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  • Writer's pictureGary Moller

Collarbone injury in Mountain Biking

Updated: Feb 20

An example of a broken collarbone several days after the incident
An example of a broken collarbone several days after the incident. (Images and story published with permission of the patient).

Fractured collarbone with strapping support
Fractured collarbone with strapping support

Here is one elite Masters MTB rider who was in with a good chance of a win at the UCI Masters World Championships this Friday. One broken collarbone last week. The injury is too close to the race, so she is well and truly out of the competition which happens in five days from now. Needless to say, she is devastated.

She is healing well, taking her home made collagen and bone broth. It is one of the tidiest collarbone breaks that I've seen, so the final outcome is good.

I showed her how to support the break with strapping tape (it is very difficult to do this with taping or just about anything else like arm slings) and it gave her a surprising degree of relief. She is also getting massages on the shoulder and neck muscles which were in a painful spasm.

She is meeting me later today for an introduction to my special version of dynamic hydrotherapy to speed the rehabilitation of her shoulders (she has had her left shoulder reconstructed). We have the perfect pool for hydrotherapy where we are staying while in Mount Saint Anne, Canada.

She can begin this form of water-based rehabilitation within a week or so, as soon as the bones are sufficiently calloused together to provide stability. Most collarbone fractures would require a longer period of immobilisation. Her fracture does not involve a deformity and is at the outer third of the bone her recovery is proceeding quickly and without complication.

It has been a good reminder for me to take it easy when close to race day. These injuries do not take much force to happen, just a bad move on the bike and falling to land on one's shoulder is all that it takes. One exercise that I have put more emphasis on this year has been to practice my forward and side rolls so that I am more likely to roll than land on the point of the shoulder when I fall (falling is inevitable for anyone riding a bike).

You can read more about collar bone injuries here:

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