Wednesday, June 18, 2014

My Plan for Speedy Collarbone Healing (Nutrition, Supplementation, & Training)

Well, I haven't blogged in FOREVER, but I've been scouring the internet for the last several weeks looking for supplements to promote bone regrowth, exercises that can be done with a broken collarbone, quick and easy Paleo Meal recipes that I could fix with 1 arm, and various other odds and ends related to my most recent collarbone break and recovery efforts.

A very abbreviated history:

  • June 13, 2013 - I broke my left collarbone in a Crit, and surgery was required to repair it. I was religious about sticking to strict Paleo Protocol during my recovery, and came back very quickly, and stronger than ever. 
    • Surgery was June 28th (~ 2 weeks after break)
    • I was on the trainer 1 week post-op.
    • I was back on the road 3.5 weeks post-op with no restrictions other than no racing yet.
    • I returned to racing 7 weeks Post Op
  • February 16th, 2014 - I was in a really bad accident during a Road Race, and re-broke my left collarbone at the end of the existing plate. This time, I had a compound break (they actually scraped road paint off the exposed end of the bone. . . ewwwww). . . and I had a pretty severe concussion. I was life-flighted  from the accident site to the nearest Trauma Center, and emergency surgery was performed. I was in the hospital for several days due to the high risk of infection. This break was MUCH worse than the first, and recovery was slow and painful. I got depressed and let's just say that I did NOT stick to my Paleo Protocol (pretty much as far from it as I could get after a while) My sugar demon reared it's ugly head and I now joke about the fact that the "Ben & Jerry's Diet" is apparently NOT conducive to bone healing. . I tried to justify it by the fact that I was getting my calcium in. . but c'mon. . I wasn't fooling anyone!
    • Emergency Surgery was February 17th
    • It took 4 weeks this time before I was back on the trainer, and then it was sporadic at best
    • I was back on the road at 6 weeks, but limited to solo rides because bone wasn't fully fused
    • I was not cleared for group riding until 11 WEEKS post Op, and even then, my bone wasn't fully fused, and I was instructed to be careful
    • I am now 16 weeks Post-Op, and the bone still isn't fully fused, and they are worried that it may become a Non-Union
  • May 24th, 2014 - I hit a huge pothole on a group ride in Austin, took a spill and broke my right collarbone. 
    • Surgery was June 6th (~2 weeks after break)
    • A follow-up apt 1 week Post-Op showed that it's lined up nicely and already knitting, but the left side is STILL not fully fused.
SO, this is what's led me to begin all of this internet research. Since the 3rd break, I've been really careful about what I've been eating for the most part, with only 1-2 small splurges, but after the most recent appointment on Monday where I was informed that they are concerned about a Non-Union of the Left Collarbone, I am officially on an All-Out Mission to heal BOTH sides once and for all. 

I'm blogging my plan and progress in the hopes that it may help someone else out there whose trying to promote healing as quickly as possible from a collarbone break, while staying active and preventing loss of fitness.

THE PLAN (effective TODAY, June 18th, 2014 until both collarbones are fully fused):


  • Cutting out Caffeine (OMG kill me now. . coffee, I will miss you!)
  • Cutting out all alcoholic beverages (not really an issue - I rarely drink)
  • Daily cup of home-made Bone Broth (from grass-fed cows)
  • Going back to STRICT Paleo 
    • Whole30 started this morning
    • Emphasis on LOTS of leafy green veg & healthy fats, and moderate amounts of fruit & high quality protein (Organic, Free-Range Eggs, Grass Fed Beef, Pastured Chicken, Wild Fish) 
    • Will be keeping caloric intake up to support bone healing
  • Supplementing w/ Calcium + D3
  • Supplementing w/ Cissus Quadrangularis
Also doing more research on a Comfrey Ointment and possibly supplementing w/ Glucosamine Chondroitin. Verdict is still out on these, but I'll be updating.

  • Get a minimum of 8 hours of sleep every single night (preferably closer to 9)
  • Using a Bone Simulator 20 minutes each side, 2 x per day, as prescribed by my Orthopedic Surgeon
  • Bodyweight Leg & Core Workouts started 1.5 weeks post-op
    • Bulgarian Squats
    • Air Squats
    • Pistols (attempted - probably have to work my way back up to these!)
    • Bridges (increased difficulty by elevating feet on bench)
    • Hollow Holds (arms at side)
    • Flutter Kicks/Hello Dollys
    • Will add to this list as I come up w/ more :)
    • Here's a 30 second excerpt from my 1st workout - felt AMAZING to work up a sweat again!
  • Stationary Trainer starting 2 weeks Post-Op
    • My Cycling coach will doing my programming and easing me back into it 
  • Back on the Road - pending clearance from Ortho Surgeon - based on speed of bone healing - Hoping for 4 weeks post-op though . . around July 4th!
1st Break - AFTER Pain Meds. . . 
2nd Break . . Not in good Shape. . .
3rd, Current Break