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Broken Hip

labarumlabarum Posts: 110
I'm 60 years old and have never broken a bone - until now. Monday I hit some black ice just round the corner from home on Southampton Common. The bike flipped onto it's side very quickly and my right hip took the full impact.

I was in good company that day - A & E stuffed full of fractures - the following two days were worse.

Anyway, I am home and mended now. Three screws and a plate inserted by spinal block - yes, I heard the "Black and Decker"!

Now for rehab. I am sure the local NHS will provide the right advice and support, but they do seem to be focussed more on those whole mobility was poor before the fall.

Other cyclists must have had broken hips, and may be able to give me tips. Yes, I am 60, but fit, healthy and more able-bodied than many a 40 year old. I want to make maximum progress within sensible limits, and I will tell the physios that.

I will go swimming as soon as they will let me. I hate machine in Gymns, but might have to do it!

A couple of years ago I did consider buying a recumbent trike just for the fun of it and I guess I will be able to use such a cycle before a bike , but they are rather expensive and in traffic I would feels safer on my large Audax.

Any tips from members of this board?


  • I have a mate who is a fellow racing member and tester who is also a hip surgeon. When i can track him down ill see what he says.
  • labarumlabarum Posts: 110
    brownbosh wrote:
    I have a mate who is a fellow racing member and tester who is also a hip surgeon. When i can track him down ill see what he says.

    Thanks, that would be great. As I said, I am 60 and try to get out every day for a gentle 10 or 15 miles on a trad Reynolds Steel Audax by Robin Mather. I am reasonably fit for my age, but have never been an athlete.

    Your friend might like to know that I cannot praise Southampton General enough - the nursing and surgical teams were incredible - and such lovely people too.

    I had a hernia op a couple of years ago by spinal block, so took the same option this time. I am sure not being "poisoned" by a General Anaesthetic helps. I was discharged Christmas Eve, the day after surgery. I was confident to go and they to let me. It helped them as they had patients with broken bones stacked up all over the place.

    There is no hurry for your surgeon friend's comments - clearly the first few weeks I will not be able to do much at all.
  • binlinusbinlinus Posts: 305
    Bad luck mate. Similar happened to me a couple of years ago -- aged 45 on a wet road. Same as you spinal injection and the sound of drilling.

    My advice. Learn to use your crutches to get you about. You need to move about -- little and often. Don't try to flex your hip too much, take it easy. But keep moving. The screws will hold the bone together allowing you to put some weight on the leg.

    Avoid swimming because there are too many slippery surfaces and it encourages the wrong type of flexibility.

    Do lots of walking. You should be able to get out and about with the crutches, but go easy. Walk 15 minutes at a time then sit down and rest. Be very careful on stairs (there is a technique you can use to get up and down stairs but you have to be shown it and be very, very careful). Until you can use the crutches, go up stairs backwards on your *rse. Undignified, but very safe.

    Don't try getting on any type of bike until a doctor says that it is ok to flex your hip. They will encourage knee flexibility first.

    You will go from two crutches to one crutch then use of a walking stick. This will take six or more weeks from crutches to a walking stick. They'll guide you at the fracture clinic. Don't expect much other help from the NHS. Your GP may refer you to a physio if you are lucky. Other wise you have to pay.

    I found the cross trainer (like cross-country skiing) a good machine to use. Flexed the hip just enough and helped with my lop-sided posture after weeks on crutches. You will lose muscle mass which you can regain by weight training once your are given the ok.

    Any questions, just ask.

    Good luck.

  • Spoke to him on the club run today fella his surgery list is 7 times longer after this week! He said he would need to know a bit more about what part you actually broke as some bits require prolonged rest fom the bike to prevent any damage whilst healing. So tell us.......
  • SplottboySplottboy Posts: 3,695
    TAKE IT VERY easy...Broke my Neck of Femur March, '08, Still gettting some problems, but related to torn groin after being chased by dogs = postmans lot!
    Dynamic Hip Screw left numb feeling where scar is.

    I'm now a very fit 52, but the last 2 years have been very, VERY hard.
    Put about a stone on, some muscle, but a bit of fat too. Hard to loose it without my Trail runs, but 2010 I'll be running again. Walk/jog on the beach first, then hopefully up to 10ks later on.

    Stability was compromised for very long time, but was doing turbo's after 6 weeks, light.
    Got back to road rides after 2 months or so, up to 3.5 hr hard.
    Doing loads of Swiss Ball, circuits, weights and stretching every other day.
    Dog chases put me back 3 - 4 times unfortunately.
  • normanpnormanp Posts: 279
    Hard luck Labarum. This happened to me ski-ing 4 years ago (I was then 53). You can get back fully with care - binlunus' advice is good. It is really worthwhile to have physio for the first few months - I needed 'educating' to use muscles correctly and get back most (but not all) of my previous flexibility. Go gently and gradually - it will need some patience. It will need periodic monitoring to check that the head of the femur is surviving OK. I have never had the bolts removed (they cause no trouble)...
  • broke my hip (greater trochanter with some fractures from this point) on the same sunday the 3rd i think, slipped on some ice and trashed my bike aswell, mine did not need pinning however i have loads of questions if anyone can help?
    1. when should i put pressure on it
    2. how much movement should i make
    3. when should i go back to work
    4. how long will my recovery be
    5. will it be as strong in the future
    6.when will i be able toget back on a bike.

    any help thanks in advance
  • normanpnormanp Posts: 279
    Hi merrick
    The answer to 5 should be yes. I think bones can actually be stronger as they tend to over-repair in the medium term.
    The answers to the others must depend on your individual injury. I know that if it is pinned/bolted you can start to put a bit of weight on it quite soon. In your case I think you have to trust the professionals. I would say again: try to be patient and ensure that you get physio as soon as the pros deem it possible. Sorry not to be more specific.
    I would guess that without pinning you must avoid any falls or sudden force on it for now. Bone can knit together in 4-6 weeks (but could be longer depending on circs, age etc)
  • rakerake Posts: 3,204
    i could have warned you before hand this was going to happen. shame really it could have been avoided. good luck recovering.
  • thanks Norman, i am 35 so hopefully, the recovery will be ok. i'll get incontact with a physio asap. any other tips let me know.

  • labarumlabarum Posts: 110
    brownbosh wrote:
    Spoke to him on the club run today . . .. So tell us.......

    Thanks for your response and for speaking to your hip doctor friend.

    Sorry for my tardy response. This forum is set to send email notifications to me, but didn't Probably my spam filters.

    My hip bone is split just below the ball joint, but he crack is not all the way across. I believe I have been patched up with three screws and a plate. I have an Xray and consultation tomorrow which is why I went looking of this forum. If I can get a more technical description of my injury, I will do so. I was told the problem with repairs like mine is that the blood supply to the ball of the joint does not adequately repair itself and the bone dies. I my case I was told the risks were good because the fracture was not right across.

    I can raise my leg from a standing position till my thigh is just above the horizontal and I have normal movement forward, rear and to the side. I have had one session of pysio in the gym and two in a pool, but they say they cannot do much more till I am allowed 50% weight bearing which permission I hope I will be given tomorrow.

    I see some muscle wasting in my right thigh which I put down to lack of use. Now I need to work hard within limits set by the physios and get back on the road. Any advice your cycling doctor can give would be greatly appreciated.
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