Broken thumb, cast and sweat advice

I recently fell and broke a thumb on the bike and I have been put in a wrist cast for five weeks. The break isn’t terrible and for the last week I have actually been able to ride with a washable splint.

However, now I have a cast, I’m concerned that after a few sessions the cast will be permanently wet with sweat and smell etc.

Does anyone have any advice? I don’t want 5 weeks off the bike and I’d prefer to go back to the splint if that’s the case.


I broke my thumb in college back when I was a runner, and I am a heavy, heavy sweater (think looks like I jumped in a swimming pool after a trainer session). The only thing I did for mine was make sure I tried to dry it out well after a workout, by putting my hand in front of a fan or using a hairdryer.

I was also really paranoid about how badly it would smell, so I put some baby powder down into the cast…which was a terrible idea!!!

In my injury prone experience, casts are going to smell after a few days anyways, so just train away!

I broke my finger in a crash a few years ago in the late spring and had it in a cast up to my forearm. I tried to start training straight away and found it surprisingly difficult. Day to day the late spring/early summer meant it was always hot and sweaty. Add in training and it’s just…awful. I eventually settled on just accepting that it would be a maintenance break - anything beyond tempo (80-ish %) was just unpleasant, so it was a whole lot of endurance level work. I had the cast on for six weeks before it finally came off.

Baxter, West Vidette, Birch and, at a push, White, Mont Gosford and Mont Albert worked for me. Keep a fan on it and if you feel like sweat is getting too much, hold your arm up to let sweat drip down. You kind of have to accept that your cast is going to smell regardless of working out or not and, if you have a partner, hope that they can live with it. Luckily, mine was fine with it. It never got too awful as far as smell (or at least I never noticed. :rofl: ) and training, even lightly, through it meant I could rebound back into harder workouts without too much difficulty after the cast came off.

Good luck!

Thanks for the advice! I’ve got a plan to keep on training, I’ll feedback as soon as I can!

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I bought this:

Worked well enough. Used it for 10-15 minutes post-workout to dry out the lining.

I broke my wrist descending in the alpes late June and was in a cast until a couple of weeks ago. I wanted to train in the turbo asap as you can imagine. Basically I accepted the fact the cast was going to kick up a bit. But let’s face it casts start to smell after a while no matter what you do. What’s just as bad in some ways is it takes a few hours for the cast to dry out post workout. That’s pretty unpleasant too. It’s just one of those things though I guess. The missus made some rather uncomplementery remarks about it, and I dare say she wasn’t the only one to notice. I did take to spraying it with deodorant and sometimes even a bit of aftershave. But generally you just gotta accept you Pepe le pew for a month or so!

I had thumb surgery a few years ago and was casted for about 9 weeks.
Fortunately, due to the nature of the surgery and pins, stitches, x-rays etc; I got a new cast almost every week. Even got to pick colors to match outfits like black when I was in a wedding.
The fiberglass casts are a much better option than plaster casts as far as sweat and such.
A hair dryer on low heat helps; as I was even swimming.

Thanks again. I saw a specialist today who wasn’t concerned with me switching back to a splint (which I can remove and wash) so I’ll be back on the bike today.

For reference, there also a waterproof padding known as Delta Dry that can be used with a fibreglass cast - which means it can be washed and showered.