Broken collarbone four months on. The itinerant cyclist

The eternal cyclist problem; the collarbone.

I'm 50. I've broken a number of bones in my time, yet somehow managed to avoid breaking my collarbone. Always put it down to rolling away from accidents, as I've fallen off a lot. Yet just before Christmas, riding my 36lb Fatty, I had a silly off. Doing nothing really. Just riding along a flat bit of trail, hit a dip off-square, went down like a sack of potatoes.

This was at the start of the ride. I knew I'd hurt myself. However, this was an organised fat bike ride with people I've never met before. If I'd been with mates, or on my own, well hospital it would be instantly.

No. I was with strangers who were enjoying their day out. No way could I go and spoil things for them. Had to ride on.

So five hours later I packed my bike into the car and drove off. Thirty miles. Riding the bike was one thing as with a back-pack I was effectively strapped up. Once sitting down, my shoulder could obviously move around again. That hurt.

Four months on.

I'm now a bit of a mess. The bone has healed, that's no bother. What has gone wrong is the advice from the hospital. Boy did they screw up. The specialist said that the bone broke due to doing an abnormal thing. I'm not about to do that again, so just do things normally and make sure to wave my arm around a lot.

For three months that's what I did.

On the third month the bone was fine. The gross thing being my collarbone now dislocates itself doing the very thing my doctor said to do.

What should I have done?

Turns out swinging my arm around like a windmill may have been fine to avoid cold shoulder, yet was too much for my tendons. Seeing a sports therapist, he pointed out that all I was doing was re-damaging tendons that got ripped in the initial accident.

Stop with the arm swinging. Go to French shrugs instead. Just lift the shoulders up and down, pull them backwards and forwards every now and then.

And stop riding the bike!

Did I?

Well, no, not really. What I did, the day after my massage where I was told not to ride a bike for a month, was to go off to Wales for a weekend cycling in the Black Mountains. Off road. The following week I rode a nasty little local trail that skirts a steep bank. Naturally I went over the handlebars not once, but twice down this bank, ending up in the brambles upside down with the bike on top of me. Obviously not great for my shoulder, or my shin, that I chipped.....

My advice.

Firstly do not listen to me. I'm a screw up who has knackered my collarbone possibly permanently.

Nope, what I'd do is get two, possibly three, viewpoints post injury. My doctor obviously meant well, and misunderstood how stupid men are. He most likely figured I'd not be riding again for some time. He didn't ask if I'd already been out on my bike, one week after breaking myself. Or if I intended on going out again. Indeed the advice to carry on as normal was taken literally.

I saw my sports massage / therapist too late. Ideally see them sooner than three months in. Talk to a good one pretty quickly. It'll cost £45, so not cheap. The bonus would be avoiding doing all the stupid things I did.

Thirdly, perhaps, just perhaps, listen to these people. They know better.