Fractured Hip – Down for Now, but Not Out

Two weeks ago on Saturday I was heading out on a training/exploring ride on my mountain bike when I fell and broke my hip. It sounds worse than it is. Yes, I have a broken bone, but the doc is expecting a full recovery, no surgery needed.

The actual diagnosis is a fracture of the Greater Trochanter which is the part of the bone furthest away from the joint itself. It’s not all the way through the femur, just cracked like an egg at the top.

Hip Diagram

This type of fracture is apparently super rare. As you’d expect, the elderly are most at risk for hip fractures and when they fall, since their bones are more brittle, the break typically goes all the way through and they would need metal pins put in to hold it together.

Luckily, I’m not in that boat. It’s quite unlucky that I fell in such a way that created a direct impact to the hip, as apposed to the usual slide out where you’re sliding along the ground. My fall was less sliding, more brute force of impact. I likely hit a rock just right to cause the break – see exhibit A 🙂

Tim's Hip
Exhibit A. Fracture of the left greater trochanter at the top of the femur.

Bones typically take 6-8 weeks to heal, so in the meantime I’m on crutches and have to keep weight off it. I have a follow up xray scheduled in two weeks. I’d like to think that with the kind of eating I do and being a young athlete that it will speed up the healing process. No pain really, and I have good range of motion, but if I were to put full weight on it or go out and hammer on the bike it would be at risk of widening the crack (at least that’s what they tell me).

Technology is fascinating. Below is a CT scan of my hip.

The body really is quite incredible. The bone will heal on its own, first by forming a blood clot, then a soft callus over the break, and then forming new bone that is as strong as the old stuff. In time, the body will close the crack on its own and heal itself, pretty neat stuff!

So, hopefully only a couple more weeks until I can start doing some PT and light spinning on the bike. I expect it will take me a bit to get into race shape so I anticipate having to go into the first half of the season with no expectations, just have fun and enjoy the process. Hopefully it sets me up for a strong end of season.

The MBAA season has started, next Saturday will be race #2 in the series. It’s tough getting around on crutches when you’ve got boxes to carry and lots of walking to do, but Evie’s been a really great help, as have our friends to do things like walk Lucy, send me some meals, and simply show their support.

First serious injury in 12 years of riding and racing. So given the kind of riding I like to do, those are pretty good odds!

On my way to Humboldt
The day I fell I was on my way to Mt. Humboldt. If you look closely you can see the little white golf ball in the distance.
Desert Riding at it's Finest
Desert Riding at it’s Finest
Lucy Goo
No blog post would be complete without a Lucy photo!

2 Replies to “Fractured Hip – Down for Now, but Not Out”

    1. Hey Stefan, so my fracture didn’t go all the way through, which was good. I was on crutches for about 4 weeks (non-weight brearing) and cleared to go full gas by the doc at 5.5 weeks. I was told that was a pretty fast recovery. I did a lot of Collagen smoothies, meditation and resting. I started light riding on pavement about 3.5 weeks after my injury, but again that was a pretty unheard of pace for healing. In my opinion eating well the best thing you can do. Don’t overdue it at the start, and then doing PT for stability and improving my overall walking posture was helpful. I’ve always done a lot of gym and core work and don’t have any major imbalances so that made the recovery process a lot better as well. About 3 months after my injury I was back to about 90% but I also had 10+ years of serious riding in my legs. Hope that helps.

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