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collar bone healing, pain in back of shoulder

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Hi Dr. Mark (All TTer's), I had a fairly bad break to my right clavical and had it repaired (ti plate and 6 screws). I had a very reputable doctor do the surgery and I was very happy with it. Its been about 4 weeks since surgery and I've started some light stretching by walking my fingers up and down the wall and circles. My pain is almost all gone where the break was, however, when working through my range of motion I am getting some pain in the back of my shoulder...is this normal as the nerves grow back?

I read an article that recommended the plate removed so if in the case of breaking it again it would not pose greater risk to the main artery nearby...I was also wondering what your opinion is on keeping the plate in?

Thanks!!

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FWIW, I had some spasms/cramps in that area a couple weeks after my first plate install. Quite painful but only lasted a day, and never returned. It was attributed to the healing process.

I beleive the concensus is to leave it in unless it bothers you. As time goes by, you notice it less and less.

Not to hijack, but I have a question that may be of interest to all new plate owners. Dr. Mark, at what point in the healing process is the plated clavicle of equal strength to a healthy (not fractured) clavicle? % healed and approx. time, assuming you did the work. Thanks.

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its as strong as the other side when its healed. On average 6 to 12 weeks for the operated case.

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I dont like removal of a plate until six months at the absolute minimum. Having said that, I'd rather wait a year.

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One side of the plate will tear out of the bone. I think it time for you to get an X-ray.

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I can tell you from unfortunate personal experience you don't want it out in 12-14 weeks.:thumbsup:

Stainless? I was told by the doc who did mine thats what was used before the Accumed Ti plate became available. Pelvic plates actually. The doc may correct me if I'm wrong but stainless is not intended to be forever like Ti.

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The shift on the column worked fine in my Dad's sedan until automatic came out.

So it was with the stainless pelvic plates until the Ti came out.

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Dr Mark probably has a nice collection of SS plates that he has removed from a few of us morons that he had fix what previous Drs screwed up.

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Back to the original thread, I just wanted to share that I had a lot of pain in the back of my shoulder blade after my collar bone break. It was not coming from the break area at alll. Mine was not surgically repaired. It felt like a knot was in the middle of my shoulder blade and I was always looking for wall or a door jam to lean against to try and massage it out. Doc said it was muscle spasms from all the trama that happened to the area....It still comes back some times but for the most part it is gone now...I would say it was really bad for at least 2 years.....It will be 7 years on dec 7th that I broke it last.

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Thats different, and I felt that as well. Its from abnormal strain on the muscles from the clavicle no longer supporting the shoulder. For me, that pain went away immediately after surgery.

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Thanks, I am out of my sling, like I said with no direct pain to my collar bone, but granted I'm not doing anything right now...I started some stretching, and even used a 5lb weight to start working it out (extended circles) and walking my fingers up the wall. Its been 5 weeks since surgery and I'm starting to test my range of motion...my concern is as i rotate my arm over my head and try to go straight back in a large circle there's pain in my shoulder all the way around as I rotate. I still have a few tight spots in my trap and around the break area. I just want to make sure I don't wait too long to start rehab..Doc said don't do anything until Dec 8th, but I'm chompin at the bit to get this arm working again. Anyone with similar pain experience. sorry no x-rays yet..

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