Drumming recovery and rehab time from fractured arm.


Senior Member
I recently fractured my left radius (forearm) bone in two places. The spot with the most pain is where the thumb roots into the wrist, which is clearly a huge factor in being able to play any kind of a backbeat.

The bones never displaced so the overall prognosis looks excellent and I may only end up with a ring cast on my wrist for 3-4 weeks, followed by physical therapy for the muscles. My doc is kind of unfamiliar with the mechanics of drumming and said he was unsure of how long I'd be off the kit.

Any one in here ever had a similar injury and have some timetables to share? Obviously I'm chomping at the bit to get back on the drums but I also don't want to permanently screw up my wrist.


Senior Member

I haven't had that kind of injury to my arm, but I did want to share the injuries I did have in case in helps in any way. I had horrific injuries, due to a drunk driver smashing his motorcycle into my body. I lost my right leg below the knee and my left was horrifically damaged. Had to have multiple skin/muscle/bone grafts, in order to save it, which they did. Having played the bass drum heel-down, with my right foot my whole drumming life, the idea of playing drums seemed impossible.

I thought about Rick Allen all the months I was in the hospital. I realized I could try to play the bass drum with my right prosthetic leg, "heel" up, obviously, since I don't have an ankle anymore. This, over the years evolved to a double pedal, where I can play the bass drum with either my left foot (heel up, since there is foot drop and a lot of nerve damage, I can't do heel down), my right prosthetic "foot", or both. I also play the hi-hat with my left foot, heel up. I also have a second closed hi-hat on the right, for when I play the bass drum with my left foot.

If I were in your situation, I would consider practicing on an electronic kit and maybe triggering a snare with your left foot. At least that way, you are still playing and practicing with the rest of your limbs while you heal. Or, just play what you can with your right hand. Obviously, I'm a huge believer in making the most of what you have. I went from lying on a hospital bed for months, doubting I could ever play, to being back in a band and playing gigs again.

Again, I know our circumstances are different, and this doesn't answer your question, but I just wanted to share. Good luck and speedy healing.


Platinum Member
DrummerCA35, I admire your attitude and devotion. I have nothing to say that would compare....

Acidline303, it's way better to break bones than to damage soft tissue. Bones heal way faster and hurt way less. With your hand, there are more complexities, but with a clean break, your biggest battle will likely be muscle atrophy. It'll take a bit to get going again, but shouldn't be as big a challenge as say if you tore tendon or caused nerve damage. I've had all three and put me down for broken bones over the other two any day.

On a related injury, I bent my thumb back when I crashed on my mountain bike. It got caught on a rock while I was sliding. It wasn't all that long after having the cast removed that things came back. What I did while waiting to heal, was work on things like timing with gap clicks. I would try various patterns, then see if I could land on the one every time. If I did well, I'd extend the gap, 1 bar, 2 bars, 3, etc. Great workout for the mind and who couldn't use some good timing exercises?

The other thing you can do is work on doing eighth notes between your good hand and HH foot. Make them sound even without the open HH sound. If you haven't tried it, it's tougher than it sounds. There's plenty to work on till the bone heals. Keeps the mind busy too and way better than waiting around.