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Clavicle break, did you have surgery or wait it out?

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These are xrays 2 weeks in, bone is split at the end going towards neck. Dr is telling me 6-12 weeks and no surgery and 90 percent change it heals on its own. He does not have me in a sling or a brace. I am questioning his reasoning. Anyone else have similar break? Not sure if i should waste the time or money for a second opinion. I have good mobility and can pain has gotten a lot better in the last week. Just dont want to wait 6 weeks to find out then i need surgery. 

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Its a gamble.. If you smoke, or move it, chances are you will end up with a non union.. Don't smoke, drink alcohol, or move it around. Keep it as still as possible, take calcium supplements.. Broke mine pretty bad last year. I tried everything to give it a better chance to heal but with no avail. I now have a non union witch is a soft tissue growth between the break. Its pretty strong but if I crash on that shoulder it will probably come apart. also ended up with thoracic outlet syndrome witch is a restriction in the clavical vein due to overlapping of the bones. DOC SAID IT WAS HEALING FINE.....WRONG......... If you have insurance I would contact DR. MARK . good luck

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collarboneCopy_zps1e4e1623.jpg

Mine a couple years ago.  The break was so close to the end I ended up with surgery and the end was removed.  I now have a free floating right shoulder.

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Broke mine twice in a 3 year period about 40 years ago. No surgery slight bump where the ends didn't exactly meet up. No problems with it except for old age. I was in a figure 8 brace for about a month, and a sling for the first 2 or 3 weeks. They have come a long way since then, but I would talk to a second osteo. guy and see what he says.   joe

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Had a clavicle break about two years ago. Doctor immediately suggested surgery, but once he heard I was open to letting it heal naturally he said it looked like it had good chances to heal up.

Used the sling for at least a month and tried to keep my shoulder in a normal position as much as possible. Also no smoking and healthy eating.

It is all good now with a bump and something like a 15mm shorter shoulder. I am good with how it turned out. Not a fan of unnecessary surgeries myself.

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0221012220.jpg0308011353a.jpg

 

I broke my clavicle a few years ago playing Ice Hockey. The first doctor I went to wanted to put a plate and 8 screws permanently into me. The second doctor said no surgery; it'll heal on its own. The third doctor wanted to put a pin through the bone marrow, wrap the fragments around it, let it heal for 12 weeks, then take the pin out and let the bone marrow fill back in. Obviously I went the route of the third doctor and I'm very glad I did. I now have 100% strength and 100% mobility with absolutely no hardware in me. It took me about 2 years before I could sleep on my left side though.

 

As for the sling.. I didn't wear mine all to much. From what I remember, the doctor told me the sling was for comfort and as long as I didn't move my arm at all I'd be fine. A word of advice: wear the sling. There was a couple times I "forgot" my clavicle was broken and tried to use my left arm, which resulted in immense pain. Good luck with your recovery, get a second opinion if you can.

Edited by Thefischerman
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If it were me I would not hesitate to get the surgery.  I fail to see how it can truly heal properly without the surgery, other than in a case where the break is minor without much displacement of the bone.

 

As for the sling it does nothing for you other than possibly provide some comfort.  My surgeon actually laughed at me when I arrived in his office wearing a sling.  He was actually very good.

 

Here's mine from two years ago.  I had surgery roughly 3 weeks after the injury: 

IMG_4606.PNG

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I broke mine about 7 years ago when I was 50 or so. Broke in 2 places with some fragments. I previously had plates for a bad leg break that went septic after 5 years, so I was very open to no surgery and plating. We pulled it as straight as we could and let it heal. It did not heal very straight but doesn't bother me at all. No limitation of movement, no pain. 

I was working as an industrial technician working on some important projects at the time. The company gave me an apprentice to do my writing, typing, measuring and drawing. I didn't miss a day of work. 

I've broken over a dozen bones over the years, many on bikes. Broke ribs twice, road home in both cases. With a break, you have about an hour of relatively low pain. Get out while you can in this window of opportunity. Beyond an hour it will really hurt. When I couldn't get to a hospital in this window, I took Tylenol (acetaminophen) to get me through because it doesn't cause bleeding. I do carry 325mg ASA in case of heart attack or stroke. I am of that age, and so are many of my friends. 

Lost a thumb sized splinter out of my femur in a road accident that was life altering. It severed the femoral artery which allows the blood to spray out, potentially killing you in a couple minutes. I recognized this and held down on my groin pressure point to minimize the loss, as taught by the army. Sometimes you have to act quicker than an ambulance can get to you. I had a friend die in the woods because his riding buddies were afraid to act or move him. They called an ambulance and watched him bleed out over an hour. Best to learn wilderness first aid so at least you can tell your buddies what to do to save you.

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On 9/13/2017 at 2:48 PM, Thefischerman said:

0221012220.jpg0308011353a.jpg

 

I broke my clavicle a few years ago playing Ice Hockey. The first doctor I went to wanted to put a plate and 8 screws permanently into me. The second doctor said no surgery; it'll heal on its own. The third doctor wanted to put a pin through the bone marrow, wrap the fragments around it, let it heal for 12 weeks, then take the pin out and let the bone marrow fill back in. Obviously I went the route of the third doctor and I'm very glad I did. I now have 100% strength and 100% mobility with absolutely no hardware in me. It took me about 2 years before I could sleep on my left side though.

 

As for the sling.. I didn't wear mine all to much. From what I remember, the doctor told me the sling was for comfort and as long as I didn't move my arm at all I'd be fine. A word of advice: wear the sling. There was a couple times I "forgot" my clavicle was broken and tried to use my left arm, which resulted in immense pain. Good luck with your recovery, get a second opinion if you can.

I went with a fixed plate when I broke my R Clavicle. It was a mid section break, classic over/under and would never have healed on it's own. After reading your healing times, I am glad I went with the plate (by Dr Mark). I was functioning "normal" within 2 weeks and at 1 month, almost forgot about the break and started doing everything normally as if the bone was never broken. To this day, 10-11 years later, I have almost completely forgot about it and have never had any issues what-so-ever. The hardware is still in me, but I can't tell since it doesn't bother me in any way. Even the scar is minimal and almost invisible.

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Get it plated, I broke mine 5 months ago and am so glad I went with the surgery. About 3 weeks after surgery, I felt almost normal again. However, my break was an under over, so explore your options

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On 10/12/2017 at 5:34 AM, NYMXer said:

I went with a fixed plate when I broke my R Clavicle. It was a mid section break, classic over/under and would never have healed on it's own. After reading your healing times, I am glad I went with the plate (by Dr Mark). I was functioning "normal" within 2 weeks and at 1 month, almost forgot about the break and started doing everything normally as if the bone was never broken. To this day, 10-11 years later, I have almost completely forgot about it and have never had any issues what-so-ever. The hardware is still in me, but I can't tell since it doesn't bother me in any way. Even the scar is minimal and almost invisible.

To each their own... However, when I said I let it heal for 12 weeks, I didn't mean it was immobile for 12 weeks. I don't remember the timeline of healing as it was a long time ago, but I do remember playing Ice Hockey (just practice, no contact) and riding my dirt bike while the pin was still in. Again, my arm was not out of commission for 12 weeks. Each break is different but I'm glad I don't have any hardware in me. My scar is also practically invisible.

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7 hours ago, Thefischerman said:

To each their own... However, when I said I let it heal for 12 weeks, I didn't mean it was immobile for 12 weeks. I don't remember the timeline of healing as it was a long time ago, but I do remember playing Ice Hockey (just practice, no contact) and riding my dirt bike while the pin was still in. Again, my arm was not out of commission for 12 weeks. Each break is different but I'm glad I don't have any hardware in me. My scar is also practically invisible.

Based on what you first wrote, it didn't read like your second post. Either way, I didn't mean to imply that you made a poor decision, I was merely just sharing my recovery time from a similar injury. My break was my first real broken bone, and we always remember "our first", haha

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1 hour ago, NYMXer said:

Based on what you first wrote, it didn't read like your second post. Either way, I didn't mean to imply that you made a poor decision, I was merely just sharing my recovery time from a similar injury. My break was my first real broken bone, and we always remember "our first", haha

I didn't take it that way, I was just clarifying my first post, which I do admit sounded like a really long recovery. This was my first too but wasn't as painful as my ankle.

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On 9/13/2017 at 2:48 PM, Thefischerman said:

0221012220.jpg0308011353a.jpg

 

I broke my clavicle a few years ago playing Ice Hockey. The first doctor I went to wanted to put a plate and 8 screws permanently into me. The second doctor said no surgery; it'll heal on its own. The third doctor wanted to put a pin through the bone marrow, wrap the fragments around it, let it heal for 12 weeks, then take the pin out and let the bone marrow fill back in. Obviously I went the route of the third doctor and I'm very glad I did. I now have 100% strength and 100% mobility with absolutely no hardware in me. It took me about 2 years before I could sleep on my left side though.

 

As for the sling.. I didn't wear mine all to much. From what I remember, the doctor told me the sling was for comfort and as long as I didn't move my arm at all I'd be fine. A word of advice: wear the sling. There was a couple times I "forgot" my clavicle was broken and tried to use my left arm, which resulted in immense pain. Good luck with your recovery, get a second opinion if you can.

Obviously, each case is different, depending on the severity & location of the fracture, but the protocol now with may orthos is not to use the figure 8 brace, just sling it & let it heal.  When you are first injured, the weight of your arm will pull the fracture apart, so that is one reason to wear the sling. Another is to remind you (& others) that your arm is injured & to use caution. Most MDs will say use the sling until it feels better without it.

As far as a second opinion, be sure and see a specialist, ( an ortopedic) not just the advice of the MD in the emergency room.

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