Return to training after collarbone surgery

I had a very high speed crash on Sunday and was quite lucky to walk away with a broken collarbone and nothing more serious… I’m having surgery tomorrow and wondering how I should go about returning to training in a few weeks’ time. I was thinking of a couple of weeks of Z2 rides on the turbo, before introducing some Sweet Spot work. I would be interested to know how others have returned to training after this injury. Cheers.

I’d refrain from anything sweaty until your incision is healed. Great way for an infection is to get your bandages wet and have that keep the skin around your incision wet. Give it 2 weeks. Trust me, your bike is gonna be the last thing on your mind for a few days post op.

When you get back, I’d suggest a big riser block under the front wheel to help unload your arm weight on the bars, if not just spinning z1/2 sitting upright

Good luck!

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@Chawski Thanks dude. I keep reading all these posts about people back on the turbo after a few days post-op, but I am terrified of doing anything that might cause infection or affect the wound in any way. Incidentally, I’m three days post-op now and feel really good (all things considered). Night and day compared to the pain pre-surgery!

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Operating on athletes is my favorite thing and also the hardest…

I love it because theyre enthusiastic to get better. The mental component of recovery is equally, or more, important as physical

Hard because you give an inch, they take a mile! “Sure, you can do some light cardio”…“cool thanks doc, climbed a mountain yesterday, felt fine!”…That said, I became a patient last year with my shoulder, and I wasnt a whole lot better, so who am I to judge! haha

If your surgeon gives you the thumbs up to start on the turbo before sutures are out, grab some Island Dressings (Telfa makes some that they usually have at wally world) Cover up before the workout and take it off after and give it a good cleaning. Itll keep head sweat off the incision and will absorb the sweat from under the dressing. If youre hairy, shave around the area first. Way less pain to shave than wax yourself when you take it off

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Ha, yes I can imagine. We are all obsessed with getting back to activity as soon as possible… often to our detriment!

I’ve been told to wait to get back on the turbo until after the sutures come out, 2 weeks post-op. It’s frustrating but I’m sensible enough to know that 2 weeks off isn’t going to ruin my fitness gains in the grand scheme. It takes how long it takes…

Thankfully I really love the actual process of training, so I’ll enjoy the challenge of getting back to full speed, and then more. I’m taking the time off to plan out the second half of my year too, which is actually an enjoyable process.

I broke mine 5 weeks ago. Displaced “Z” fracture no surgery but likely should have been. I’m 53. I was back on the trainer after a couple of weeks and I did my first 25km easy ride outside yesterday after getting the go ahead from my doctor and physiotherapist. The bone is healing nicely but now I’m just working on restoring range of motion, stability and strength from soft tissue damage.

Good luck and heal up quick!

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Congrats on getting back out on the road mate! Mine was badly displaced (picture below) and I pushed for surgery as the upper section of the broken bone was ‘tenting’ up against the skin which was utter agony! Onwards and upwards now I suppose :+1:t2:

Here’s mine. Not quite so displaced as yours.

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If I could have a do-over I would have insisted on surgery and requested the break be aligned and pinned, plus gotten treatment from a sports physiotherapist BEFORE the surgery or perhaps during surgery while sedated.
Instead, I got the typical brace recommendation. Now have a permanent bump sticking up and uncomfortable crunching under my shoulder blade whenever I lift and rotate my arm back.
It’s not just the broken bone you need to worry about, especially if you came down hard.

Ah man I’m sorry to hear that. Hope it doesn’t affect your day-to-day too much. From what I’ve heard, they are apparently very reluctant to operate here in the UK which, sadly, is likely down to budgets and lack of beds.

@Stevehoyles Ouch, still looks painful. How soon were you back on the turbo? I’m getting my stitches out in 9 days’ time and hoping I’ll be cleared for indoor riding again then.

I did a slow spin on the trainer at day 6 and my first full VO2 max session one week after.

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Sutures are out! Hooray! Going to try a Z1 spin on the turbo tomorrow :+1:t2:

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