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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
so i broke my collar bone yesterday and i go to see the orthopedist tomorrow i hope. the brief explanation i got from the ER doc said that they will likely decide to leave it as is.
4444.jpg
to me it is way too offset and mis-aligned to heal properly the way it is.

my main concern is strength. i want the strongest possible solution so when i crash in the future i dont break it again. i was told that the strength of a surgical repair and just letting it heal are about the same.

any opinions or advice would be appreciated from those with experience.
 

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I'm not a doctor, so take all this as second hand bs from an random guy on the Internet, but :


See a few doctors, if you can do it all in 1-2 days, and make sure they are shoulder docs, not general orthos. Make sure the doc does mostly adult sports injuries, not geriatric or pediatric stuff, that might affect their perspective. I saw two, and got completely different answers. One guy told me to wait and see, next guy told me mine will never fuse because it was distal (towards the outside), which means your AC is pulling down on the end and your trap is pulling up on the inner portion. I had to see a third to confirm that it would never fuse. Upon opening it up, there was actually four pieces in there which would have complicated self fusing. Mine was a little further distal than yours. Yours looks pretty clean and medial, and hopefully your AC ligaments are intact, I had some damage to my trapezoidal ligament.

With this kind of surgery, I don't think you want to wait around to see if it might fuse. I was told if you get a partial / misaligned fuse, it could be MUCH longer and might never be the same. With knee surgeries and such, ligaments, cartilage, etc, the wrong surgery could make it worse, but I don't think that's as true with this, except for the fact that you'll eventually want a followup to take it out, which will weaken the clavicle again for some time. If you need it, you wanna get it done ASAP and start healing.

Good luck man, the prognosis for this injury is very good, likely 100%. Follow instructions to exercise and when you get the go ahead, push through. I think the clavicle is sort of an evolutionary lizard tail, it breaks so other more important stuff like the capsul, scapula and rotators don't.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
good stuff thanks. the Doc i'm seeing is an upper body specialist. i also have contacts through family friends for second opinions which i plan on getting. all good points though. i'm definitely favoring surgery at this point.

thanks
 

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My brother just went through this & chose surgery. When they opened him up the X-rays didn't show just how bad the break was as it was broken in several more pieces. The doctor stated it most likely wouldn't have healed up properly without surgery.


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I am currently recovering from surgery (I have a thread in here too! Haha) for a break that actually looks very similar to yours.

Sure, in a lot of people they’ll let that heal. But in active people that demand a lot from their body, and want full range of motion, faster recovery, etc… I would almost put money on surgery here. The distance of separation, combined with the overlap makes me think that.

But I can tell you this… the surgery is not that bad, and I woke up feel SO much better than the few days before surgery. It felt so much better to have your shoulder stabilized than it did floating around.

Just make sure the orthopedist understands your goals for your recovery before suggesting the various treatment options. And don’t stress the surgery. Yeah, it’s not fun. But it wasn’t nearly as painful as I had expected it to be.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
cool. thanks for the input. i have no fear of the surgery, been there before with my knee a couple times. dont care about the pain. i'm after the strongest repair possible with fastest possible recovery as second priority.

again, good points thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
just got a call from ortho, cant get an earlier appt than wed. at 11. pretty sure i'll be out of pain pills before then but whatever. Pita!

What kind of recovery times are common for this thing? i plan on being on a trainer next week, or asap. i realize i wont be able to ride in the woods for a while but i would like to continue my training as much as possible.

timing really couldn't be worse for me. i just moved into a new apartment last week, i'm not even unpacked. and worse, i just won my first race ever last week. i was pumped for this season and in the best shape ive ever been in. i'm also job hunting, i was going to start looking for a job today. anyone know of a good job for a one armed guy?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
just got home. took new x-rays and they were no better but things had moved around a bit. thr bone is too fragmented, displaced and separated to heal properly on its own. surgery scheduled for monday. he plans on using a stainless steel strap across the bone with screws going down through. he may also use a piece of cadaver bone to fill a gap if necessary. sweet.

recovery is 3-4 months. can't ride a bike outside for a while, but i can ride an indoor trainer after a couple weeks.

the Dr. seems to have a good reputation and does these surgeries often. he said all the right things and matched up with what i i expected to hear after doing some online research. this is the result i was hoping for so i'm pleased.
 

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Ide be on that trainer indoors as soon as I was able. I did it 3 days post op and it was awesome. Just don't put the bad arm on the bars.

Sounds like good news. Keep active and don't let the negativity sink in after 2-3 weeks like I did. Walk, do the trainer, focus on an old abandoned hobby, and check in here for encouragement.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Ide be on that trainer indoors as soon as I was able. I did it 3 days post op and it was awesome. Just don't put the bad arm on the bars.

Sounds like good news. Keep active and don't let the negativity sink in after 2-3 weeks like I did. Walk, do the trainer, focus on an old abandoned hobby, and check in here for encouragement.
thanks for your positive comments. i agree, i'm going to be on the trainer soon. i had a friend deliver it yesterday so i think i can get in a few days of riding before surgery, and i'll be ready to go post op.

i plan on keeping this thread updated as i go along. i'll include as many visuals as possible because i know everyone wants to see x-rays and such. i forgot to get a pic of the new x-rays. i'll get it on monday.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I never go to the doc 4 a Cbone brake, I make a sling & start waiting. Usually back on MTB in 3 weeks, road bike after two.
your clearly much tougher than i am.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
so the work stand has been replaced with a borrowed trainer. did my first ride today. works well. you'll have to forgive the dorky upright bike, but it suits my needs perfectly.

i did 1.5 hours ~22 miles. its a pretty sweaty and boring experience (first timer) but it felt good to get a workout in. i set up a fan and my computer right in front of me so i can watch movies and have a little air flow.

collar bone feels pretty good. every day i have better range of motion and less pain. too bad that will all change monday. but if i start healing this quickly after the procedure i will be very happy. really i just want to get back to work and be able to ride outside. maybe i'll put the trainer out there...

IMG_2175.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
yesterday was a long day! but i'm all patched up. 12 hours at the hospital, there were many delays, then the surgery took longer than expected.

so Doc said it was much worse than expected when he got in there. there were many "razor sharp" fragments that were turned around or totally out of place. he also discovered that the bone had split length-wise down the middle (which you can clearly see on the right side bone of pic #2 at bottom). ultimately he said it was a real good thing i opted to have it repaired as it would never have healed properly and it would have been permanently pushed over out of place and weak.

he had to wire things in place before adding the plate and screws then removed the wire. also "packed in" a fair amount of cadaver bone near the middle. all in all he was happy with the results, so i'm happy too.

like i said, yesterday sucked. i had a 2+ hour ride in a truck strait out of the hospital. big mistake! i didn't really have a choice though. i felt sick, couldn't eat, and in moderate pain. today is already way better. not much pain, though i'm probably still partially under the influence of the "block" which made my entire right arm totally numb. it was a pretty unnerving feeling not to be able to feel or move your entire arm but it's 95% back now. lasts 12-24 hrs.

the only pain i really feel so far is in the skin where the staples are. and its really not bad. lets hope the worst is over...

now on to the visuals. first x-ray is the day it happened. second was 4 days later. things moved a bit and you can see the split better. and third is the after pic.

feel free to ask questions if i left anything out. and thanks again for all the well wishes.

4444.jpg

break-2.jpg

plate and screws.jpg
 

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After you get your stitches off, start massaging that incision daily. You'll need to build up scar tissue on the inside, where the skin rests on the screws. Backpacks and camelbacks will hurt at first then get better. Carrying skis and similar items will hurt for a long time.
 
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