broken clavicle...surgery or not?

Discussion in 'Health Nutrition and Supplements' started by James Thomas, Jun 21, 2004.

  1. bridsmath

    bridsmath New Member

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    Hi mila! :)

    You did the right thing. Doctors don't normally recommend surgery for this type of break, so that means if he said you needed it then you most likely did. Don't worry about the scar. Treat it with some Vitamin E and it will fade with time. I think scars are sexy on chicks :)

    Good luck and speedy healing!

    -Brad
     


  2. b1_

    b1_ New Member

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  3. bridsmath

    bridsmath New Member

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  4. b1_

    b1_ New Member

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  5. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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  6. gplama

    gplama Well-Known Member

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    Correct. Note the date... April 1st...
     
  7. curby

    curby New Member

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    ER doctor looked at the x-ray and said 'broken collarbone, see the orthopedic surgeon, wait here' Surgeon came over 10mins later and said 'do you want a pin or a plate?' I had one clean break about 3cm from the end of the collarbone but clear of the AC joint. the surgeon was really high on the plate w/hook so I had him put that in a while I took a nap, just few hours after initial consultation. i guess the 'protrusion' at the end of the plate (hook) sticks thru the AC joint somewhere... it looks really good on film (x-ray) but it feels quite crunchy now that the arm is in use. After 1 week of no sleep due to pain (no comfortable position possible) I was able to manage a few hours in the easy chair then wake up for an hour or so to get feeling back in the arm, take meds and let the pain subside so I could get another couple of hours sleep. it was like that for the following week. I never got any strong pain killer tho, some tylenol hybrid was all they gave me and it never made the pain go away, maybe took the edge off is all. I am 3 weeks post/op and worried about rehab... the doctor saw new x-rays last week and said everything is great but didnt want to talk about physical therapy until 6 weeks! I was thinking maybe that is due to insurance constraints. Can anyone share rehab schedule with the forum? Doc did say I can go without the sling but no lifting or raising the arm more than about 45 degrees... I think isometrics for the shoulder should help tendons that might have stretched and fight scar tissue forming but what do I know... advice welcome!
     
  8. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    You'll have a hard time finding a PT willing to start therapy that early, without doctor's consent (in some states, you don't need a prescription for PT, but in the case about which you're asking....well....the PT would be assuming a big liability....). After I crashed motorcycle racing and ended up with 26+ fractures in my chest and neck, including 4 in my collarbone, I was able to start therapy 4 weeks after the accident but only because my father-in-law owned the PT clinic and the therapist was a family friend (I wanted to get back to racing as quickly as possible). I can tell you this: it wasn't fun and required that I load up on pain killers before each visit.

    Waiting 6 weeks may actually allow you to get back in the swing of things more quickly, as after 6 weeks you'll likely be able to tolerate PT better and push harder. PT at the wrong time can cause setbacks.

    You should talk with your orthod to see if starting PT early is an option, and if so, if it's a smart option.
     
  9. curby

    curby New Member

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    thanks for the help/advice, sorry for my late reply this week flew by trying to do some alternative training, stairs, situps, squats (deep knee bends really) etc. shoulder is both improving and giving me more trouble, which is expected I think since the inside is healing, sometimes its looser and hurts and sometimes tighter and more comfortable. I must have really ripped up my tendons through the shoulder in my fall... bicep turned totally bruised this week (2 weeks after the surgery) doh! but sleeping is improving!

    thanks again

    curby
     
  10. treble99

    treble99 New Member

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    hi new to the forum broke my collar bone in the isle of man nearly three weeks ago sorry on an enduro bike:rolleyes:had the plate and eight screws had the sling on and off in this time went to my local hospital in hull today wanted the sling off altogether and to get back to the gym and biking still in a bit of pain but just missing my bike went on the static bike and treadmill on a fast walk last night any how the doctor told me today he might have to re operate because one of the screws on the shoulder end is too long goes right threw the bone and into another bone?so he is on about taking it out and putting one in the same size as the rest any one else got this problem or heard of it?thanks Steve
     
  11. Curb

    Curb New Member

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    Yes, I’ve heard of doctors re operating on the plate, I also have one the six screws in my plate that is just a wee bit longer than the others but not like yours sticking into another bone! This doctor of yours should have discovered this after the operation but was probably to lazy or rushing through your operation.
    I say this because right after my operation 2 years ago, my orthro, after I woke up, was standing there with an x-ray picture of what he had just f done and he showed it to me. He said "it look good". I guess your doctor did not take x-rays directly after your plate was installed. I hope your re surgery will be covered under warranty.
     
  12. treble99

    treble99 New Member

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    went back in hospital on Thursday to be reopened and had the long screw which was at the shoulder end removed it wasn't just a bit longer it was at least three times the length of the other seven! the surgeon told me it was bending and he could not guarantee it would come out without breaking off!any how it did and now all my screws are the same length!what a difference it has made its four weeks to the day since my op and i have 90% movement pain free!apart from the new cut its feels great if the first surgeon had not used the long screw i would have been out on my bike today as it is i am set back a couple of weeks now thanks for the reply Steve.
     
  13. MargaretSull

    MargaretSull New Member

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    Hi, I am new to this site as well- not a cylcist YET as I have been waiting for surgery on my broken collarbone for months! Apparently is has been broken for 3 years and held together (superficially) with scar tissue only.

    I have been unable to use my arm properly for the past 3 years! Finally I got someone to believe me and now that the scar tissue is gone- my head has been bobbling. Its like a babies head- very top heavy- I ended up in bed for three weeks with a Major Concussion- because of a bump to the head- no muscles to stop the impact.

    I broke the same collarbone (the same way) in a car accident 20 years ago- I thought the large bump was from the first injury- very close to the other bump.

    YES there are a lot of very important nerves etc in the shoulder, Every single one of mine were on high alert for months (completely debilatating). It would truly send you insane with the pain. I would argue against the fact of 95% healing naturally- unless they are children.

    I was ready to walk into the O.R. a few days ago but surgery was cancelled at the last minute- due to blip in EKG (apparently common in women). Now I am to the point where I would pay a butcher to fix my collarbone if I could (ha ha).

    I have to have the bone graft from my hip- the longer you wait- the more the ends of the bone dry up and die off- which means they will have to take more bone from your hip- to make then ends meet. (I heard its very painful- I will let you know!)

    GET THE SURGERY IF YOU CAN- THE SOONER THE BETTER!!!

    my life is totlly on hold now while waiting for this to be fixed.

    thats my 2 cents worth!

    S. :eek:
     
  14. gplama

    gplama Well-Known Member

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    Eeek! Your post reminded me to update this thread with my latest break.... in addition to my right clavicle pin (here: http://www.cyclingforums.com/health-nutrition-supplements/133419-broken-clavicle-surgery-not-20.html#post3259333) I was taken out in a race seven weeks ago at 55km/h. Result, pubic ramus fracture (pelvis/ouch) and left clavicle. Second break on this one, it was broken near top 18 months ago (no displacement / operation for that break):

    [​IMG]

    And fixed the following day at Barwon Health - Geelong Hospital.

    [​IMG]

    Two nights in hospital. Spent most of the first week in bed due to broken pelvis. Only wore a sling a few times on the arm. Weeks two and three the arm was almost fully mobile - but no lifting with it. End of week three I was back on the indoor trainer with both hands. I've got a little bit of stiffness around the top of the clavicle but physio helping with that - no other ongoing pain/issues. Been out for 2hr rides with no problems.

    Third clavicle break for me, second operation to fix them, no problems at all.
     
  15. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    Wow. I have to ask why your doctors have let you go so long with a shoulder giving you so many issues? You've had a non-union for 3 years? Results such as yours really are the exception when it comes to broken collarbones.

    As for what to expect with your upcoming surgery and the necessary bone graft....I have had two bone grafts done, each with bone harvested from my iliac crests, one each side. In each case the donor site was sore after surgery for a few weeks and walking was painful, in one case, for a short while. In the other case I didn't notice so much because the graft, from the pelvis, was done on the leg on the same side, so walking was already painful. In neither case was the donor site pain unbearable.

    Good luck with your surgeries and the subsequent healing.
     
  16. MargaretSull

    MargaretSull New Member

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    Well I guess it was a calamity of errors- I went to emergency by ambulance but doctors asked husband (now ex husband) how bad the accident was and he said it was just a fender bender. I was in so much pain but they wouldn't give me anything because I foolishly admitted to taking Advil in the ambulance.
    I begged them not to move me (had back issues and pelvic as well) so the doctor said well I guess you can take her home.
    I spent weeks in bed but everything hurt equally and there was no point complaining.
    Collarbone healed superficially with scar tissue. I thought old broken collarbone was hurting but do remember saying it felt like it was broken again.
    Kept complaining and found it hard to do anything using my arm (ie: cleaning etc)- was accused of being lazy- which caused marital issues- which caused teenager issues - then moved- blah blah blah, then a friend died- then insurance had me evaluated and insurance doctor said I was being paranoid of re injury- forced me to go to gym for "re-hab" well that did it- re- injury! (I wasn't paranoid- I just know my body)
    Pulled it totally apart ripping the nerves along with it.:mad:
    Months later I am waiting to go for surgery. Now my EKG showed my heart was experiencing stress!! So now I have to wait and have another EKG- who wouldn't be stressed:eek:

    Oh well - hopefully I will have the surgery (just one) soon-
     
  17. ncycle

    ncycle New Member

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    This is the best forum on broken clavicles on the web! Thanks to all for contrubuting, as it seems to be one of the bones we break that has a number of options for treatment, which is so confusing. I am a new member of the broken clavicle club, after road riding, mountain biking and motorcycling for several years. Here's my story and hope it helps someone else along the way.
    I was 26 days into my one year sabatical on my motorcycle, when I hit newly grated gravel and went down at about 70 km/hour. Goal was to spend the year on the bike, touring North, South, and Central America. Hence, I was just outside of Labrador when it happened. The emergency Doc confirmed the broken clavicle, and told me that I was lucky because I didn't require surgery. Desparate to stay on the road, I sat in bed in a hotel for 2 weeks, in pain- especially in the shoulder blade, like a knife going through my back. Not my only injury, but the bruised ribs and the brusing on the shoulder, arm, and deltoid was slowly improving. We rented a car so that we could continue travelling while me and the bike healed. One week later, the pain was worse, so I popped into a different hospital for an x ray. They told me to book in to seen an Orthopedic Surgeon. So, one week later, I was seeing an excellent shoulder guy in Charlottetown. (Dr. Stewart Campbell) He recommended surgery right away, as I had broken my clavical at the distal end, close to the shoulder, and completely displaced the coracoclavicular ligaments with loss of bony contact at the fracture site. He recommended either excision of the distal clavicle and coroclavicular reconstruction or open reduction internal fixation of the clavicle, possibly with a distal clavicle hook plate. As the surgery requires a lot of follow up due to the possiblity of infection, etc, I opted to return home to have it looked at by a local surgeon and have my care here instead of travelling. Three days later, I was home and went into the emergency ward to expedite my care. I was seen by the emergency Doc there, and he had only seen 40 of these types of breaks in thousands of clavicle injuries, and even showed my xrays to students in emergency, as they are unique. (how special) Then, I saw 3 intern surgeons, who recommended I go right in for surgery. (no surprise there). I get into the hospital right away, and am convinced this is the way to go, as I don't want to disrupt my trip any longer than possible, and I am very active, skiing, tennis, golf, gym and motorcycling among a few things I enjoy. (female, 50, by the way) That morning, I meet with my surgeon, and he tells me they have decided not to operate, as they feel that it will eventually heal on it's own. He spent all of 3 minutes dropping this bomb on me, and I had no time to question him or give him my full story. This is also on my right side, and I am right hand dominate.
    So, out I go and now I sit, still with stabbing pain in my back, and a shoulder that floats around and I am unable to walk short distances, even though I completed a 1/2 marathon 2 months ago...Next step for me is a Sports Medicine Doc, and a shoulder guy who will understand my needs. I don't want to sit out my year off waiting for my shoulder to heal or not heal...
    I will update my story as it continues!
     
  18. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    A lot of us can feel your pain....or have in the past. What reasons did the surgeon give for deciding not to go through with the surgery? Obviously you're frustrated. Remember though that the decision about surgery isn't necessarily an easy one for a surgeon. As you no doubt have been told, surgery carries risk, sometimes significant risk. I think it might be a good idea to temper your expectations a bit as it would seem, after seeing so many docs, that the best choice for treating your shoulder isn't all that clear.

    Good luck.
     
  19. cormacoc

    cormacoc New Member

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    Hi folks,

    Newbie this seems to be the best forum for what I wanted to ask. I fell off my bike just over a week ago. Yesterday I saw the orthopedic and when she first looked at my x-ray she seemed convinced that I needed surgery because the two parts of the bone where just to far away from each other to join, and also there would be to much of an overlap if they did. But after consulting with "the boss" I was told it "may" join on their own and was sent on my way and in my sling for another month! My mother is GP and is adamant that I need surgery after seeing the x ray.[​IMG]
    so I am thinking surgery is definitely my best option. and was just wondering how long it took people to get back to work after the surgery? I'm a student at the moment in my final year so really can't afford to miss much time!

    A big thank you to whoever provided this forum it answered so many questions I had!
     
  20. Clayt

    Clayt New Member

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    I broke my collarbone in a organized century ride on 9/4. I was in a large group and people started wrecking in front of me and we were doing ~25mph when I had no where to go but over the bars. I landed on my head and shoulder shattering my helmet and collarbone into four pieces. I went to the first doctor on 9/7 in which he explained that most of these he puts in a sling and lets them heal on their own... however, he thought mine did not look like it would heal and sent me on to a larger hospital the next day. I met with the second ortho doctor on 9/8 in which he said I needed surgery. So, after reading all 39 pages of this thread I had surgery on 9/10. I am now 3 weeks post op and am just now feeling decent. The first week was pretty miserable. I wasn't necessarily in pain but more uncomfortable. I could not sleep for more than a couple of hours at a time. The second week was much better. I was able to sleep in the bed again and start moving my arm some. The doctor told me he did not want me out of the sling except to shower for at least 4-6 weeks. I have been doing my best to do exactly that. The second week I did have a lot of pain in my forearm in which I called the doctor and went for a visit. He explained that is was because my arm was in the sling so much and to start working my arm some but not the shoulder. This is my third week and I am feeling much better. I am still wearing the sling when I am out and about but when at home or at work in my office I take it off. I go back to the doctor on 10/13 and hope that I will be started on PT. For me, I don't think I had a choice but to have surgery to be back to somewhat normal in a decent timeframe. During my first x-rays I was told my collarbone was in 3 pieces but when the doctor did the surgery, there were four pieces. The extra screw you see in my shoulder in from a previous surgery while in my teens for hyperelasticty to keep my shoulders from dislocating. Hope this helps someone in the future as it was great reading for me after my accident! --Thanks! If you have any questions for me please post them, I will check back periodically. One thing I would like to hear from on the people that have had the surgery is how many have had the hardware taken out? I am curious to hear about the problems long term with the hardware left in. If you still have it in how long have you had it and do you have any problems with it? If you had it out, why did you have it taken out?
    Before:
    [​IMG]
    After:
    [​IMG]
     
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