractured wrist - when can I resume?

Postby trailgumby » Sat May 24, 2014 9:30 am

jlh wrote:Friend of mine dislocated elbow then broke arm bone when putting back in. He was back on the trainer in 1 week (1 handed) and riding on the road in 4....

Risky.
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Re: Fractured wrist - when can I resume?

Postby Le Mong » Sat May 24, 2014 10:38 am

I did my collarbone 2 days ago. Pretty stir crazy already. 2 weeks to see a specialist (that's the recommended "settling time" apparently) is a bit crappy too :( but what do you do.
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Re: Fractured wrist - when can I resume?

Postby trailgumby » Sat May 24, 2014 1:40 pm

Bugger. Sorry to hear that. Was the two weeks what A&E recommended? I wouldn't trust their judgement, I'd make an appointment to see the specialist ASAP.

A&E are great with things like dealing with infections and saving lives, as that's what the deal with every day.

But for things that take longer to resolve, they're not so good. I ended up getting frozen shoulder following their advice to immobilise and see a physio in two weeks, and had to have it operated on. As it turns out the bony Bankhart lesion would have meant an op anyway, but the frozen shoulder complicated matters considerably.

Not saying their advice is wrong, just there are more expert people whose early advice will reduce your risk of complications.
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Re: Fractured wrist - when can I resume?

Postby Le Mong » Sat May 24, 2014 2:11 pm

Rang the specialist yesterday and that was the time frame for the appointment they gave me. The damn thing will be 80% fused by that point... but what do you do.

Time to rig up a sling and learn to love my kickr lol
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Re: Fractured wrist - when can I resume?

Postby wombatK » Sat May 24, 2014 3:16 pm

Le Mong wrote:Rang the specialist yesterday and that was the time frame for the appointment they gave me. The damn thing will be 80% fused by that point... but what do you do.

Time to rig up a sling and learn to love my kickr lol

It's a struggle to understand just when you're seeing the special. I'll second what TG said - it ought to be next week if at all possible. Find another orthopaedic specialist
if yours was too busy.

With the swelling, have you been told to keep your wrist elevated as often as you can (e.g. all day if possible) ? Have you been fitted with a compression glove ?

The latter is a bit hard to find - you might have to ring around a few of the larger pharmacies in your area. Some physiotherapists specialising in looking after
hand injuries are likely to have them in stock too. But start today, if you haven't already.

Both these a very useful in minimizing swelling and helping healing with any injury effecting the wrist as yours has done.

Understand your frustration - been there, done that :)
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Re: Fractured wrist - when can I resume?

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Sat May 24, 2014 11:34 pm

Dunno why you guys make such a big woosy fuss. Crook wrists wouldn't stop me.. :mrgreen:

Seriously though, be wary of pushing it. It may seem a long way off now but you may regret it in twenty/thirty/forty/fifty years from now. There is nothing more admirable than to still be able to most of what you want at 80.
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Re: Fractured wrist - when can I resume?

Postby Dr_Mutley » Sun May 25, 2014 2:40 pm

A point of clarification here... If u fracture the small carpal bones of the wrist, or rupture their strong stabilising ligaments, then be very conservative with returning to weight bearing activity... If it's just a distal radius or ulnar fracture near the wrist joint, and without extension into the wrist joint, then you can be somewhat more impatient rehabbing them....
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Re: Fractured wrist - when can I resume?

Postby elantra » Sun May 25, 2014 5:40 pm

Le Mong wrote:I did my collarbone 2 days ago. Pretty stir crazy already. 2 weeks to see a specialist (that's the recommended "settling time" apparently) is a bit crappy too :( but what do you do.


Fractured collarbone is a common injury resulting from falls such as bicycles or various sporting activities.

Like any fracture it is quite painful but has a reputation for healing FAST.

Famously, USA pro cyclist Tyler Hamilton fractured his clavicle (collar bone) on stage one of the 2003 Tour de France, then went on to successfully complete the rest of that tour.

I have never had a fractured clavicle myself, but do recall my brother did it at soccer when he was a lad, and then got on his bike a few days later, went over the bars, and made it significantly worse :mrgreen:
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Re: Fractured wrist - when can I resume?

Postby Le Mong » Sun May 25, 2014 5:43 pm

If it's pinned it's good to go as soon as you can handle the pain. :)
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Re: Fractured wrist - when can I resume?

Postby dalai47 » Sun May 25, 2014 6:47 pm

Le Mong wrote:If it's pinned it's good to go as soon as you can handle the pain. :)


Bad luck Le Mong. I know your pain literally having broken mine on the 15th April!

I was on the trainer within one week of the operation. Seated upright cradling the arm and only @Z1 but better than nothing.

A&E suggested sling and leave to heal naturally. Wanted a second opinion but due to happening just before Easter was one week till I saw the surgeon and another to get it plated as the bones were quite far apart. Just before surgery the surgeon felt the collarbone and noted that mine hadn't even started to bond after 2 weeks!

After going private and paying for the operation myself (will get some back through CA insurance but not a lot :roll: ) to get it plated 3 1/2 weeks ago, I am not risking it and getting back on the road too early. Even though it has been over 5 weeks since the rider in front of me went down whilst racing on the velodrome at 55km/hr with me going over him and the bars and am already sick of the trainer!

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Re: Fractured wrist - when can I resume?

Postby Le Mong » Sun May 25, 2014 6:53 pm

Second time mine has been broken. This one isn't too bad, nice close overlap. Should heal fine. Going to look into getting a second opinion this week, if I get cut I want it nailed again not plated. I'll be making a chest sling to hold me upright on the bike and keep me from going insane. Hoping to be back into ftp work next week if I play it right ;)
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Re: Fractured wrist - when can I resume?

Postby dalai47 » Sun May 25, 2014 8:44 pm

Best of luck with it. Same side as last time? I would rather have had it pinned rather than plated but I was told mine was too close to the shoulder for that. Only looking at slowly working back up to SST this week.
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Re: Fractured wrist - when can I resume?

Postby Le Mong » Sun May 25, 2014 9:00 pm

Exact same place as last time. I'm going to rig up a sling to support me while I keep my legs building :)
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Re: Fractured wrist - when can I resume?

Postby Cowcorner » Mon Jul 21, 2014 11:24 am

OK - it seems the final answer is...... 13 and a half weeks. Longer than I'd anticipated as I'm still getting pins and needles in my thumb and fingers on the right hand. First ride was yesterday, only 17km but hey it's a start. The wrist is aching a bit afterwards but seems to be a "good" ache. Hoping to start building it up again from here. Many thanks to those who posted. 8)
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Re: Fractured wrist - when can I resume?

Postby Dr_Mutley » Mon Jul 21, 2014 3:41 pm

Good to hear your slowly getting there!
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Re: Fractured wrist - when can I resume?

Postby Calvin27 » Mon Jul 21, 2014 3:44 pm

Hook up with your local TANDEM!
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