Old 10-14-18, 09:27 PM
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canklecat
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Originally Posted by grncab97 View Post
I collided with another rider a week ago and broke my collarbone. I've fallen lots of time on my shoulder with nothing more than road rash but this time I heard that snap. I also just turned 60.
While I'm posting, does anyone know how long I will not be able to ride a bike with this break?
My shoulder was broken and dislocated in May (hit by a car). I was on the indoor trainer after 5 weeks, but the drop bar was pretty uncomfortable. I'd mostly lean on the good arm and sit upright fairly often.

After 6 weeks the pain was still pretty bad, keeping me from sleeping, and the ortho doc said the grade 4 separation and fracture weren't improving much. So I probably should have stayed off the bike completely a little longer. But I didn't.

After 8 weeks I tried the upright comfort hybrid for some easy rides around the neighborhood. Not bad so I gradually increased the distance up to 40 miles.

After two months I tried the road bike outdoors. My conditioning was still good, thanks to lots of indoor trainer workouts. But my shoulder and neck could handle only 15-20 miles, once or twice a week. By the end of June I did a couple of 40 mile rides on the hottest days of the summer and was pretty wiped out afterward.

By August I was riding outdoors more often but the pain was still pretty bad. I wasn't too happy with my first ortho clinic so I tried another. After an anti-inflammatory injection and an oral anti-inflammatory (diclofenac) I was feeling much better by mid-September.

And with help from a couple of friends (since I was still mostly one-handed), we converted my hybrid to be more versatile, replacing the original flat and riser bars with an albatross bar. I can't recommend that highly enough. The upright position back on the grips is very comfortable when the shoulder is aching. But the bar offers more hand positions and a more aero position leaning forward into the curved part of the bar. It worked well enough that I stayed off the road bike for almost 6 weeks (other than on the indoor trainer).

Switching bikes and handlebars seemed to relieve the stress that was interfering with healing. As of October I'm doing much better, regaining range of motion with less pain. I've done a couple of 25 mile rides on the drop bar road bike and felt pretty good.

That seems like a long time to recover but I had some complications. The collision re-injured an old neck and back injury (I was hit by a car in 2001 also, breaking six vertebrae). And an old thyroid problem suddenly worsened very rapidly, which aggravated the chronic pain. So my personal experience won't necessarily indicate how other 60something folks will do (I'm 60).

Most folks I know who've experienced shoulder and collarbone breaks recovered much more quickly but they're also much younger, in their 30s and 40s.

Last edited by canklecat; 10-14-18 at 09:31 PM.
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