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Should I have surgery for my stage 3 separated clavicle?

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Dr. Mark,

I know I wrote a lot, but I really want to be informative so you can make the best opinion and, give the best advice to your ability about my situation.

Back-story:

I separated my clavicle on June 24, 2006. I was riding my 250X by my cousin’s house. A buddy and I were on the side of a road and on one particular turn the shoulder of the road turns into a large embankment above the road. We were traveling around 10-15mph when he stopped in front of me during a turn on this embankment. I veered off to the side to avoid hitting him and the only place to go was off the embankment onto the road. Turns out that it was about a 15-foot cliff straight onto pavement. I freaked out and tried to stop before this blind cliff instead of gassing it out. I ended up endowing the bike, and I went over the bars. I hit the pavement dead on with my right shoulder first, and of course I wasn’t wearing my chest protector (effin dumb mistake). It hurt like a bitch and when I first moved my right arm I felt a pop in my shoulder. We went to the emergency room and they ended up telling us what it was and told us that only 10% of the time does someone really need the surgery. They kept me in a sling for a month and then said it would slowly get better.

So:

It has been 2 months now and the bone is sticking up more than it did a month ago, still hurts a bit, and I don’t have complete movement back. I saw the doctor again today and from what I’ve searched through on this forum I should have almost demanded the surgery done in the first place. I’m requesting a second opinion from another doctor who specializes in more sports injuries to see what he says, as well as to writing to you.

Finally:

I would like to hear your opinion on the subject knowing that you do a lot of dirt bike and sport injuries. I have the following X-rays that were taken back on the 23ed of June:

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y16/Jimb0_o/shoulder1.jpg

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y16/Jimb0_o/shoulder2.jpg

So I would like to know your opinion on my injury as well as how long it will take to recover form the surgery. The doctor said that it takes about 2 months to heal. I’m currently a student and she said that I would be out of school for at least a week and 2 weeks if I have to drive myself. She also said that I would be out of work for at least a month and a half. I work as a cashier so I do use my hands a lot, but never really heavy lifting, only frequent movement.

Thank you for reading this and I look forward to your opinion.

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I looked at the X-rays. Its a grade 5 injury.

When patients come to my clinic, with a grade 5 injury, I typically do a repair.

If you have had this for a long time and are not better, you should come and visit me. Typically, one or before six weeks, you will be riding.

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First off thx for the very quick reply. So basically go for it. Also I know that there are 2 types of surgery, one involving a screw, and one involving drilling a hole into your clavicle. I’d assume that the drilling is a better procedure, because then there is no need to take out the screw.

All right, I will take what you say under consideration and from this I will be more informative when talking to the next doctor I’m going to see. But unofficially from what you see with just the x-rays I should get it done.

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Anytime you don't need a second operation, you are better off.

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