Frank Schleck undergoes surgery to have metal plate removed from collarbone

Leopard Trek rider expects to be back on the bike over the weekend after operation

by Simon_MacMichael   January 21, 2011  

Frank Schleck at the 2011 Tour de France Presentation © Simon MacMichael

Leopard Trek rider Frank Schleck has undergone successful surgery to have a metal plate removed from his collarbone, inserted following his crash on Stage 3 of the Tour de France last July which left him prostrate on the Paris-Roubaix cobbles the race visited that day.

In a statement, the Luxembourg-based team confirmed that the rider had left a training camp a day early to attend hospital for the procedure, and that he would spend the weekend recovering from it.

“Everything went well, even though it has been a busy couple of days,” Schleck said yesterday. “I left camp on Wednesday evening, though I was able to get a training ride in during the morning and early afternoon. Then with the late night arrival home, I barely had a full night’s sleep before I went into surgery early Thursday morning. But now I have a few days to recover, and will be on my bike again by Sunday.”

The operation was carried out under a general anaesthetic, and Schleck said: “I’m still a bit sleepy from the trip and the anesthesia. But the plate and six screws were removed. I am still in a bit of pain, but that is normal since it is really quite a big effort to get in there to take out all the hardware. By Sunday I should be fine and fully riding a normal routine on Monday.”

4 user comments

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What's the benefit of having the metal taken out?
And does it apply to someone that isn't a professional cyclist?
I ask, as i'm typing this with a load of screws attached to my Collar bone...

posted by robthehungrymonkey [112 posts]
21st January 2011 - 15:44

1 Like

Well, it must weigh something and if you're a professional cyclist every milligram must count!

Wouldn't make any difference to my performance, but maybe you should have yours removed - would pay for that article?


posted by Michael5 [121 posts]
21st January 2011 - 19:31


Hmm - i'd imagine it's because medical people don't like leaving foreign bodies in their patients (for any longer than is necessary). It's an avascular area, so if it becomes colonized and infected with bacteria, it'd be very difficult to treat.

So,standard practice in many areas is to remove plates and scres,once you're happy that the fracture is healed well.

(Disclaimer - I'm a medical student, not an orthopaedic surgeon).

PJ McNally's picture

posted by PJ McNally [602 posts]
6th April 2011 - 9:04


I guess that explains why Brian Nygaard no longer stands at the finish line of time trials with a big Wile E. Coyote style Acme magnet, and they've had to resort to aerodynamic Camelbaks.

(Disclaimer - I'm not a professional comedian, I just play one on TV.)

posted by handlebarcam [545 posts]
6th April 2011 - 10:40

1 Like