Singletracks Mountain Bike News, Product Reviews, MTB Trails and Community › Protected: Forums › Mountain Bike Forum › just got my cast off after breaking my wrist
June 11, 2012 at 17:05 #110273
so 6 weeks ago i broke my right wrist. today i got my cast off.
i have been told to "take it easy" by the doctor, but he was unspecific as to how long this period of easy taking should last. so really i want to know how long before i could be back trundling down trails and recklessly endangering myself again?
also if anyone has any tips on how to regain the movement in it i would be appreciative, its so stiff and useless right now.
June 11, 2012 at 19:34 #110274
I tore a ligament in my index finger last fall and ended up having surgery and was stuck in cast for 6 weeks too. I was DYING to get out and ride ASAP! The day after I got my cast off I taped my fingers together and went for a ride on an easy local trail without any issues. BUT, I was really lucky I didn’t fall and have to start over with my injury. I got smart and rode inside on my trainer for 2 weeks just to start getting my conditioning back. Then I slowly started adding rides on easy trails back into my routine until I got my balance and my confidence back. My Dr chewed me out for rushing back too quickly but I managed to do it without any setbacks. The first fall on your wrist will be the scariest part. I fell on my hand on the ice/snow but didn’t do any damage and it actually really helped me to get it out of my head. My advice is to take it slowly, I think your wrist may be tougher to ride with than my finger was since you will be putting more weight and strain on it while riding. The worst thing you could do is rush back and re-injure it and have to start all over. Be patient! Riding on the street or a good paved path might be a good compromise to at least get you back on your bike. Also, make sure you do your PT so you get full range of motion and strength back in your wrist, it will be really weak after 6 weeks in a cast. I got my cast off right before Christmas and my finger is still really stiff but it’s slowly coming along. Ask your Dr or therapist point blank about getting back on your bike and see what they say. They have dealt with hundreds of similar cases and should know what they’re talking about. Good luck!
June 12, 2012 at 09:13 #110275
Yeah, what he said. I broke my foot a couple of years ago at work and was off the bike for 3 months. Definitely take it easy and ask the doc point blank when you can get on the bike. The doctor allowed be back on the bike with my foot in a boot/air cast as long as I took it easy, so I kept to a moderate/slow pace on a paved rail trail. Even though you’re on a boring trail, you’re still on 2 wheels, and you’ll be back on singletrack before you know it!
June 12, 2012 at 11:22 #110276
I’m pretty much in the same situation. Broke my thumb 10 days ago and have to wear a cast for another 2 weeks. I’ll wait another week, before I get back on the bike again, starting with gravel roads. Since it is my right hand, I’ll realize soon if I’m able to shift and brake. If I’m in pain, I need to rest it longer 😢
June 12, 2012 at 13:34 #110277"trouttrunnell" wrote
The worst thing you could do is rush back and re-injure it and have to start all over. Be patient! Also, make sure you do your PT so you get full range of motion and strength back in your wrist, it will be really weak after 6 weeks in a cast. Good luck!
I could not agree with those sentences more!
I broke my collarbone just over 9 weeks ago. I’m still in the figure 8 brace but I started rehab yesterday. If I’m lucky, I’ll be back to new(ish) in 3-4 weeks.
You’ll want to get out there, but take it slowly. I was on my second ride on my new bike when I broke my collarbone. I hung the bike on hooks to help ease the temptation…well, the temptation is still there, but the giving in to that temptation is harder.
Good luck and I hope you heal quickly!
June 12, 2012 at 18:18 #110278
thanks for the advice and kind words guys.
I have a friend who’s a physio so i might ask them about it if I’m not getting the movement back as quickly as I would like. I did however have an idea in the shower this morning as I was scrubbing the copious amounts of dead skin off (there’s still more, I feel like a freakin onion). would it be wise to use a heat pack and or deep heat on it, then try and stretch it out? from my (limited) understanding muscles act somewhat like rubber under heat conditions, so heating the area would loosen them up and allow me to stretch them with more ease/less pain. thoughts on that?
June 12, 2012 at 18:28 #110279
I would think PT and time are your best bet. Heat along with cold packs are more for easing pain (pulled/strained muscles) whereas your issue is from lack of use (necrosis). If you’ve been given PT exercises, stick to those and be patient. Better to build up use gradually than rush it and re-injure it. Doing extra reps and such of your PT exercises will shorten your down time as long as you don’t over-do it. If you havn’t been given exercises, take it easy and you’ll have full use in no time!
June 12, 2012 at 19:35 #110280
same broken wrist story. I thought i was smarter than the physical therapist and could work it out on my own. I was wrong, and i suffered through stiffness and weakness, esp after a ride, until i decided to go back to ortho, swallow my pride and do a few weeks of PT ( i think i went to like 15 visits) and im better off having done it. My Dr, who is sadistic, thanked me/us for mtn biking and putting his kids through school. Then he told me it takes almost a year for all the ligaments to recover, scar tissue to subside, and get back to 100%. go easy. I also started wearing a wrist brace on the affected wrist..if nothing else, its a security blanket that makes me feel better if i lay it down, but it does help it from over flexing. worth every penny. link below
June 12, 2012 at 22:08 #110281
My main rehab has been to hold my hand in hot water while flexing it and moving it. It really loosens up in the hot water and I have way more range of motion. It goes back stiff after I stop but I gain a tiny bit more range each time. I definitely recommend you give it a try.
June 16, 2012 at 21:18 #110282
I’ve had to recover from a number of injuries to various joints. Here’s how I stretch to get usuable/lasting flexibility fast.
Get setup in a position to stretch in the most limited direction. Continue to push until you just begin to feel the stretch (don’t push hard). Then hold this position for an extended period of time. After some experience, I tend to shoot for 30 minutes, but you could start at 10 minutes and work your way up. You may have to experiment to find a comfortable position.
With this technique, I rarely lose all the flexibility I gained, and the next day starts from a better place.
The therapists have always been amazed at how fast I get my flexibility back (and ask question about how I did it). They don’t have the time to do something like this in the typical PT session.
It’s usually good to know how hard you can push things, but this approach seems pretty conservative to me.
Your mileage may vary, but I would like to hear how this works for other folks.
June 17, 2012 at 06:12 #110283
Hi, I am making a quick response and I haven’t read everyone else’s response yet. So you may already have heard this.
I broke my left wrist when I was 26. The most important thing to me was physical therapy after the cast came off. Range of motion after my broken wrist was terrible also how much my muscles had atrophied. To this day my left hand has never recovered all the strength of my right.
If you cannot work with a physical therapist "officially" I think you need to apply the concepts to a daily workout routine. Range of motion was the most important thing for me to get back first. Starting to gently roll my wrist full extension down then full extension up. After a while they added resistance to the stretching. Then after a while more it was some light weight training and so on and so forth. I was back to riding a commuter bike quickly but I could not have ridden downhill or even light xc without feeling like I might be reinjuing the break.
Take it easy, see if your insurance allows physical therapy, if not find someone (an expert hopefully) who can direct you on a daily routine to restore flexibility and eventually muscle strength and if your break was like mine expect it to "hurt" for quite a while. The effects of the break were long standing for me, but not a problem to quality of life. It was just something that had to be dealt with and overcome. I would guess that after taking the cast off and finishing a good course of physical therapy it was 3 months until I was comfortable taking impacts and jolts with the previously broken wrist. But every break is different and everyone’s recovery is different.
Best of luck and I hope you are back to 100% early and painlessly.
June 20, 2012 at 23:30 #110284
just got back from my first ride after the break. rode around a river area near where i live, all walking pathways and road. went well, almost no complaints from my wrist. the muscles running from my thumb up my arm are a bit stiff and sore afterwards though, probably from shifting gears and the like.
i am however so out of shape now its not funny (compared to what i used to be anyway). i was only able to complete two loops of the river track and i was wrecked. before the injury when i was riding several times a week if i was to ride that river track i could complete up to 10 loops running almost flat out the entire way. looks like ive got a lot of work to do to get my fitness back up.
klowe8828, i ordered one of those wrist braces so that i could get back on the trails and get back to work (i do a lot of lifting and the like at work, but I’m a student so huzzah for that as well). ill let everyone know how it/they go. i got both the 661 braces, simply because i couldn’t decide what would be better and i wanted the full one for work. only cost me $40 (AUD) for both which i think is a steal. just have to wait for them to arrive now.
thanks for all the well wishes guys, appreciate it!
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