Broken Collar Bone Recovery Time

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Broken Collar Bone Recovery Time
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Posted: Dec 5, 2020 at 1:27 Quote
update... I´m now almost 16 weeks after crash and 14,5 weeks after surgery.
Last CT scan (4 weeks ago) has shown a little bit of callus formation but not that much...

Yesterday I went to another Doc to get a second opinion... He had a complete different approach, he wants me to do sports and everything I wanna do as long as I have no pain and I´m not too excited with weights or stuff I´m doing.

As well he is an specialist for shock wave therapy and has some really good results with his patients.
So on Monday I will start the shock wave therapy (3 sessions should be enough he said) and today I will start with light upper body exercises.

I´m really happy to be allowed to do something more than just wait and see (and light squats and ergo Smile ).

I will keep you guys updated If ur interested in the shock wave results... Smile

Posted: Dec 5, 2020 at 4:04 Quote
I’m about a year out and was right on that 50/50 zone of surgery or not. I went the rough route of no surgery and was riding in 4 1/2 months. It wasn’t an easy road to constantly have the bones moving around for around 2 months but eventually the callus formed and things settled in and the bone filled in.

Imo the biggest drawback was the price I paid in physical therapy being so long in the sling. Surgery would have gotten me to PT quicker but my buddy that’s an orthopedic surgeon in AK told me “that’s a sketchy area to do surgery for anyone dude, lotta blood vessels, nerves and crap to move around and deal with plus it isn’t really an easy bone to plate up. If you can avoid surgery and suck it up and let it heal that’s what I would do”

A year later my range of motion is 95% back. I broke it 12/21/19 and was riding trail by 5/5/20 and downhill by 7/21/20.

My experience is avoid surgery unless it is 20mm displaced or more.

Posted: Dec 5, 2020 at 10:55 Quote
To give an opposite experience. I did mine a few years ago 1 week after my crash I got a second set of x-rays the bones hadn't started to join (went further apart) at that point the Dr was like lets just operate I was back on a bike in 3 months doing road rides then 4 months back on a mountain bike and have pretty much all my motion and don't even think about the plates and bolts in my shoulder. Yes its a shoulder with a lot going on but I was pumped full of antibiotics to limit any possible infections which worked and i would recommend anyone to get surgery to fix a broken collar bone.

Posted: Dec 5, 2020 at 11:05 Quote
I broke mine last summer and had a plate put in and was back out pedaling on mellow trails 3 weeks later. Was about 6 weeks till I was back riding dh trails but didn't feel 100% till around 8 weeks. The worst part is now I have no feeling on the skin around my collarbone because they cut through nerves.

Posted: Feb 28, 2021 at 21:04 Quote
Hi, 5 months post ORIF surgery here with a metal plate. Back to riding, but I get a pain near the end of my collarbone near the shoulder (nowhere near the break, which was closer to sternum). Recent x-rays all look good. Doc gave me a couple cortisone shots last month, which helped a little. They want to do an MRI, but maybe this is just normal muscle/ligament damage that needs time to heal? Was curious if anyone had pain like this 5-6 months post-op.

Posted: Mar 1, 2021 at 9:53 Quote
Rjh217 wrote:
Hi, 5 months post ORIF surgery here with a metal plate. Back to riding, but I get a pain near the end of my collarbone near the shoulder (nowhere near the break, which was closer to sternum). Recent x-rays all look good. Doc gave me a couple cortisone shots last month, which helped a little. They want to do an MRI, but maybe this is just normal muscle/ligament damage that needs time to heal? Was curious if anyone had pain like this 5-6 months post-op.

Yea man sounds pretty similar to how mine healed (plated as well). Could be that you also have a minor shoulder separation. Give it another month or two and that should go away!

As for an MRI...well if you have great health coverage it wont hurt, but not likely to be of any benefit either. If they find a minor ligament strain or tear then I guess you will have the knowledge, but there isnt going to be a surgery to fix it.

Have you seen a physical therapist? I would highly highly recommend that. Dr's put you back together but the therapists make things work again.

Posted: Mar 23, 2021 at 20:23 Quote
Rjh217 wrote:
Hi, 5 months post ORIF surgery here with a metal plate. Back to riding, but I get a pain near the end of my collarbone near the shoulder (nowhere near the break, which was closer to sternum). Recent x-rays all look good. Doc gave me a couple cortisone shots last month, which helped a little. They want to do an MRI, but maybe this is just normal muscle/ligament damage that needs time to heal? Was curious if anyone had pain like this 5-6 months post-op.

Usually people with clavicular fractures don't have many issues at the AC joint, where it sounds like your describing, at least from a fracture perspective. That doesn't mean you can't develop these issues afterward, particularly with immobilization. Diagnosing these issues is usually pretty easy without an MRI, and I agree, I would recommend getting evaluated by your physician for a course of PT to focus on your shoulder.

Posted: Mar 26, 2021 at 4:53 Quote
Hello Guys,

I broke my collarbone this January. I had an orthosis placed for 30 days. I visited a lot of orthopedists, some of them said I had to have surgery, others said it was not necessary. I will share all the photos I have taken. I would be happy to receive your opinion. Thanks a lot in advance.

This is x-ray the day I broke my clavicle



This is x-ray after 12 days



This is x-ray after 30 days

Posted: Mar 28, 2021 at 23:57 Quote
denislav95 wrote:
Hello Guys,

I broke my collarbone this January. I had an orthosis placed for 30 days. I visited a lot of orthopedists, some of them said I had to have surgery, others said it was not necessary. I will share all the photos I have taken. I would be happy to receive your opinion. Thanks a lot in advance.

This is x-ray the day I broke my clavicle



This is x-ray after 12 days



This is x-ray after 30 days

1st off, you'll ultimately have to decide which option you choose in conjunction with the particular surgeon. Having just recently had my kid undergo a complicated/rate collarbone fracture who also had conflicting surgical opinions (2 saying surgery, 1 saying conservative treatment), I would highly advise you do some self research on the topic to help you decide which route you choose with your surgeon.

All of what I'm saying is just "layman" opinion, but it at least comes after reviewing many medical articles on the topic:

Here is an example of a recent study on the topic of conservative vs. plating:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7233707/

The conclusion from this 2020 article was the following:
Plate fixation of a displaced clavicular fracture does not result in improved clinical and functional outcome at 4 year follow-up period, but significantly reduces the risk of non union.

Therefore, we suggest an individualized patient-by-patient treatment, taking into consideration the functional demand, the general clinical diseases, the fracture characteristics and the nonunion risk factors such as large displacement.

We suggest surgical treatment as gold standard in young patients, who demand a fast recovery and a good upper limb ROM and should non union risk factors be present, whereas conservative treatment can be considered a good option for elderly or less active patients, especially in case of risk factors that can contraindicate surgery.


=========================

You can search many other articles on the topic online.

Here's my layman non-surgeon opinion fwiw:

You're fracture seems to fit into the study above and based simply on that one study, it would seem advisable to pursue one of the surgeon's who is recommending surgical treatment. It would seem that surgery would provide a better cosmetic result, but more importantly provide you fast recovery and good upper limb range of motion. Putting cosmetic and even recovery speed issues aside, I would be most concerned about developing a non-union healing or lack of healing situation with the more conservative treatment. While I don't have a study to reference, it would seem logically that the longer 2 ends of a broken bone are not healing (non-union), say 6 months to 1 year, that it would seem it more likely to require ultimately additional healing time should a long delay occur after waiting for the more conservative route to be tried 1st. As I said, as a layman in the topic, I don't have a study to quote that will say if a long delay results in poorer final healing, but it's just my logical thought.

Now obviously, one has to discuss the risks of surgery with one's surgeon as any surgery carries risk.

I will say that personally after doing my own research, when it came to my teenage kid's recent clavicle fracture, I (we) opted to take the surgical route right away. I didn't want to risk going through a long conservative treatment with a real risk of the conservative treatment failing along with a definitive large cosmetic and possible functional limitation (with possible pain) and then wondering if we only further complicated the healing/situation by delaying going into a surgical repair. 6 weeks post double plate repair done 4 days post injury, he's back to skiing (conservative/no backflips or competitions) without pain, no deformity, and full range of motion. A large frankenstein scar, but that's a small price to pay. I think we made the right decision going with the highly competent surgeon who did the complicated technical repair. Current advice in his situation is to leave the hardware in long term with his particular uncommon break.

Anyhow, hope those thoughts are helpful in whatever route you/surgeon opt for, and best of luck.

Posted: Apr 15, 2021 at 8:33 Quote
Hey guys. Broke my collarbone last day of March, along with 5 ribs. Two weeks in and pain/swelling has mostly subsided, able to move the arm a little and use it carefully for small things around the house. Very fed up though, itching to get back to work, bikes & normality. Another X-Ray due in two weeks time. Hoping to be back on the bikes after 5 weeks at the start of May, starting easy with the gravel bike and some road cycling.


Posted: Apr 15, 2021 at 11:21 Quote
CaptainPugwash89 wrote:
Hey guys. Broke my collarbone last day of March, along with 5 ribs. Two weeks in and pain/swelling has mostly subsided, able to move the arm a little and use it carefully for small things around the house. Very fed up though, itching to get back to work, bikes & normality. Another X-Ray due in two weeks time. Hoping to be back on the bikes after 5 weeks at the start of May, starting easy with the gravel bike and some road cycling.


I bet your ribs are still sore though? I had rib pain for weeks after my shoulder felt ok, and I didn't even break any.

Posted: Apr 15, 2021 at 11:46 Quote
First week was pretty agonising I must say, getting up out of bed was absolutely crippling, I would lie there for a few minutes having to psych myself up before attempting it...then a bit of hay fever start of this week and a few sneezes that felt like an elephant stamping on my chest leaving me wincing for 5 minutes afterwards...but feeling better now at the end of week two, rib pain predominantly eased, shoulder pain is completely manageable. Range of motion is minimal which is frustrating, and I have to be careful of not doing too much during the day whilst I'm out of the sling.

Posted: May 29, 2021 at 7:38 Quote
Man, I never would've thought there was a forum post about broken clavicles. I unfortunately may be an honorary member of this club.

March of 2019 the weather was finally awesome and I had some buddies meet me at the local hill for the first real ride of the season. They drove about 2 hrs to meet me there and at the top of the first run there's a left hand berm into a pretty gentle 12' gap. I came out of that corner a little hot, dead sailors through the air turning left, high sided and absolutely smashed my right side into the landing. I concussed myself so bad I'm relying on their story as there's a good 30 seconds of memory I have no recollection of. I was rummy, felt drunk, and couldn't formulate sentences.
4-5 breaks, 7 screws, 1 plate Frown Totally ruined me enjoying the hero dirt that spring.

Learning from that I then went into April of 21. My wife and I were out with two of our excellent friends and the weather turned sour as we were finishing up our ride. They went ahead, I was hanging back with our lab who was getting tired. The wind was picking up and causing a serious left to right crosswind. Where we were at it's an open west facing hillside and the wind can really surge there. The trail we were on is excellent and they have a series of rollers that you can jump or pump or do whatever. I was cresting one of the rollers, not jumping, not getting aggressive, literally just got light on the front wheel, got hit by one of those gusts to the point it moved me off line and by the time my front tire hit the ground I was pointed to the right and I high sided YET AGAIN into the face of the following roller. I was no joke just trying to get down to the pickup and going slow enough my little Labrador was able to keep up. The wind was pretty gnarly!
at least 6 breaks, 1 plate, 7 screws, and K-wire


I'm friggin tired of breaking bones. Stupid mistakes have stupid results. Learn from me, never take your eye off the ball, don't get complacent, and revisit your fundamentals. I don't think these things would've happened had I been focusing on the fundamentals and not gotten lax on features I'd done tons of times before. Cheers!

and bring on the heat for being a bad enough rider to do this twice Smile

Posted: Jun 25, 2021 at 17:21 Quote
Man EarninTurns, you sure knocked the wind out of my sails... I thought a broken collarbone was pretty much a MTBers right of passage if you ride long enough... And it caught up with me. 2 weeks post-op today and feeling pretty damn good, but still a long road to go obviously.. I just told me wife today that I just never want to break the other side and go through this again... I feel for you bud, big time!

I overshot the last landing in a jump line trail and landed in the flat just off straight and was slammed into the first faster than I knew... Stood up right away and started walking to the truck knowing exactly what I did as I could feel the bones overlapping and catching on each other.


3 breaks, a shattered centre section between two of the breaks, 8 screws and a plate


Posted: Jul 6, 2021 at 6:18 Quote
I’m about 8 months post op,


I still have next tightness and limited ROM. It feels like the muscles from the collar bone to my jaw are in knots. I’ve already done PT but i feel like I’m still not in terms of the side that I broke. Does anyone else still have neck soreness/ tightness?


 
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