broken clavicle...surgery or not?

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

  1. screwed

    screwed New Member

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    Brad and berygu, Sorry guys I'm not sure if I was clear. The problems in my hand are because the nerves were damaged in surgery, not because I have a plate in. I'v never had a tingling or burning pain, with the exeption of when the docs and phisyos do there test on me. It feels completely normal when there is no friction on the skin. The test the docs and phisyos do is to rub the top of your finger/thumb that is next to the damaged finger/thumb, if the damaged one then becomes suddenly tingly (which mine does) then that means there is actual nerve damage. So along with things like severe pains in hand and inside for-arm, shooting pains, not being able to move thumb and finger, nails like steal (had to use pliers the first time we cut them about 6 weeks after the opp - all of this was for about 2 months after surgery) and a sensation of water running up my arm when washing my hands (which I still get) they all came to the same conclusion. It's because they were damaged in surgery, not as a result of having the plate. I will be having another neurophysiology test this summer, just as a check up so i'll let you know how that goes. Sorry I'v not been here much, just been busy. Hows everything with you guys?
     


  2. bsbs1876

    bsbs1876 Member

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    Hey Sam, did the doctors completely rule out the idea of the plate possibly causing the damage? I have heard of nerves getting caught on the hardware and causing the symptoms you describe. Probably worth mentioning next time you talk to them.

    Hope you're doing well otherwise. Glad to see you back writing here.
     
  3. pnkcoral

    pnkcoral New Member

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    Trucker 77,

    It has been just about one year now, since I broke my clavicle in a high speed car crash. I too went through some anquish over trying to decide if I should have surgery and a plate installed. My break, though a clean one in the middle area, turned out to be about 140% displaced. My surgeons were adamant and insistant on the surgery but due to some 13+ broken bones from the accident I was to sick to proceed. Once I was healthy and fully aware of the possible complications, I decided to just let it heal naturally. It turned out to be one of the best decisions I ever made.

    Now, if I had had mutiply breaks in the collar bone, an over-lapping or shredded break, or perhaps some other anomaly, then my decision my have been different. But, for normal breaks in a healthy person, my experience and numerous studies say that the best course of action is to let it just heal on its own. The most important thing (IMO) is to be patient because the whole process takes a lot of time. Fortunately, I was flat on my back for the first two weeks and then I used a sling while walking and getting around in public. It seems funny now, but, I remember I was all concerned that it wasn't healing and I went out and got a an xray at about four weeks. But, at that time period the break is just putting out fibers to calcify. And, it really takes months for a more permanent calcification of the bone. At six weeks I was back swimming in a new hot springs pool and at 3 month I was back training in a pool.

    This weekend I swam in a meet down in Salt Lake. I dove off the starting blocks numerous times putting a ton of pressure and torque on the break and shoulder areas. I then swam some butterfly races. I can' think of anything that puts more pressure on the collar bone than butterfly..except maybe lifting heavy weights. I must admit the next day I was a little sore in the shoulder muscles but no pain radiated form the clavicle break.

    Today, the thought of having to deal with all the possible complications from surgery, if I had taken another course of action send chills up my spine. Nope, not only has the clavicle fused together nice and strong but all the other bones have mended too. I consider myself one lucky dude.

    Good luck with your journey..
     
  4. trucker77

    trucker77 New Member

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    Thank you pnkcoral for taking the time to reply to me. I really appreciate it
     
  5. trucker77

    trucker77 New Member

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    [​IMG]
    this is my shoulder how it looks like after 45 days (left clavicle broken) and x-ray 18 days ago...should i start to exercise. i am still afraid ....when i am moving my arm it doesn't heart..thanks![​IMG]
     
  6. pnkcoral

    pnkcoral New Member

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    Trucker,

    It stands to reason that everyone's clavicle recovery is going to be different depending on a variety of factors, whether they had surgery or not. For instance, in my case, at first, with so many other broken bones, I didn't have the luxury of just focusing in on the broken clavicle. However, when I was assured by my general surgeon that some of the more important breaks like the sternum, veterbrae, and all the ribs were going to be ok, I then got to work on the collar bone. None of my doctors put me on a physical thearpy regime so I drawed on my background as an old competitive swimmer to come up with my own program.

    First, thing I realized was the thinking "to do no more damage". So, if there was every any pain that I thought was excessive I just backed off on my program. Fortunatley, I didn't have to worry about getting back to my job because I was laid off due to the accident and received a substantial settlement. Not having anything hanging over my head, I just resigned myself to get better no matter how long it took.

    Starting out the hard part for me was sleeping on my back. There was no way I could physically sleep on my sides or stomach (which i always preferred). I think it was something like 3-5 months befoe I could get off my back and have a good nights sleep. Then at about three weeks since the crash I started walking a mile or so a day. On these walks I would stretch my arms and shoulders by slowing imitating the variouis swimming strokes with my arms. I was fortunate to have good range of motion early on without any difficulties. Then I found out they built this new hot springs spa in the mountains not far from out home. They had a 25 yd. pool that was extremely hot..too hot for regular training but perfect for an old swimmer that was all busted up. I remember at first it was hard to even get my arms were they should be in freestyle but I kept with it. Also, I would do all kinds of movements that swimmers are notorious for in order to losen up the whole body.

    It was pretty much downhill from there. At three months I was back in a regular pool training, But, I took it slow and easy. I wore fins for awhile to take some of the pressure off the arms and did a lot of kicking to save the shoulders. Looking back the hardest part was the feeling that I could injure or re-brake the bones. But, as the months went on that feeling faded and now I trust the natural healing process completely. My story is on some previous postings but the long and the short of it is that now the collar bone feels like it is bigger and stronger than it ever was!

    Hope this post helps a little bit..
     
  7. hesibudifabla

    hesibudifabla New Member

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    What's the post clavicle plate removal like? Anyone chime in on this. Been over 3 years since installed and my wife wants it out so she can snuggle on my clav instead of a plate. I'm 156lbs and deadlifting 240lbs reliably so I think its pretty much healed.
     
  8. baker3

    baker3 New Member

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    I always thought it was good to get them removed once they're nolonger needed. Breaking a bone thats got a plate or is pinned can be pretty damn serious.
     
  9. paulasmith13

    paulasmith13 New Member

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    HI guys

    Im fine now see u later
     
  10. Dane Girl

    Dane Girl New Member

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    Hi Everyone!! Sorry, I kind of disappeared! I am doing really well. It has been almost 5 months since my surgery and I am still extremely happy with the results. I was super busy for a while doing 3 months of physical therapy for my frozen shoulder. It was soooo hard! I was so determined though and I made it through. I am pretty much back to normal now. I can do just about everything I could before and I am actually a little stronger because of all the therapy lol. My 2 plates and 16 screws don't bother me at all surprisingly. My bra or seatbelt doesn't irritate it or anything like that. The only thing I can't do is sleep on that side still. Don't know why but it just bothers it. I have a little residual pain when I first wake up in the morning near my shoulder joint but if I use a heat pack and do my exercises it gets better. Overall I am very pleased with how things turned out. My scar looks great as well. The plate is somewhat visible because I am so thin but I don't really care. I am just happy I am back to myself and being active again! I am about to start back up the training classes with my Dog to train her to be a Therapy Dog and I have been taking her lots of places with me and having lots of fun. I want to thank everyone on here for their advice and support. You guys helped me to make my decision about the surgery and it was definitely the right one! I just wish I hadn't wasted 3 months of my life trying to let it heal on its own. But that is in the past now and I am finally moving on! Hope all of you are doing well too!! :big-smile:
     
  11. Mateen

    Mateen New Member

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    Hi, I'm a 62yr old guy who recently broke my collarbone while riding. I was traveling at about 60km when the bike just flipped me on my shoulder. I don't have much pain but I've got this ugly bony 2.5cm lump about 5cm from my shoulder. I had x-rays and talked to a vietnamese doctor who gave me the figure8 brace and told me to wear it for 2 months. It's been a month now and the lump is still there. The x-ray showed a break but not this bony lump. I'm worried that I've got a bad break that needs surgery. I'd never let a Vietnamese doctor cut me. I'd fly back to the USA to have it done. I don't know what to do. I read on the net that the vast majority of clavicle fractures heal by themselves. Any ideas? My arm got really swollen a few days ago so I took off the brace and started taking anti-biotics and the swelling went down to almost normal. I wonder if the brace was cutting off my blood supply or if I had an infection from the broken clavicle. I bought a new brace that's a bit bigger and softer. Any imput would be appreciated from you guys.
     
  12. Dane Girl

    Dane Girl New Member

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    Can you upload a pic of your X-ray?
     
  13. trucker77

    trucker77 New Member

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    [​IMG]
    This is my x-ray from today,,,the doctor says it's healing very well.I am out of sling now.Next x ray in a month.Just remind you broke my collarbone 2 months ago.But i am still not able to work...
     
  14. pnkcoral

    pnkcoral New Member

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    Matteen,

    Sorry to hear about your complicatons to your clavicle break. I have absolutely no medical background or any real knowledge of medicine so take my thoughts with a grain of salt. However, I did have a collarbone break about a year ago along with some 12+ other broken bones. So, I got sort of a crash course on broken bones, pain, and rehab. Most clavicle breaks are in the middle (bone is approx. 6 inches), so it sounds like you are in that ok ball park. From what I have read.. if it breaks close to the ends it could spell trouble with all the muscle and ligament attachements there.

    Now, what I was thinking about your break, is that it could have been similiar to mine in this regard. I had a nice even, fairly, clean break on my left shoulder side (which was a godsend or I would have been really crippled up if it was on my good arm side.) However, somewhere between week one and week 5 or 6 the dang break became about a 140% displaced. That was when all my surgeons smelled money and tried to convince me to put a plate in. But, fortunately I held off because I was to sick. I too started to observe and feel a lump there too. Which makes sense because if it becomes severely displaced one side of the broken bone is going to jut upwards, creating a lump. At that juncture I got concerned and was actually looking for a Doc who could manipulate it back down in place. But, thats when I came a cross a lot of xrays that showed the bone healing up with even larger displacements than I had.

    Therefore, I thought, perhaps, yours like mine might have gotten displaced after your first xray too. And, this is just a guess but there is a whole sheaf of nerves that run underneath the bone that might of gotten irritated or inflammed, creating your ancilliary problems.

    Lastly, I would say that mine is now completely healed, fused, or whatever you want to call it. And, even though it looks the same as the other one in the mirrow it feels enormous..like maybe twice the width as the other. However, it has taken a year and a lot of work to get it there! Yesterday, I did a brutal swim workout of 25 x 100yd swims with 15 seconds rest in between (half of them with swim paddles, which put more pressure on the shoulders) and today I feel it a little in the shoulders but not in the break. Every once and a while when I am doing a lot of the butterfly stroke I think "this break is not going to be able to take it and it is going to snap or something." But, nope that sucker is solid now and I go on my merry way.

    Good luck...
     
  15. Mateen

    Mateen New Member

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    I have a jgeg file of my x-ray but I don't know how to upload the image on this website. If you could give me instructions on how to do it I would be greatfull.
     
  16. Mateen

    Mateen New Member

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    Your X-ray (trucker77) looks alot like mine. Do you have a lump? Is your injured shoulder forward from your good one?
     
  17. bsbs1876

    bsbs1876 Member

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    Hi Mateen, Welcome to the club. It sounds like you are concerned about the anatomical position of your bone and shoulder. When doctors tell you "it will heal", what that usually means is the bones are going to mend together. Will they be straight? Maybe, but most likely not. Will it bother you if they aren't straight? Possibly. Or you may find nothing wrong with it. If the bones are overlapped but touching then it's very likely they will join together just the way they look on the x ray. Only surgery can realign them to make it straight. What I am trying to say is the bump won't go away. It may smooth out a bit as your body builds bone around the break and adjusts to the new position of your collar bone, but without surgery it probably will never be straight again. I decided it bugged me too much and traded the lopsided shoulder with a bump for a 5 inch long scar and plate. The plate bothers me much less than the funky shoulder did. Hope this is helpful for you.
     
  18. trucker77

    trucker77 New Member

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    Hi Mateen,No i don't have a lump but it looks shorter a little bit and i don't think it's forward.
     
  19. Mateen

    Mateen New Member

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    [​IMG]
    Your x-ray (trucker77) looks alot like mine. This is my x-ray 30days after my fall. The break in the middle has the 2 bones laying next to each other with one a bit higher. I can only guess how much overlap but I would say 1.5in.
    [​IMG]
    Here is my good (LT) and bad clavicle(RT). It's hard bone at the end. It makes a "T" at the end which I don't understand at all. My RT lower arm is swollen, especially when I wear the figure 8 brace for a long time. After I take it off it is less swollen but the doc says I need to keep it on so I try to keep it on as much as possible, especially at night when I sleep.
     
  20. Mateen

    Mateen New Member

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    How long did you wait after the fall to have the surgery? Is the plate going to be with you the rest of your life? What exactly does the plate do that bothers you?
    I've read that IF (God forbide) you had a fall and broke your clavicle again with the plate in there that the damage would be alot more than without the plate. Is that true?
     
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