Distal radius fracture

After 30 plus years of racing I finally racked up my first crash. Gravel race on a steep descent, almost had it under control, but lost it at the last second and stuck my hand out like a dummy. Distal radius fracture. Seeing surgeon when I fly back to Austin, but plate and screws look likely. Who’s been there? And how long before you were back on the bike? Especially off road? Bummed because I was doing UCI gravel qualifier in a couple weeks

No experience with that injury, but I’d recommend Dr. Robert Foster at Texas Ortho in Austin if you don’t already have an Ortho lined up. He’s a hand specialist and I’m not sure if your injury falls under his specialty or not, but he came recommended to me when I had a couple displaced fractures in my hand in January. He deals with athletes, so has some perspective on those of us who are eager to get back in the game and understand aggressive rehab/training. With your “PT” tag, I’m guessing you’ll have a pretty good handle on rehab if PT=physical therapist. Good luck and wishing you a quick recovery.


I broke mine in an enduro race 2 years ago. It didn’t require surgery though, just a cast for 4 weeks. I was back on the MTB 2 weeks after the cast came off, so 6 weeks total. A bit rushed according to my doctor (and my wife :rofl:). I used a brace for a month until it was back to 100%.

Been there; also a bike injury (relatively slow-speed, freak MTB stick-in-the-front-spokes kind of situation). Anyway, same as you – distal radius fracture. My orthopedic surgeon recommended surgery (imagine that: a surgeon who recommends surgery).

But in my case the fracture was not displaced, which I think is key to evaluating the need for surgery. I happen to have a family connection to a very good hospital abroad, and I sent the digital images to be evaluated by a disinterested third party. Their recommendation was: it’ll heal just fine (albeit more slowly) with no surgery.

Yes, the old-school plaster cast was annoying, and yes it was on for 5+ weeks, but it healed perfectly. I have full mobility and in retrospect the cast really wasn’t that bad. Zwift rides with the cast were easy. Fitness barely affected, best I could tell. However, it sounds like racing is more important to you than it was/is to me, so maybe that’s a factor. But I’m glad I went the no-surgery route.

Either way, best of luck!

i’m claustrophobic. the idea of a cast scares me more than surgery!! same boat, though: slight displacement, so 50/50 on surgery. getting 2 opinions today and tomorrow (it helps when you have doc’s petsonal cell numbers and can just text them and say “hey, i need to get in” :grinning: ). thanks for the encouragement!