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Two cracked ribs and collarbone

Posted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 3:20 pm
by Calvin27
Had a bit of a bingle and ended up with two cracked ribs (on the back side) and a collarbone :(

Anyone have good suggestions how to heal up from this mess. Doctors have said the usual rest, arm in sling but that's it. Physio is in order but I guess the question is when shold I see them as right now it takes me 10 minutes to get up from lying down and a lot of pain.

Also anyone got some tips for keeping the fitness/form while essentially being useless. I can't stop eating ice cream because I suppose my body craves calcium for the bones :P. I'm thinking mag trainer, but the problem is my ribs won't let me breath properly lol. Life sucks atm haha.

Re: Two cracked ribs and collarbone

Posted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 3:35 pm
by ft_critical
Calvin27 wrote:Had a bit of a bingle and ended up with two cracked ribs (on the back side) and a collarbone :(

Anyone have good suggestions how to heal up from this mess. Doctors have said the usual rest, arm in sling but that's it. Physio is in order but I guess the question is when shold I see them as right now it takes me 10 minutes to get up from lying down and a lot of pain.

Also anyone got some tips for keeping the fitness/form while essentially being useless. I can't stop eating ice cream because I suppose my body craves calcium for the bones :P. I'm thinking mag trainer, but the problem is my ribs won't let me breath properly lol. Life sucks atm haha.


Don't take anti-inflammatory medicine, interferes with bone production. Get on the trainer, use something on either side to support you, even like brooms under the arms.

Re: Two cracked ribs and collarbone

Posted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 3:40 pm
by MichaelB
Bugger !!

Anna Meares rigged up something like an overhead clothesline to support her are her track spill.

I guess rest and slowly does it.

Re: Two cracked ribs and collarbone

Posted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 3:41 pm
by ValleyForge
Calvin27 wrote:I can't stop eating ice cream because I suppose my body craves calcium for the bones :P.


Yup - that's wishful thinking right there.

ft_critical wrote:Don't take anti-inflammatory medicine, interferes with bone production.


No - NSAIDs do not significantly interfere with reparitive bone formation. Decent analgesia in the form of NSAIDs will allow deep breathing and exercise. A good thing.

Re: Two cracked ribs and collarbone

Posted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 4:02 pm
by Calvin27
ValleyForge wrote:Decent analgesia in the form of NSAIDs will allow deep breathing and exercise. A good thing.


Breathing is the hardest part atm. I was offered soft drug and turned them down (pointless, want the hard stuff!). Tried some panadol which was useless. Had some 'spare' endone which worked a treat but only had like 2 pills of that in reserve lol. Right now just trying to take deep breaths and it's kind of like a pain addiction - weird i know.

MichaelB wrote:Anna Meares rigged up something like an overhead clothesline to support her are her track spill.


Might try get a script for something and give the anna meares method a shot haha :P

Re: Two cracked ribs and collarbone

Posted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 4:12 pm
by ft_critical
ValleyForge wrote:No - NSAIDs do not significantly interfere with reparitive bone formation. Decent analgesia in the form of NSAIDs will allow deep breathing and exercise. A good thing.


My surgeon said they did in June last year.

Re: Two cracked ribs and collarbone

Posted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 7:19 pm
by ValleyForge
ft_critical wrote:My surgeon said they did in June last year.

They do have a therapeutic role in HO (heterotopic ossification) but they don't significantly alter normal bone ossification.

Perhaps for an upper humerus fracture, a distal third tibial or a scaphoid fracture where non-union is a distinct possibility, you might avoid them.

Re: Two cracked ribs and collarbone

Posted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 8:20 pm
by find_bruce
I was going to mention they only hurt when you breathe, but it seems you have figured that out for yourself. Be careful, I don't know if it is medically proven, but cracked ribs have a reputation for being followed by a lung infection

Re: Two cracked ribs and collarbone

Posted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 8:42 pm
by mikesbytes
Unless you have been to a specalist that says else wise, then take a break, give your body to heal. Ribs typically take 6 weeks to heal, is this what you have been advised?

The collarbone is a different story. In my case the broken collarbone was straight and the break points were together, so they decided not to pin it. Weeks later the story was very different, the bone was overlapping with a 2.5cm gap between then. Either it would heal with one shoulder out of alignment or never heal. So I ended up paying for it to be plated. However if it had been done in the beginning then a pin would of sufficed

Re: Two cracked ribs and collarbone

Posted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 9:29 pm
by ValleyForge
find_bruce wrote:I was going to mention they only hurt when you breathe, but it seems you have figured that out for yourself. Be careful, I don't know if it is medically proven, but cracked ribs have a reputation for being followed by a lung infection

Absolutely right there. Broken ribs never killed anyone. Only the pneumothorax (punctured lung), pulmonary embolism or pneumonia. Two of which are related to inadequate analgesia. :lol:

Generally though, in the active cyclist, the risk of a post-rib fracture pneumonia is pretty low. If you are a 80yr old obese smoker who has fallen over - that's a different story.

Re: Two cracked ribs and collarbone

Posted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 9:34 pm
by ValleyForge
mikesbytes wrote:The collarbone is a different story.

Operating on clavicles (collar bones) runs hot & cold. If there was a big improvement, everyone would have it done. The benefit seems to be for the athlete who wants to return to training ASAP; the technique that has the best recovery is an intra-osseous nail - though not all fractures are suitable for this - a plate is bloody painful and leaves an amazing scar.

And yes, fit patients have died after having their clavicle operated on. Does make you wonder....

Re: Two cracked ribs and collarbone

Posted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 9:38 pm
by 1Rowdy1
I know it hurts but you need to breath as deeply as possible, when I broke my ribs I was breathing very shallow and ended up with fluid on the lungs and then Pneumonia

Re: Two cracked ribs and collarbone

Posted: Sat Feb 10, 2018 9:03 am
by Calvin27
1Rowdy1 wrote:I know it hurts but you need to breath as deeply as possible


Yep religious about this. It would suck to get a chest infection and have to cough and splutter with cracked ribs.

On a happy note doing some helmet shopping! Might try mips this time, which brands have mips ready helmets? Most I've seen are mtb helmets.

Re: Two cracked ribs and collarbone

Posted: Sat Feb 10, 2018 9:16 am
by ValleyForge
Calvin27 wrote:
1Rowdy1 wrote:I know it hurts but you need to breath as deeply as possible


Yep religious about this. It would suck to get a chest infection and have to cough and splutter with cracked ribs.

On a happy note doing some helmet shopping! Might try mips this time, which brands have mips ready helmets? Most I've seen are mtb helmets.

MIPS was released OS a while ago, but only a few have been tested for the AU standard. I have the kids in Bell MIPS helmets now. One on-line retailer was flogging a 15% off helmet sale. Non-MIPS only. :roll:

Re: Two cracked ribs and collarbone

Posted: Sat Feb 10, 2018 10:22 am
by TheWall
Calvin27 wrote:
1Rowdy1 wrote:I know it hurts but you need to breath as deeply as possible



On a happy note doing some helmet shopping! Might try mips this time, which brands have mips ready helmets? Most I've seen are mtb helmets.


Hey. Hope the ribs and collarbone heal quickly. And I am sure retail therapy will help your cause haha.

I recently bought this: http://www.giro.com/eu_en/products/men/ ... inder.html

Most comfortable helmet I have ever worn.

Re: Two cracked ribs and collarbone

Posted: Sat Feb 10, 2018 1:00 pm
by ft_critical
ValleyForge wrote:They do have a therapeutic role in HO (heterotopic ossification) but they don't significantly alter normal bone ossification.

Perhaps for an upper humerus fracture, a distal third tibial or a scaphoid fracture where non-union is a distinct possibility, you might avoid them.


It was for a broken rib and for a broken collarbone and he was very specific about it. He is a surgeon and a good one, not a GP. The explanation being that part of the bone production process is an inflammatory reaction.

Re: Two cracked ribs and collarbone

Posted: Sat Feb 10, 2018 2:58 pm
by ValleyForge
ft_critical wrote:
ValleyForge wrote:They do have a therapeutic role in HO (heterotopic ossification) but they don't significantly alter normal bone ossification.

Perhaps for an upper humerus fracture, a distal third tibial or a scaphoid fracture where non-union is a distinct possibility, you might avoid them.


It was for a broken rib and for a broken collarbone and he was very specific about it. He is a surgeon and a good one, not a GP. The explanation being that part of the bone production process is an inflammatory reaction.


I've linked a PubMed article from 2016. The orthopedic surgeons I ride with take them for fractures.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/27500434/
And me too - but been lucky for a good while free of fractures

Re: Two cracked ribs and collarbone

Posted: Sat Feb 10, 2018 5:09 pm
by open roader
Sorry to hear of the bingle and breaks.

I qualify my comments by saying that every case is different and some cases are drastically different.

If you are hesitant about the collarbone healing naturally - get a 2nd opinion asap.

I broke my collarbone way back in 2001 - perfect one point landing on my shoulder after being high sided off a motorcycle. Clean snapped clavicle approx mid way between the extremities. My attending surgeon said plate it this instant. My father, a retired GP and former surgeon said my case was nothing special, I was not getting paid to play sport or go back to work inside a months time frame and recommended no surgery as he thought the risk of a staph infection was not worth a broken collar bone op.

I followed my father's advice and let it heal naturally. My right collarbone is now 28 mm shorter than the left and has a 75mm calcification knob which severly effects the comfort and ease of carrying a backpack or slinging anything of weight over my right shoulder. I'm still suffering muscular issues with a fore shortened collarbone and kick myself for not opting for the plate. Collarbone plates are not just for elite athletes, if you feel uncomfortable with allowing the bones to reunite over time then go get a 2nd opinion.

Re: Two cracked ribs and collarbone

Posted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 9:18 am
by mikesbytes
open roader wrote:Clean snapped clavicle approx mid way between the extremities....

...I followed my father's advice and let it heal naturally. My right collarbone is now 28 mm shorter than the left and has a 75mm calcification knob which severly effects the comfort and ease of carrying a backpack or slinging anything of weight over my right shoulder. I'm still suffering muscular issues with a fore shortened collarbone and kick myself for not opting for the plate. Collarbone plates are not just for elite athletes, if you feel uncomfortable with allowing the bones to reunite over time then go get a 2nd opinion.


You description sounds similar to mine except I was descending on push bike while in NZ and got knocked out for 10 minutes. The following cyclists, which included a doctor said I lost the front end and tried to save it, so at a guess instead of low siding I high sided.

Anyway it was clean break and despite asking for it to be pinned the doctors decided it was fine as it was as the ends met perfectly. After 6 weeks in NZ I was cleared to fly back to Australia and back in Australia I knew it wasn't straight but an xray unearthed that the ends were now 25mm apart and my shoulder looked about 25mm narrower. I spoke to everyone I knew who had broken a collar bone and everyone of the regretted not getting it pinned or plated, so I got mine done but instead of a pin as would of happened at the time it now needed plating.

If I hadn't done it, it would of ended up pretty similar to yours

Re: Two cracked ribs and collarbone

Posted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:19 am
by open roader
open roader wrote: I spoke to everyone I knew who had broken a collar bone and everyone of the regretted not getting it pinned or plated, so I got mine done but instead of a pin as would of happened at the time it now needed plating.


I had that moment too about 2 weeks post break, but again I decided to follow my father's advice - to my detriment.

Modern medicine is available and practiced on a daily basis for good reasons. It is a constant progression in treatment technique and it is proven to work. Why I turned my back on having a plate inserted is one of those things I clearly have not gotten over yet and physically will never get over now.

We live in a country with free or otherwise mostly affordable and available medical assistance - more the fool me for not taking advantage. Carrying a camera back pack or garden spraying with a 15l back back spray is now an uncomfortable task in the short term and impossible for longer periods - both things I thought nothing of at the time I was racing motorcycles - another life altogether and life has a funny way of showing you your mistakes down the track........

Re: Two cracked ribs and collarbone

Posted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 11:59 am
by ft_critical
open roader wrote:My right collarbone is now 28 mm shorter than the left and has a 75mm calcification knob which severly effects the comfort and ease of carrying a backpack or slinging anything of weight over my right shoulder. I'm still suffering muscular issues with a fore shortened collarbone and kick myself for not opting for the plate. Collarbone plates are not just for elite athletes, if you feel uncomfortable with allowing the bones to reunite over time then go get a 2nd opinion.


mikesbytes wrote:but an xray unearthed that the ends were now 25mm apart and my shoulder looked about 25mm narrower. I spoke to everyone I knew who had broken a collar bone and everyone of the regretted not getting it pinned or plated, so I got mine done but instead of a pin as would of happened at the time it now needed plating.


The xray I had in Belgium did not work because of existing metal plate. The report was ligament damage and a broken rib (June 2017). In Aust it was discovered that there was a significant overlap that had already calcified. Mine sounds pretty similar to Open Roader's though there is also a plate that sticks out of the skin. We elected to see how it went. It is indeed strong in certain planes, however, I fell over skiing at Christmas, just your regular slip and land on the shoulder. God it hurt.

So I am hoping to fall off riding and re-break it so I can fix it properly. Just never a convenient time to do that. Although it nearly happened for me today at the West Head Road Race via an enforced high-speed dirt excursion....

Re: Two cracked ribs and collarbone

Posted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 8:12 am
by g-boaf
Calvin27 wrote:
1Rowdy1 wrote:I know it hurts but you need to breath as deeply as possible


Yep religious about this. It would suck to get a chest infection and have to cough and splutter with cracked ribs.

On a happy note doing some helmet shopping! Might try mips this time, which brands have mips ready helmets? Most I've seen are mtb helmets.


POC does them, but the POC site only shows some quite ugly colours:
http://www.pocsports.com/eu/octal-avip- ... d-helmets#

I have a normal Octal helmet, easily my favourite helmet so far. Best of luck on recovery from your injuries.

Re: Two cracked ribs and collarbone

Posted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 9:07 am
by trailgumby
Hmmm. When I broke my collarbone the ends were touching as well, so they went with conservative management, and I was happy at the time as I didn't want another operation for a self-inflicted injury.

However, I now have a large lump at that point and had assumed it was a result of the ends fusing. The doctor made a comment to that effect at the time. but now reading the stories above I am ow wondering whether the ends overlapped. :oops:

In relation to your rib injury, I had pneumonia with my recent pulmonary embolism. It was a result of not breathing deeply as I was trying not to irritate my trachea, thinking I had an upper respiratory tract infection. I had chest x-rays done - thinking I should ask to see them to satisfy my curiosity about the collarbone.