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Radius rehab

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 14, 2009 5:08 pm GMT +0000    Post subject: Radius rehab Reply with quote

On Dec. 30 I had a serious fall on the Lajitas single track and ended up with a distal radius fracture (left arm). I am now almost 6 weeks out of surgery to implant an extended titanium plate (I broke the end of the radius into 4 large pieces), and 2 weeks since temporary pin removal (to hold a smaller side split). I have been in PT since week 2 and have ranges of motion of 60-65 for flex and extend, and about 75 for palm up rotation. Still no weight bearing, and I am still wearing a splint when driving, etc.

I know getting back on the bike is still weeks to months away, and the 2009 spring season is not gonna happen for me. Any words of advice for rehab, bike mods, or other things to watch for? Many thanks.
Bob K
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The Bike Doc

Joined: 08 May 2003
Posts: 1392
Location: Corpus Christi and Warda, Texas

PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2009 1:19 pm GMT +0000    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bob K:

Closely follow your orthopedic doctor's recommendation on your rehab. You do not want to over stress the fractured radius and get a non-union (failure to heal) of the fracture. When you get cleared to get on the bike, go with a taller handle bar/stem set up to help unweight the radius.

In the meantime before you can go ride on the street and dirt, find a exercise club that has recumbent trainers to help you keep your leg fitness. You can train on the recumbent trainer without putting any load on your wrists. To get on the road sooner, look at getting a recumbent road trike that will allow you to sit and pedal without any weight load on your wrist. Check out the model line from Catrikes made here in the USA. Currently I have three recumbent bikes in my stable and I hope to add a recumbent trike in the future. I had the pleasure to test ride the Catrike and I grin every time I think of my ride on it. The learning curve for riding a recumbent trike is short (seconds) and there is no issue of falling over trying to learn how to ride one. With my two wheeled recumbents, I learned quickly on but it took about five minutes the first time I tried it to figure out the balance point which is different than an upright bike. Were I to start over, knowing what I know now, I would buy a Catrike right up front instead making it the fourth recumbent in my stable. Check out for some enlightening and fun reading on recumbents of all types. Currently there is an article there on Catrike as weel as two other recumbent trikes. I also did an article on the medical benefits of recumbent bikes whic can be found at: .

I hope for your speedy and complete healing.
Paul K. Nolan, MD
AKA: The Bike Doc
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