Cracked ribs.

tubbs_214 Posts: 185
edited June 2013 in Road general
Right I got knocked of my bike this Sunday just gone. After 2 trips to A&E Turns out I've fractured 2 ribs and lots of bruising around that area I also torn some muscle and ligaments in my shoulder and the top of my arm.

The question was that how long do people think it will be before I can get on my bike again will have to be my old bike as the shiny new one has cracked forks and very buckled wheels.

Any way thanks for any help.


  • zardoz
    zardoz Posts: 251
    Cracked ribs take 6-8 weeks to heal from my own experience a few years ago after crashing out on my MTB. You should have asked the doc. Basically if it hurts then its too soon. Might be worth getting some Physio for the shoulder once the ribs have healed though.
  • Karlos69
    Karlos69 Posts: 107
    I have just recovered from broken ribs. My fault - thought I could cycle back from a party on my Bad Boy. It's amazing how your sense of balance goes out of the window after several cans of Stella and a few Jack Daniels.
    However, I did not feel any pain when it happened but do remember lying in the gutter for a short while in the centre of Leeds. The Bad Boy was fine.

    The ribs are proper painful if broken and mine took a good 2 months to stop hurting.There is not much you can do except take pain killers. I took a combination of paracetamol and Brufen as advised by the chemist.

    I am self employed so had to carry on working. After a couple of days I was back lifting plasterboards, building stud walls etc. and I am sure I could feel them moving. That was not nice.

    You will also have trouble sleeping in certain positions as well. Rather you than me :D
    Cannondale Killer V
    Trek 6500
    Cannondale Bad Boy
    LOOK KG176
    Giant TCR Composite 1
  • wishitwasallflat
    wishitwasallflat Posts: 2,927
    I broke two ribs and damaged my shoulder 7 weeks ago in crash - was on the turbo in 3 weeks and back on the road at 4 weeks getting back to normal riding ( distance and speed) last couple of weeks- ribs are ok now very little pain but it took 6 weeks (PRAY you don't get a cold or hay fever cause sneezing is a nightmare) - shoulder is still a problem weak and painful but thank god not on the bike. My experience with ribs is bog standard they take 6-8 weeks to settle normally. All you can do is take pain meds and make sure you keep breathing deep to keep chest clear. Get physio case it's vital not to lose shoulder range of motion when unable to move normally shoulders need good rehab.

    Best wishes for fast recovery.
  • foggymike
    foggymike Posts: 862
    I was on the turbo after a week with 2 broken ribs but it hurt when breathing at all deeply. On the road after 10 days but still on ibuprofen and Tramadol which took the edge off. I didn't want too loose too much fitness though so just got on with it, but I couldn't believe they don't do anything with ribs these days - just sent off with pain killers.

    It took about 6 or 7 weeks before I stopped thinking about it, but finding a comfortable sleeping position for the first few days was the worst - ouch! Still, it was nothing after the nightmare of getting an infection after removal of all 4 wisdom teeth. I'll never see pain the same way after that! :shock:
  • cornerblock
    cornerblock Posts: 3,228
    Yep 6-8 weeks before you start to feel that you're recovering. As has been said, finding a comfortable position for sleeping is a challenge. Another thing, if possible try and avoid sneezing for a while! I never realised how painful a sneeze could be. On the other hand I actually had no problem riding soon after, it's more sudden movements that caused me the most pain. Oh and the obvious one is to try and avoid laughing too hard, so probably best to post in Commuting Chat for a while!
  • Lycra-Byka
    Lycra-Byka Posts: 292
    9 days as of yesterday since I broke one after a crash. I'm commuting already and thinking of joining the club run on Sunday for a gentle 40mile. I guess it's each to their own.
    If it hurts, don't do it.
    God bless painkillers and youth.
  • gavbarron
    gavbarron Posts: 824
    Couple of weeks and you should be ok to ride as fas ar the ribs go, as mentioned though stop of it hurts, just keep the intensity low. The torn muscle and ligaments may be the problem though and limit you to the turbo until they heal. See a good therapist early and get treated early.
    I had similar injuries after an accident, I was breathing ok after a few weeks but my arm and shoulder took a lot longer and I could barely lift my arm under its own weight. My biggest problem was that after my ribs and associated muscles healed I had tightness in my rib cage. Not enough for me to notice as such, just meant I got chest pain when fatigued or breathing heavy which I thought was the ribs not healed properly. As such it affected the season and the following one. Eventually I found a good physio who sorted me out and loosened me up and after a few sessions and lots of resistance band exercises I was back to 'normal'.
    The point I'm taking a long time to get to is that your priority should be proper and complete rehabilitation of your injuries rather than getting back on the bike as quick as possible, longer term it'll be worth it.
    Good luck and heal soon
  • giant_man
    giant_man Posts: 6,878
    A few weeks really. I only cracked one rib a year ago and that was enough. As far as riding goes, for me it was a few weeks but everyone heals at different rates. Sleeping is a challenge!
  • Lycra-Byka
    Lycra-Byka Posts: 292
    giant man wrote:
    A few weeks really. I only cracked one rib a year ago and that was enough. As far as riding goes, for me it was a few weeks but everyone heals at different rates. Sleeping is a challenge!

    Sleep is when the suffering begins for sure, that and sneezing. I find I can ride gently after 10 days even though I can't lift my arm above shoulder height.

    I see it as important to ride after breaking ribs as it stops the muscles tightening due to the unconscious restrictive breathing. I'm sure you know about the risk of chest infections after rib fractures. I see a bit of light spinning as a combative of possible infections. The other half thinks I shouldn't be riding but I'm sure I know best!

    Hope all heal soon with no permanent damage.
  • thegibdog
    thegibdog Posts: 2,106
    I think it's a "how long is a piece of string?" question really. I carried on commuting after I cracked mine, but I was only doing about 7 miles a day at the time. I think I gave it a couple of weeks before doing anything more strenuous.

    It was a few months before I was riding pain free, and I could still feel it occasionally a year or so later.
  • philwint
    philwint Posts: 763
    edited June 2013
    Is your question:
    1. When will by ribs be pain fee so I can ride without noticing them,


    2. When can I ride without risk of making them worse?

    If it's 2 then the answer is pretty much now. I've broke ribs a few times (twice crashing my MTB and once playing rugby) and the doc said I could carry on riding. But I did dial back the technical MTB routes where crashing is reasonably likely as I really was not hard enough to want to risk crashing onto an already cracked rib!!

    If 1 - a couple of months probably.
  • tubbs_214
    tubbs_214 Posts: 185
    It was deffinatly 2, I knew it would be a while before I was pain free I'm planning on going for a flat 20 mile next weekend gives me time to sort out my old bike as well cause my new one is a right off. Snapped front fork and my wheels are shot.
  • philwint
    philwint Posts: 763
    Oh the irony......

    Having posted above, I slipped crossing a ford in North Yorkshire yesterday and have now got a cracked rib to match yours lol

    The 40 miles home was ok actually - apart from the fact i had to dry out from landing in the steam :p

    Got some new Oakleys today, so having to man up and brace myself for a ride after work.