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Reluctant Tree Hugger
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The long one comes out in 6 weeks. My doc told me to do nothing physical until it comes out. I guess PT starts at that point. The xray was taken during surgery, so I assume the long filament thing was a surgical tool of some sort.
So I'm guessing your clavicle is temporarily anchored to your scapula? That's the only practical point I could see in it. Having it drilled that deeply into soft tissue doesn't make sense.

Good luck with that 6 weeks. The physical pain subsides after just a few days, but the mental anguish of taking a normally active person and telling them they can't be active is torturous.

I have to wait at least 8 and my break was only 6 pieces as opposed to your 12, but it looks like most of your 12 pieces are much smaller fragments from the X-ray.
 

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Yes, I think you are right - anchored to my scapula. Good luck to you too. Wondering how the first ride will feel. Let me know. I expect some butterflies the first couple of times.
 

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Walked. A lot.

I had the same issue as you though. Mine wasn't healing after 6 weeks. So doctor told me it was gonna take an extra 2-3 weeks on top of the 14 weeks already scheduled. I drank as much milk as I could and took calcium & vitamin d supplements. The bone healed around week 14.
 

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Yes, I think you are right - anchored to my scapula.
That's a coracoclavicular screw- it's a screw from your clavicle to your coracoid, which is a bony prominence off your scapula. With this type of clavicle fracture, the ligaments that support your AC joint are also torn. In addition to fixing the fracture, you oftentimes need to also get fixation between the clavicle and coracoid in order to allow those ligaments to heal properly.
 

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Norðwegr
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Discussion Starter · #25 · (Edited)
I'm 5 days in so far, stiches are waterproof, no sign of infection or other malicious stuff. Just really sore when trying to move my shoulder joint and in the muscles around my neck.
 

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Reluctant Tree Hugger
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I'm 5 days in so far, stiches are waterproof, no sign of infection or other malicious stuff. Just really sore when trying to move my shoulder joint and in the muscles around my neck.
That'll probably take a couple or few weeks to get better depending on how much you move it. However, when I told my therapist she said very sternly that I shouldn't be using the arm at all while the bone mends itself. It could heal crooked, causing mobility loss, and they'd have to rebreak it to fix that.

Do you have any numbness around the area? There's a large portion of my shoulder down my chest a ways that I can't feel anything still. I guess the nerve damage was pretty extensive too. Also, I dunno if it's just extra sensitivity or stretched ligaments, but every movement my clavicle makes is highly noticeable and seems sort of loose in my shoulder.

Glad it's going well for ya.
 

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Norðwegr
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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
I'm 8 days in now and the soreness is gone, I only wear the sling when I'm out walking, when just going around the house it isn't necessary.

There seems to be alot of opinions on when and how, some orthos advocate starting to use the arm as soon as possible after the break/surgery. I'm taking the middle road after talking to a few different ones, if it hurts or feels off I stop.

The area immediately below the incision is very numb, it doesn't really bother me as it's not really an area I touch alot. Would have been worse if it was any of the limbs.
 

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> /dev/null 2&>1
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Hey Folks,

I'm 10 weeks today since my break, distal fracture in 4 pieces with torn trapezoid ligament. Its plated. Just giving you guys some light at the end of the tunnel. You WILL be back on the bike:
Bike Ride Profile | Epicross with CF: Sweeny, old pedro, Montara mtn , hwy 1, purisimma, Kings, Canada near San Bruno | Times and Records | Strava
:):)

So.... I can do long pavement and fire-road rides without pain. The deltoid, lat, chest and rotators are very atrophied so I am not risking it on rock gardens yet. But according to the doc I am free to lift (high-rep only) now, so I can start building it back.

My recovery regimen:
I am sharing this because your doc probably won't give you a very specific schedule, since each person is different and they hate to be wrong or push somebody too far or give them news that is too optimistic. But I hope sharing it helps people who just broke it understand what they're in for. Personally, I wasn't aware of, or ready for, the muscle recovery that goes with an injury like this... I assumed that once the bone was healed, muscle would be fine and ready to work. As many of you are finding out, that's not true... there's just a lot of crap and swelling all over there, even if you didn't tear anything besides breaking your bone.

Note, this is not advice. Every injury is different. If you take it as advice, it should be taken ONLY for a plated fracture, unplated is completely different because you could re-break it very easily and fusion is not guaranteed. I got ok from my doc over the phone for all this and we increased it as I progressed. So with that, here's my recovery story:


- In week 1-2 I took it out of my sling daily and let it hang, and to shower. I did curls with no weight to get the bicep moving, holding the elbow with the other hand to support the clavicle. Sets of 50-100, 2x day. Doc ok'd all of that. Felt extremely dull and dead inside the muscle. Bicep felt like it was completely devoid of strength.

- In week 3-4 I moved to veeeeeery lightly move the shoulder around and do dangling pendulums to try to stretch out some of the flexibility. I also went to the pool a couple times a week, and let my arms float up, and veeeeery lightly moved the arm back and forth (in 5ft water so I'm standing, arm is floating). Week 4 I also started some lateral raises and front raises, with no weight, to 45 degrees. Sets of 50. If I felt more sore the next day I knew I did too much. I was also cleared to ride stationary bike at the gym (Yay!!!):). This hurt but getting the blood flowing in the body helps work out the crap in your injury area. This is also when I would do my arm raises and swing the arm around. In week 4 I started leg-press too, sets of 50, light weight so as not to clench up your whole body to finish the set, which would of course hurt the arm a lot.

- In week 5-6 I was able to move the arm around pretty easily as long as I didn't go above my head. I kept doing lateral raises and front raises, and also laid on my back and did chest flys (all without weight). Kept at the pool to. Also, I did 5 lb curls (sets of 50, working up) to build the bicep back, and laid on my back and did tricep extensions (5lbs, sets of 50, working up). Started using a light PT band to do random stretches and motions all around in different directions - in, out, up, down, rotator, fly, etc. Used a yoga band to do the stretch where you put your hand behind your back and raise it as high as you can up the back of your spine. Also, laid on my back and put both hands behind my head, letting them drop backwards - stretches out the chest, rotators and delts. Still could not really lift or carry anything (like groceries) with that arm at all, this caused pain in the bone area. It was still extremely sensitive and if I bumped it I swore I had re-broken it, but it was fine and this is just part of healing. Increased my leg-press weight and increased my stationary bike time.

- Week 7-9 I did lateral raises and front raises with 2lbs, then increased to 5lbs. Curls and tricep extension up to 8lbs now, and, increase PT band work. By this time I could lift my arm over my head with minimal pain. Around week 7, I could pick up about 20lbs (like my infant son, and groceries) without pain. Also, week 7 I was cleared to ride pavement (strictly no crashing allowed :):):) ) so I started with some light seated rides and climbs. Towards week 8 I started to stretch out the rides and do bigger climbs and even standing climbs with light torquing on the bars.

In my week 9 doc appt he said I was doing fantastic and I did not need formal physical therapy. He gave me the go-ahead for high-rep lifting, as much as I can take. No heavy lifting because the bone will be solidifying - he said we'll xray again in 2mos but no heavy Military press, Bench Press and absolutely no Deadlift till that time.

Anyways, there is light at the end of the tunnel, keep in close communication with your doc, and try to push the pace a little under his supervision. Hope that helps.

p.s. I too have numbness around the skin. Numbness in the skin around the area is completely normal for those that had it opened up - this is from ripping away the skin from where it normally rests on the muscles and bone, that breaks nerves and they will take months, potentially years to grow back - I had another surgery where the I could still feel a dead spot in my skin for a couple years.
 

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distal fracture, broke the last inch or so off plus pulled a large chip of bone off that the lower two ligaments attach. Went about three and a half weeks without surgery and was just getting to the point where I was not real uncomfortable but had very limited motion still do to pain.

Had Surgery 5 days ago plate, screws and two buttons. Pain is becoming fairly manageable. Initial motion seems ok. Will update in two weeks for a comparison.
 

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A week ago Saturday I broke mine in a similar way with 22mm of overlap. Last Monday I went in for surgery and they screwed together the 4 or 5 pieces. I'll be off the bike for 3 months.

I was probably fortunate to be able to get the surgery because I'll be 63 in December and it was not my dominant arm. They were talking about possibly letting it heal on its own. I basically asked them if I didn't have surgery what is going to happen next time, because... there will be a next time. At that point they scheduled the surgery and here I am.

I'll have to face the same inactivity. I'm going to see if there are any indoor trainers where I can program a ride and have it adjust the resistance to the terrain. Even if it is road biking. Hopefully it'll let me follow the route like a GPS. Worst case is using an indoor trainer without any programming capability.

John
 

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I had a distal clavicle fracture last year, and also tore my coracoclavicular ligament. Notice in the x-ray how much my shoulder was displaced! I had a clavicle hook plate installed (quite painful post-op), it is a fairly invasive procedure with no nerve block. After about 12 hours the oxycodone was able to subdue the pain, though. The surgery was much more painful than the original injury!

I started riding on the trainer as soon as I had my stitches removed. 18 days with no exercise and riding the sofa was really hard on me. It really helped my mood to just get some exercise. I set the trainer up in front of the TV and watched a lot of Netflix while spinning. This really helped salvage my season because I didn't let my legs get out of shape. Once my shoulder strength returned I was able to enjoy riding trails and still keep up with friends.

My recovery schedule was approximately:
March 2 : Accident happened - Began wearing sling
March 11: Surgery
March 21: Stitches removed, began riding trainer
April 3 : Stop wearing sling, begin PT
May 3 : Surgeon allowed me to ride on the road
June 5 : Surgeon allowed me to ride trails again
Dec 9 : Plate removed from shoulder

I started slow on the trails, but by August I had gotten most of my strength/skill/confidence back.

Pre-op Xray
busted_shoulder_1.jpg

Post-op Xray
shoulder post-op.jpg
 

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Norðwegr
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Discussion Starter · #32 · (Edited)
Sixteen days after surgery:

I can walk around without the sling and experience no pain or discomfort, 80% movement has returned thanks to my own excercise program. This was to be expected (by me) though as I managed to get full range of motion prior to the surgery; even with the non-union.

Only thing stopping me from getting it all back currently is the docs suggestion to not lift my arm/elbow above my shoulderjoint for another month or so.

I should be able to fatbike on snow by the end of november as long as I take it slow and avoid moments of adrenalin rushing through my veins.




Edit:

Six weeks in now, got full movement in my arm thanks to my own little training program. Bonegrowth is shown in the most recent x-ray, but I got to stay away from heavy lifts for another 4-6 weeks.
 

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I played a game of rugby a couple of weeks after breaking mine (I was 16)

Sent from my Kin[G]_Pad ™
 

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So just broke my right collar bone yesterday in what the doc called a Z break with full displacement.

I just had surgery to have it platted with 8 screws and now looking at a 12 week recovery according to the doc.

Anyway came across this thread and am looking for a little encouragement. I'm 36 but enjoy riding hard and fast but this has really shaken me.

How is everyone doing post injury and are you riding as hard as you used to? I consider myself a pretty responsible person and the drop I wrecked on I've hit tons of times no problems just really biffed this one and paid for it.

Anyway I've got two kiddos and a lot of responsibilities, like most do, but am getting some pretty good pushback from my wife and fam to dial it back a bit. Of course I plan to be more cautious but I feel like I already was and sometimes stuff like this just happens.

I can't just putt around a trail and log miles for miles, I've gotta push it at least a little, that's just how I'm wired otherwise I'd rather not ride at all.

Anyways just kinda thinking out loud and looking for a little reassurance I guess from you guys that have already been in my shoes.

Thanks!
 

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Always in the wrong gear
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I broke my clavicle (plus some other stuff) being run off the road on my motorcycle back in 09. It wasnt plated, just sling'ed and protected. I't took a few months before I could ride road MC again, a little longer for dirt biking, and honestly MTB was the last thing I got back to doing. It took a long time because of no ORIF.
I got a lot of push-back from my wife too. Because 'Happy Wife-Happy Life, I eased up and began working on learning to ride for fun, and tech skills like manuals and slow speed wheels skills while I reminded my self that I should be thankful I'm out riding my bike. Like, at all.

I took it a little easier for a good while. Eventually, I eased back into drops and steeps; back to and beyond the level that I was previously. I was riding some really stupid stuff. Pushing the envelope. Then last year my buddy crashed and broke his wrist, which came with an undiagnosed head-injury and a brain bleed, which turned into brain surgery. Then about 3 weeks ago the plate in his wrist finally shredded and ruptured his Flexor Pollicis Longus tendon, requiring another surgery, and 3 more months off the bike.

It scared the pi$$ out of me, because he's got some great bike handling skills. If it can happen to him, it can happen to me. He's a very capable rider.
Now I regularly ride alone because he can't go.
In the end, I found new ways to 'push myself' on a bicycle. A few months ago I bought a HT and started seeing what I could do on an single speed. How smooth I can carry a line, or fast I can rail a corner, how far I can go before my legs blow up. How many geared riders I can pass.

There's more to biking than drops and 'gnar'.

That's my experience, it's probably worth the price you paid for it.
 

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Thanks man that's what I was looking for. This has really shaken my confidence because I was feeling really good on the bike and it was a drop that's usually cake but ended up giving me the worst crash I've ever had. On top of that I watched my brother fracture his C7, broke his collarbone, bruise his ribs, and tear ligaments in his shoulder on a ride 6 months ago so my whole train of thinking is kind of like WTF.

It's kinda fresh right now and the emotions a bit raw. I hit my head pretty good too but thankfully my helmet protected my noggin on that but it's destroyed as a result.

My wife is a nurse anesthetist and I've heard horror stories of perfectly healthy people dying from complications of surgery so I was pretty damn nervous this morning especially kissing my little ones bye to go get opened up. It was a pretty raw moment and kinda gave me pause.

On one hand I love riding fast and hitting gnar and I wanna get better at it. But then again I can still have fun at a slower pace to mitigate risks. Just having a bit of a mental struggle and this is kind of a "dear diary" moment.

Nothing means more to me than my fam and that means making smart choices for them but then again I've never been a believer in living a scared life and won't raise my kids that way.

Just searching for balance I guess in how to proceed from here which will just take time and a little more soul searching I guess. I've always been a thrill seeker and always will be and I can't just shut off. My wife knows this and knows what she signed up for but she's also a mom/wife and doesn't want me to get hurt, potentially seriously, unnecessarily.

Oh hell I dunno I'm gonna have a beer and think about it later, I've got 3 months after all.

Other comments are more than welcome of course though as I'd be interested in others experiences and progress after a serious injury.

Thanks again!
 

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Didn't quite break mine... just separated.

Shoulder doesn't work like it use to, but I've taken a couple of tumbles on it since (slow speed stuff) and it didn't flinch.
I am more weary now, particularly w/ steeps, drops and jumps - I'm still more daring than my riding budz but have definitely lost my edge.
I'm definitely thankful I can still ride after many stories of late about riders going down (for good!)
I tend to go with the flow now...
If I'm in the zone and feeling good I'll hit drops and jumps.
If I'm tired and/or a little off, I'll roll em or chicken route.

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#1 resolution... Ride it like I stole it!!
 

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I fractured the bejesus out of my clavicle about a decade ago when I came up short on a double jump. I had surgery to repair the fracture then another surgery a year later to remove the hardware. I also went to PT to deal with vertigo that ensued from smashing my head against the ground. My bike needed new wheels and handlebars, I needed a new helmet and glasses, and I couldn't ride for several months. I couldn't drive very well either since both of our cars were manual transmissions and my right arm was incapacitated so I resorted to walking and running for exercise. It turns out that running makes a person lose weight and get in shape in a big hurry.

Flash forward to today and my clavicle is at full strength and my shoulder has full mobility. I'm 25# lighter and riding stronger than I was when I wrecked even being 10 years older. I tend to keep the jumping a bit more mellow though. Hang in there man, you'll get through it.
 
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