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Bone Fractures

- a fractured tibia

A very close friend of mine, Drew Moore, Director of Concrete Roots Productions <facebook> in Halifax, just broke his clavicle (aka collar bone).

How? Trying a move (no handed coin drop <this video isn’t him>) that he has done successfully numerous times before. Normally, you try to land slightly on your back, on the back of your scapula (shoulder blade). He undershot it, and slammed his shoulder into the ground.

Now, before you start thinking b-boying is dangerous, read Break-Dancing will NOT kill you. Done? Thank you.
It was a mistake. No equipment or warm up could have prevented that. That’s just how most injuries happen. All activity comes with the risk of accidents. Now, moving on…

Note: Please see a Doctor if you think you have broken a bone, and follow their advice. This info is for informational purposes only (sorry, had to say it). Disclaimer here.

So, of course, he came to yours truly for some advice! A Physiotherapist who is also a B-Boy! Perfect! Well… I actually feel sorta useless. For now at least.

Bone fractures are good, yet bad injuries. But the good is very good, and the bad, just very inconvenient.

They are bad in that you have to simply rest! No getting around it this time. Sorry. When you break a bone, you can’t do much until it’s healed. A lot of this information is readily available, but I’ll sum up what you really want to know:

Healing progression:

First, a lot of swelling and bruising. Inflammation sets in. Lots of pain. That means: don’t move it! Go to a doctor. You may need surgery (usually really simple procedure to approximate the bones, if necessary), but most often just a cast or sling will do.

After about 6 weeks, a nice callus should be formed. But, still not very strong. The good news? You can start to move! But don’t lift anything too heavy, or bear a lot of weight on that body part. Ask the doc.

After about 3 months, much of the bone callus has been replaced by stronger ‘real’ bone (lamellar). Now you can start some gradual progression back to your sport/activity. Again, ask the doc (they will probably want to X-ray you again).

Over the next few months, you should be getting stronger, and exercise will help build bone density and muscles will grow stronger and supportive, and you may become fully functional, eventually fully returning to your sport.  However, keep in mind complete bone healing can last up to 18 months.


First, rest. Unfortunately, that’s it. But, it’s the most important part of recovery. Gotta let that thing heal. Following the general exercise guidelines listed above (which your Doc will tell you) will gradually bring you back to normal as you heal.

However, seeing a Physical Therapist is a good idea if you feel you have lost some function in the joint, especially if the healing wasn’t ideal (long cast time due to complex fracture or surgery).

This is ‘rehabilitation’, which is similar to ‘active recovery’.

For example: sometimes you may simply lose some range of motion (flexibility), feeling very stiff. Gentle stretches are appropriate here (after your bone has healed enough).
Or, you may feel weak (because of the disuse of muscles). Therefore, you should do strengthening exercises.

Read: How to rehab an injury – ‘active recovery’ for more details.

As you go through the stages of healing, the exercises will change – getting more intense and complex as you get better. Of course, it’ll be different for everyone. Be sure to be cleared by your Doctor before trying any exercise program.

The good news:

Bone breaks, especially minor ones, heal very well. Once finished (assuming good approximation and union), they may be stronger than ever! This is quite different than sprains, which can have a very difficult recovery – causing trouble for a long time. Once a ligament is sprained, it can remain loose for years, being prone to re-injury. But generally, once bones are healed, you’re done. Muscle strains can also be tough to deal with.

I know this article didn’t really provide a whole lot of do-it-yourself, make yourself better recommendations, but hopefully it gave you some indication of what’s in store for your bone break. I am a firm believer in patient education as being one the most important roles of health care professionals, liberating patients with confidence about their condition so they can take care of themselves and get on with their lives.

For different types of injuries, check out the Injury Section of the site above, and for any type of injury or condition, be sure to check out the Pain section.

Good Luck!

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    6 Responses to Bone Fractures

    1. Joe Caban aka Bboy SHMOE1 says:


      My name is Joe and aka SHMOE1. My question is in regards to an injury I obtained a few yrs back… Im now 26, and I believe this injury happened when I was 22/23. I was doing one handed hand hop variations during practice… when all of sudden while hopping on my left hand.. I guess I must have hopped to high or something… and my arm gave out and my entire body came crashing down on my arm/shoulder. I heard a crack… at moment was scared that I may broken my arm.. but that was not the case. I took off the rest of the night and kept rotating my shoul

      • Joe Caban aka Bboy SHMOE1 says:

        Shoulder but it did not hurt…. however over the past year or 2… Ive continued to bboy but now my left arm feels weaker than my right by alot!! Im really big into training for bboying and going to the gym and I always feel my right arm is always getting more of a workout then my left. My right arm is even slightly bigger than my left as well. I dont know what it could be… and honestly I never got it checked out. I still bboy hard, and im still able to do handhops… however this injury has taken away alot of strength from my left arm. I told a friend… and he thinks I may have torn the muscle away from the bone.. or something of that nature because my left shoulder blade wings out… and it has never done that before. Any advice on what I should do would really help out alot… thanks bro and keep up the good work.

        Deadly Venoms Crew- Baltimore,MD
        Espada Crew- Lancaster, PA

        • Tony Ingram says:

          Hey Shmoe1!

          Thanks for checking out this site!

          Very interesting! Funny enough, I have had a similar injury trying to practice airflares, landed but like yourself, right shoulder gave out, I fell straight down, and felt a popping/crunch, whatever. Luckily that was recently and I know what to do about it (and I still cant do airflares). I was scared I might have really messed myself up at first but it only hurt for a couple weeks.

          What we both likely did was sprain some ligaments, maybe even causing some minor tears around the shoulder capsule. I get this sense by your description of being able to move it quite well. You may have also strained some muscle, but that likely healed well if you rested.

          Now, another funny thing is this prolonged weakness is actually something I am studying lately as well. I am looking at it in knee’s, and it’s part of the Masters degree I am doing in Exercise Physiology. Turns out that when you sprain a ligament, you also disrupt nerve receptors. These receptors detect joint pressure, stretch, force, etc. and they need to be intact in order to activate your strongest muscle fibres. Here are references for people who might want to learn more: reference 1, and reference 2. I’m a nerd.

          What really sucks is it seems this can last a looooong time. It even remains after surgical repair. Turns out the nerves don’t heal back together very well. Obviously I am doing this research to find out what we can actually do about it! And I’ll let you know when I learn more.

          For now, I can definitely recommend that you keep strength training. And make sure you do dedicated work on that weak side. When you use both arms, chances are the good side is doing more work, even if you don’t realize it. Do simple things, like trying some one arm pushups against the wall and eventually on the ground. Keep your shoulder ‘active’ to help with that winging. Check out this great tutorial, and take note at the diagram of the back muscles, where it says “lock these together”. Do whatever exercise you choose for low reps and sets, make it a real strength workout, not endurance. Do this once or twice a week. It might take a while to get the strength back completely. What you are doing is compensating for those nerves that haven’t healed completely.

          That’s all I have for now! I hope you found this helpful! If you are confused or need any clarification just write back again!


    2. Joe Caban aka Bboy SHMOE1 says:

      Thanks alot for the information bro. Im doing some more research myself and I appreciate the feedback. I was told I may beed surgery… that kinda scares me because I feel like I may out of the scene for a while before it heals completely… I think thats why I havent checked it out… cuz 1. I can still dance, and 2. I dont want to stop dancing.. although I know I need to get it looked at. Thanks again for all the info and will def use it to help myself get better.

    3. Tony Ingram says:

      Hey Joe,
      Def get it checked out… however, if it’s not painful or keeping you from doing anything you want, then I wouldn’t get surgery! Of course, it depends on what your Doc says. But like I said above the research shows that this weakness could remain after surgical repair. So if this is just something you can help through exercise/rehab, I’d definitely think twice about surgery.
      Glad you found this helpful. Be sure to email me with questions if you would like to talk about this more! I like this stuff!
      Take care,

    4. b boy pain says:

      i have a brockin arm so how i will be a b boy

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