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Broken rib...healing time?


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13 replies to this topic

#1
OTN

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Hey all,

On a recent trip to Oregon, I spent some time mountain biking the Surveyor's Ridge Trail just outside of Mt Hood- see pic. Fantastic trail. You can see the road down below in the pic where we started. Quite the climb.

Anyway, I fell on my handlebars during the trip and broke a rib- see pic 2. Arrow = broken rib.

I'm guessing 6 weeks before I should get back on the ski/wakeboard. Anybody have any experience with this situation? Six weeks sound about right? As I'm impatient and ADHD, I'll probably get back on the bike after 3-4 weeks and take it easy, but a hard wakeboard fall would not be a good thing.

T

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#2
JeffS

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I don't know what kind of pain threshold you have - but holy crap. I broke two ribs and summer was long over before I could pull myself out of the water. It's amazing how many of your chest-wall muscles, front back and side, that you use to pull out. Wakeboard is way different than slalom - but still.

My guess, is the day that you can have a gut-busting laugh without any pain, or cough your butt off without screaming, is the day that you can begin counting down the 2 weeks before you should be doing tricks behind the boat.

I don't know much, and I don't know you - but trying to give you something you might be able to work with.

#3
Cdoogles

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It's a tough call and I think healing time varies a lot.... I broke my three lower left ribs a few years ago and I spent a week on the couch but was snowboarding about 3 weeks after the incident. On the other hand I bruised some ribs really bad last fall and they hurt bad enough to restrict my movement even after 5-6 weeks. The nice thing about ribs is that you usually aren't hurting the healing process by doing things and can just use pain as your guide. Good luck!

#4
Wakechaser

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I separated mine last summer and it still hurts and sometimes pops. I started riding after about three weeks and that was too soon.

#5
chadwick02

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GIVE IT PLENTY OF TIME

I broke at least 3 ribs and bruised\cracked a few more (doc's at the trauma center stopped counting) march 15th. I have very high pain tollerance and the ability to hold still for about as long as squirrel. The pain was intense for 3 weeks (couldnt lie down at all, moved carefully, sneeze, deep breath, laughing was awful), and was bad for another 3 or 4 weeks after that (movement was pretty good but sneezing or lieing down still hurt to an almost intorable level). 10 weeks later I felt pretty good and started skiing very slowly and easily, first on combo's, then progressed to easy slow turns on the slalom. Week 12 I took a fairly soft fall on the slalom ski and messed somehting up again. I never went to the doctors but i'm sure I re-broke at least one rib. The pain and wait happened all over again, it was 3 or 4 weeks before that stopped hurting like heck...etc. It really, really sucked.

I've broken arms, legs, collar bones, and worst pain I felt with those injuries was nothing compared to the ribs. They were brutal. Moral of the story is to give it plenty of time. Reduce upper body movement as much as you can, BUT do some deep breathing exercises to keep the chest cavity moving. And after 6 or 8 weeks, once everything feels good, give it more time. Re-breaking things is no fun and its amazing how fragile it can be even after the pain goes away.

Edited by chadwick02, September 10, 2010 - 06:01 PM.


#6
FXIGUY

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Amen to the above post. I looped out my dirtbike on a steep hill climb and rolled down the mountain. 3 ribs broken on one side and bruising on the other. Laughing, coughing and sneezing were MURDER for almost two full months. Couldn't swim much less ski.

#7
radnevrad

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Amen to the above post. I looped out my dirtbike on a steep hill climb and rolled down the mountain. 3 ribs broken on one side and bruising on the other. Laughing, coughing and sneezing were MURDER for almost two full months. Couldn't swim much less ski.

6-8 weeks is about right...for a young splinted/casted bone. The key is to not let the broken pieces move to achieve healing. We don't/can't splint rib fractures and you've got to breath (so the bones ends continually move), so the healing process can take longer and may not be as strong as the original version. That's why three weeks in a good cough/sneeze or "soft" fall can bring a man to his knees. Don't bind your chest to limit motion...can lead to lung problems. All this being said, pain is a pretty good guide. Lets you know you're alive! Best of luck.

#8
rodman

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ONT been there done that. That is why I gave up mountain biking IT HURTS. I am also a rodie and have about 7000 miles in this year. Last year I hit a tree and broke 3 ribs, they heal but slow. The less you breath the better they heal. So take it easy for a while.

If you are like me I just taped them up with a ACE bandage and I rode not comfrotible but I rode. How does it feel getting up from bed.

Forget about hanging onto a ski rope you have no idea how much core you use hanging onto that rope.

Wright this season off. Even Super Man needs a rest once in a while.

#9
Sixball

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Broke three Motocrossing . It took months to get right. I was not skiing at the time. If I moved may arms above my shoulders it put tears in your eyes. Laughing, Coughing, and Sneezing just $_ _ked! :(

#10
WakingMeHappy

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Just go ahead and do anything you want. When it hurts stop.

#11
OTN

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Thanks for the advice, all. Seems to be doing better this second week, but I can tell, just like you guys suggest, it's going to be awhile before I can be pulled behind the boat. Going to get back on the bike soon just to keep my heart pumping, but no technical trails for a long while.

Good luck out there- stay safe.

t

#12
DIE2SURF

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After 4 weeks of rest and lessening pain, I was in the gym working-out my lats on the T-bar, and separated/broke it again. Loud pop, and it hurt almost as bad as when I first broke it. Add another 4-6 weeks of rest.

My only advice would be: Allowing it the time to let it heal correctly the first time, rather that doubling the time and the pain.

Good luck.

#13
Lance B. Johnson

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Hey all,

On a recent trip to Oregon, I spent some time mountain biking the Surveyor's Ridge Trail just outside of Mt Hood- see pic. Fantastic trail. You can see the road down below in the pic where we started. Quite the climb.

Anyway, I fell on my handlebars during the trip and broke a rib- see pic 2. Arrow = broken rib.

I'm guessing 6 weeks before I should get back on the ski/wakeboard. Anybody have any experience with this situation? Six weeks sound about right? As I'm impatient and ADHD, I'll probably get back on the bike after 3-4 weeks and take it easy, but a hard wakeboard fall would not be a good thing.

T

Thats awesome....you know that is one of my all time favorite trails. I try to make it up there at least 2x a year. I used to ride that alone every fourth of july as a sort of tradition but I am smarter than that now. You picked a good one. Oh and good luck on the rib. :)

#14
Michigan boarder

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After 4 weeks of rest and lessening pain, I was in the gym working-out my lats on the T-bar, and separated/broke it again. Loud pop, and it hurt almost as bad as when I first broke it.


That would probably be the worst way to break anything. You expect it when you smash into something, but man to be lifting in good form and hear the pop and drop the weight....ouch.

I cracked a rib snowboarding my first time, right in front of my (then) 6 year old. It was classic "Hey, check this out"...decent air, clean grab, started rotating...POW. An ice-packed Michigan man-made hill hurts a lot more than 70 degree water. Of course, tough guy finishes the day like "what...I'm fine", with a couple more falls. I finally had to cry uncle when I had to keep picking up my other son (5) who we were teaching to ski.

I wanna say it was 3 weeks before I was active again. Even then it hurt, but I started skiing and tying my shoes without wincing. I'd say go 6 weeks from the date of injury, and start light activity workouts to get the surrounding tissue back up to speed.




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