Cycling & Broken Bones


9“Thought I could just ‘shake it off’… X-ray confirmed a very clean 90 degree break through the right clavicle…I have to get up and practice dentistry in the morning.”  Dick the Cycling Dentist gets drilled

Skint couldn't understand why dogs liked him more than other riders.

After breaking a bone, just how long one is away must be decided on a case-by-case basis. Most breaks have to be kept immobilized and time to movement can vary. Choose a medical team including doctor and physical therapist who understands your active lifestyle for advice about when to return to movement and pressure.


Famous past incidents of professionals racing on these breaks are bad examples of premature and possibly supplemented overeagerness. Most riders must readjust expectations and set new goals. Some pros are able to return within weeks with a mindset accustomed to overcoming and willingness to risk re-injury, as well as access to the most contemporary specific treatments. Some are able to mount a trainer within days; others must wait weeks because the break cannot be vibrated. Risking re-injury through prematurely re-entering competition isn’t a good choice for most.


Calcification to knit bones back together takes many weeks. Cycling’s most vulnerable bone-break must be the fractured clavicle or broken collarbone, wing in a sling, away from the racing fray. When the ol’ tuck ‘n roll snuck up quickly, the shoulder’s vulnerable protrusion must break the fall and snap, crackle, pop.


The first days after are misery, no avoiding it. Make yourself as comfortable as possible and wait through the relief that will come. Expect areas near the break to be tender and in need of re-strengthening and flexibility. A coating of multicolored bruising will emerge that probably looks worse than it feels but it is tender. Ribs, femurs, tibias, the pelvis and other bones can take months to heal, changing the course of a season and even a career. When able to ride on a trainer, put it outside and ride strong focused sessions in the sun. Count yourself fortunate to have life and new reasons to ride.


Prayer for Bones

“Can these bones live? The bones moved and came together, bone to bone.” 10Ezekiel 37:3, 8

We are glad that bones knit back together with proper care. We pray for wisdom to know the difference between time to heal and suffering through some discomfort to minimize loss of fitness.


Ponder Can I leave behind what’s missed and rediscover new incentive? Affirm I will readjust my time-frame and event selection. Watch X-rays as time knits a break like a loom spinning strong weave.



9“Chad’s Broken Collarbone Report,” by Chad Crocker, posting by Dick on June 10, 2006 on

10The Bible, New International Version, Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society


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