Broken Collar Bone Recovery Time

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Broken Collar Bone Recovery Time
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Posted: Sep 19, 2018 at 13:57 Quote
I should mention what my surgeon told me about to have or not to have surgery several months after my break. He said does it hinder you quality of life, that's what you need to ask yourself. And if you're not sure wait to find out. He said there's no advantages or disadvantages to rushing into surgery, and that he can do the same surgery 2 years after my break. I lasted 7 months and opted for surgery

Just passing along what he told me

Posted: Sep 24, 2018 at 12:34 Quote
Did my collarbone mid June this year these first 2 being the xray from the day of the break.

Been to see 3 NHS docs....all said no surgery, just slow healing, all is lined up and should heal OK.

This was the xray from last week. Dunno what they see thatI can't, looks not different, only camera angle makes it look closer.


Got to go back in Dec for a review. Told not to lift anything heavier than a cup of water, physio won't do anything other than lifting arm up and down. Range of movement is OK but pain if I add weight.

Dragging on too long now! think surgery is the only option now.

Posted: Oct 3, 2018 at 0:45 Quote
Mine had less displacement but doc was pretty sure about plating it. Post-Op was a nightmare and I was ready tp kill anyone near to me with a stethoscope. So much pain, unbelievable. I have done my share of breaking bones but this was another level. Anyway, since the plate was coming loose on one end they had to take it out as soon as the bone was strong enough. So yesterday, 6 months after the crash I checked in for hardware removal. Easy peasy, almost no pain and it already feels so much better without the plate. Doc gave me the plate to take home as a nice trophy and reminder...

Part of my shoulder and chest has been numb since the first operation and I suspect it will be permanent but doesn't bother me that much. Have to take it easy for 6 weeks because of the 9 screw holes that need to fill up with bone.

Lessons learned:
A collarbone is not the simple injury some doctors and such want you to believe. There are many different opinions on the best treatment so trust to your gut feeling, you know what your body needs, especially sportsmen/women like us.
A plate is not the easy fix and forget solution some suggest but a serious operation in an area with a lot of serious veins and nerves.

Good luck!

Posted: Oct 3, 2018 at 8:54 Quote
i have a horror story for you guys, sorry to butt into any current conversation happening right now.
i broke my collarbone pretty badly in 3 places in january, and had to get airlifted off the mountain (ski piste, i know, not mtb, but the story is worth it).
got surgery a few days later, and had a titanium thread put in instead of a normal plate.

after a few days, when i was at home again, i felt the metal threat inside my neck and thought uh oh, thats not good, went back to the hospital and had another operation to remove it....

later found out that i had a bone infection that i got during the first operation that caused the thread to loosen up and decide to leave the collarbone, didnt get anything else put it.

after visiting an orthopedic surgeon every 2 weeks for check up xrays and physio, im finally all clear to ride again, after around 8 months....

sending healing vibes to whoever is dealing with this shit Wink

Posted: Oct 5, 2018 at 7:25 Quote
Hello guys i am here to drop a positive update:My brake was originaly on 18 may, after 2 months in was a non union despite the clean break and the small gap between the 2 bones, i had my surgery on 19 july and and the 2nd one due to compications 2 weeks later, i got rid of the arm sling and the stiches arround 17/18 of august and started physio therapie 2 weeks later at the end of august, september was fully focused on working with the physio to get my arm back working normaly. i am back working this week and i have totally no problem, my movements are back at 99 percent yet i still have pain sometimes since my shoulder is still a little bit stiff compared to my non injured side. i been also able to ride my dirt jump bike arround the city hoping some curbs and ledges and doing manuals without any pain, i have not tried any harder riding yet such as dirt jumping or downhill wich i normaly do, gonna start with pumptrack and build back my confidence on the bike.

i feel like my skin where they cut is grown into the bolt or the plate at one place, since it has became soft and flexible everywhere expect this place near a bolt where my skin refuses to move even if i try pulling, anyone else had this expirience?

PS: I found surgery to be way more comfortable and less painfull ( except for the day of the surgery when it was painfull af ) than the traditional arm sling and fugure 8 method, surgery has it's complications too and it's dangerous but also reduces the chance of your bones healing unproperly or having a non union (like in my case).

Posted: Oct 27, 2018 at 10:51 Quote
Also joining the collarbone fracture club. Think the front wheel caught a little stub, turned 90 degrees and the bike catapulted me into a tree 4 m further down the trail. Hit the tree att about 60 cm over the ground according to marks on the tree. Had about 35 kmh so I probably looked like Superman. Hit the tree so hard that it took 5 min before I could take a full breath. Lucky that I didn't hit the tree head first, better with a broken collarbone then a broken back.
The guide called an ambulance, went first by Land Rover on a dirt road because the ambulance could't get there. Then with ambulance on a slightly better road for like 40 min. He hit some walls at 2 times, could hear the metal scrape. Almost feels like it would have been better to ride down because every bump made the bones hit each other hard.
Now 3 weeks since the injury, no surgery. Pretty clean fracture, not so much overlap and bones not that misaligned. Probably fractured a rib too, hurts way more then the collarbone. But none of them can compete with my crushed heal bone in April. That's another pain level.

Posted: Oct 27, 2018 at 21:49 Quote
Collarbones need time to heal. 12 weeks before riding again then another 6 months before no pain then after that good as new.

Posted: Oct 30, 2018 at 21:50 Quote
Update on the below for anyone at the beginning of their fracture journey.

It has now been 3 1/2 months since I originally broke my clavicle, and about 2 months post-ORIF surgery. As I had mentioned below, I strongly recommend speaking to your doctor about the surgical route as I experienced significantly less pain, and better recovery, than allowing the bone to heal naturally.

At my 6 week post op appointment, my doctor cleared me to stop using the sling, and to begin strength training for physio. I've been gaining range of motion and strength quickly, and returned to mountain biking at about the 3 month mark from the original fracture. I am riding very carefully for the first few months, and will start charging again in the spring here in North Vancouver.

For anyone in North Van who breaks the collar bone, speak to Dr. Samler at Lions Gate. She was fantastic.

psanford wrote:
Here’s my clavicle adventure so far.

On July 11th, I broke my collar bone riding an easy trail going too fast.

After an x-ray the ER doc at Lions Gate confirmed the fracture, gave me a sling, and told me to come back in 2 weeks. The next couple days were very painful and I went to my GP for a better painkiller prescription than Tylenol/Advil. I was on 1-2 Tramadol slow release 100mg. This was great for me and really helped me manage the pain, along with a lot of ibuprofen/acetaminophen.

2 weeks later, the doctor noted little improvement on my x-ray, which I had expected. I continued to experience a lot of pain in my muscles around the clavicle, exacerbated by trying to be the best dad I can for my 10 month old. For anyone recovering with kids, you need to ask your spouse to take over the lions share of childcare duties, even if they hate you for it.

6 week x-ray confirmed little progress. The surgeon recommended ORIF which was scheduled 3 days later. At this point, I am 2 days post op, on very heavy narcotics and recovering by spending time in bed.

If I were to have this happen again, i would ask for the surgical route as early as possible. Also, don’t lift anything, use your broken arm, or try to be a hero. Let the damn thing heal. I expect to be back on the bike by the end of September, a total of 3 months off Frown

Posted: Dec 19, 2018 at 7:33 Quote
Hi All

First bone break in my riding career (i'm just 40- obviously taking too easy up until now!)

It was such a stupid crash (aren't they all!) but hey, it's done now!

I went over the bars and hit a tree more or less back first. Knocked the wind out of me. When I got up my collarbone didnt feel too good!

Accident then A&E on Monday 10th- x-rays and no doubt-broken!
Fracture clinic on Wednesday 12th- offered the option of surgery or wait to see (6 weeks) then if no progress surgery.

I initially opted for the wait and see option but the more I think about it I think I'm just delaying the inevitable surgery (I rekon about 2.5-3cm displacement but just 1 break and more or less in the middle)

I dont want to rush into surgery (I would like to have faith in my body to heal) but there's a limit and I want to ensure good movement and strength when healed.

Has anyone had experience of intramedullary fixation? Seems like an interesting option and not nearly as invasive as plating. I have emailed the consultant to see if thats an option so we'll see.


Posted: Dec 20, 2018 at 7:31 Quote
ned1710 wrote:
Hi All

First bone break in my riding career (i'm just 40- obviously taking too easy up until now!)

It was such a stupid crash (aren't they all!) but hey, it's done now!

I went over the bars and hit a tree more or less back first. Knocked the wind out of me. When I got up my collarbone didnt feel too good!

Accident then A&E on Monday 10th- x-rays and no doubt-broken!
Fracture clinic on Wednesday 12th- offered the option of surgery or wait to see (6 weeks) then if no progress surgery.

I initially opted for the wait and see option but the more I think about it I think I'm just delaying the inevitable surgery (I rekon about 2.5-3cm displacement but just 1 break and more or less in the middle)

I dont want to rush into surgery (I would like to have faith in my body to heal) but there's a limit and I want to ensure good movement and strength when healed.

Has anyone had experience of intramedullary fixation? Seems like an interesting option and not nearly as invasive as plating. I have emailed the consultant to see if thats an option so we'll see.

Sorry to hear about your break @ned1710, luckily it is almost off-season (if you have one over there).

I consulted with a doctor for intramedullary fixation for my break. He was confident he could have me back on the bike in 6-8 weeks. He said he had performed the surgery on college (American) football players and they went on to take blows to the shoulder while playing within the same time frame (6-8 weeks). While it seemed like the right move, he also noted that I would require a second surgery to have the nail/ screw removed a few months down the line. For me this would be August - September (prime riding time) and it also meant more medical bills.

I consulted with a second doctor for ORIF with a plate. Recovery time was similar and there is no need to ever remove plate unless it causes serious complications. I went with the plate for those reasons. Haven't had any complications, scar is gnarly and I lost some feeling on the skin under the incision but nothing else really besides that. I have a buddy who also got the plate, he hasn't had any issues with it either.

Here's an interesting study I found while trying to decide which route to take: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3291769/

If you have the stomach for it, there are plenty of surgery videos for both plate fixation and intramedullary nail fixation on Youtube. Helped put my mind at ease a lil bit before surgery.

Good luck!

Posted: Dec 20, 2018 at 8:33 Quote
I broke mine running into a traffic light heading home from a local ride.Pain was instantaneous.
I shattered mine isted of it snapping so healed and filled in and now double the width of the other side,took me months to get the strength back,even pulling my socks off was a struggle,and driving was a nightmare,when i went full circle on steering i had no power to return the wheel with the broken side,

Where i was fortunate was i was on holiday in Portugal for two weeks a week after breaking mine,and think the heat contributed to helping it heal,instead of being stuck in wet cold Scotland,Still get the odd strange pain in colder weather but all is good now....

Posted: Mar 12, 2019 at 5:04 Quote
I guess I shouldn't be surprised to find a 73 page thread on broken clavicles...

I broke my left in 2016 riding with some friends. That one resulted in an ambulance trip to the ER where I got my first exposure to morphine and strong narcotics. Not a fan. That one happened in June and pretty much ruined bike season. I had to wait 3 weeks to get into surgery for the plate and another 12 or so weeks before I could ride dirt again.

January 5th 2019 I was on a training ride for the 906 Polar Roll with some friends and broke the right. This time around, I was able to get into surgery 4 days after the accident. Recovery seems to be going much faster this time around. I'm annoyed that I've missed what appears to have been a great ski season this winter, however.

Here's the Left (Surgeon found it in 3 pieces when he was in there instead of the 2 that appeared on X-Ray):
Untitled by ch0ng, on Flickr

And the Right:
Untitled by ch0ng, on Flickr

My friends are a bunch of jokers (this just randomly showed up in the mail one day):
Untitled by ch0ng, on Flickr

What I'm wondering now is what breaks next? My surgeon made the comment that he'd be impressed if I managed to break a clavicle again with a plate in there so I've been trying to probe him in my follow up visits. The law of conservation of energy applies. That energy has to go somewhere in a crash...

Posted: Mar 14, 2019 at 6:02 Quote
Hi, I have been reading this thread for the past two weeks as I am also mending a broken collar bone. Broke my left clavicle on February 16 and now coming to the 4th week mark. The ER doctor who saw me just advised me to use a sling and give pain medication (which I did not actually take) and referred me for further consultation with an orthopaedic surgeon. I was seen after 4 days by the ortho and he said that his expert advice for my case would be to treat it conservatively. He said the displacement is not so much to warrant a surgery. This is my xray on the day i broke my clavicle. I just took a photo of the xray result from the hospital’s computer as they did not allow me to take the film which is weird. They said I need to pay for the film.


After 3 weeks and 2 days I had another xray and this is the photo of the film.


Honestly I could not find any difference from the xray at the time of the accident and the recent xray. My ortho just said that there should already be soft calluses forming in my last xray but it cannot be seen yet on the xray. This is making me worry as the xray is somehow showing no progress. In terms of pain however I do not experience pain anymore. It was only painful during the first two weeks where i find it difficult to raise my left arm pass my shoulder level. Now I can raise my arm above the shoulder with no pain but not fully stretch upward.

Posted: Mar 16, 2019 at 15:24 Quote
I shattered mine had surgery and plated. 11 week X-ray really didn’t look much different. They kept me on restrictions for another 8 weeks have X-ray next week. I wouldn’t be discouraged just takes time. In my case I’m 42 yrs old healing time extended lol, but I feel pretty damn good right now. Your age will affect healing time.


 
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