Broken Collarbone, plate it yes/no?

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11/22/2018 4:48 AM
Edited Date/Time: 11/22/2018 4:49 AM

Basically doc gave me the choice to plate it or let it heal on it's own, would love to hear some thoughts from you guys!

He classified it as a Type IIa fracture, looking for the best long term advice as I like to be active, Thanks!


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11/22/2018 5:11 AM

If it was mine it did the surgery. Plate on it. Then you can fast back on you're work etc.

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11/22/2018 5:17 AM
Edited Date/Time: 11/22/2018 5:17 AM

ron36 wrote:

If it was mine it did the surgery. Plate on it. Then you can fast back on you're work etc.

What.




Also, I would always go with the option that doesn’t require surgery

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11/22/2018 5:22 AM

Collar bones are easy-peasy. Unless you are in a profession that a broken collarbone will prevent you from working, just let it heal on it’s own and avoid the expense and risk associated with surgery.

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11/22/2018 5:26 AM

I had both done. I would go for plated, just make sure they take them out when healed. I work 14 hours a day as a chef and don’t have any problems with them at all.

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11/22/2018 5:34 AM

I had a similar break in a similar spot and had surgery. The collar bone is under a lot of tension near the shoulder where you and I broke it. My ortho definitely recommended surgery based on that. He also tightened up the ligament that holds it down. It’s still played, I didn’t need to get it taken back out.

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11/22/2018 5:40 AM

Plate it, no reason to not do it today with the good plates. Old plates brought more issues. No reason to go and not be able to use the arm for 6-10 weeks until the bones have healed.

With a plate you can use it for lighter stuff like carrying food bags, bicycle riding etc.

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11/22/2018 6:56 AM

quadzrulebro wrote:

Collar bones are easy-peasy. Unless you are in a profession that a broken collarbone will prevent you from working, just let ...more

This right here^^^^.....I let mine heal on it's own. It was a clean break , snapped straight up into almost "teepee" position. I'm glad I didnt get surgery and it healed fine. I have no issues from it at all.

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11/22/2018 7:02 AM

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Mine looked like the St Louis arch was sticking up under my skin. Out patient surgery plate 8 screws. 2 weeks back to work 6 weeks back riding .
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11/22/2018 7:04 AM
Edited Date/Time: 11/22/2018 7:06 AM

PLATE IT. I broke mine 8 weeks ago. Immediately after surgery i had full range of motion, strength, and no pain, no sling, no therapy. Others i talk to who broke theirs complain of pain and annoyance of being in a sling. Literally a plate simplifies recovery.

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11/22/2018 7:05 AM

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11/22/2018 7:09 AM

My surgery was worth every penny. Your break looks pretty complex, and sometimes those heal wierd (lumps, shards, etc) that cause pain for quite a bit of time, plus there are other factors that affect healing such as, smoking, age, how active you are (it's hard to lay low), how disciplined you are with your sling, and diet. I was given the option as well, doc said "50 percent chance it heals on its own, 80 percent it heals right with surgery." I was out of the sling in 5 weeks post surgery and cleared to ride in 6.

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11/22/2018 7:17 AM

Plate it!! Like others have said, you can function normally much quicker, and long term, you're anatomically correct. I wanted my shoulder to still be in it's original position. In my opinion, I can't see how there would not be some bad trade-offs with letting it heal super crooked.

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Motocross....a once in a lifetime experience....every weekend.

11/22/2018 7:40 AM

Plate it. I have broken my collarbone 3 times. Had it plated the last time much quicker recovery time, so much easier to get on with day to day life.

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Tomac and/or Anderson for 2020.....

11/22/2018 8:22 AM

I broke my collarbone mountain biking. Two clean breaks. I did not get surgery and was back downhill mountain biking 6-8 weeks later. I was 34 at the time.

There is little evidence that speaks to surgery being the best solution. I participated in a big study in Denmark that looked at the difference between plating and no surgery.

The study can be found here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5119434/

I would in general always try to avoid surgery. And if you can still work with one arm or have the time to let it heal I would go for no plating - less stuff can go wrong and the shape (it might be shorter or look crooked with no surgery) does not really matter.

Healing vibes.

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11/22/2018 8:25 AM
Edited Date/Time: 11/22/2018 8:26 AM

Plate it. I've broken my left once and my right twice. The first two were clean breaks, no plate needed. The second however broke in 3 places and an inch was just floating around in there my original doctor said it will heal on its own I waited 2 weeks and no progress. I asked him for a second opinion he sent me to a real orthopedic surgeon and they said plate it. Plus I'd ask the professionals not a keyboard jockey. Good luck and heal up.

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11/22/2018 8:30 AM

Onthepipe, I was in the same position as you a few years back and I did not plate it. I wish I would have now. It healed and although it doesn’t hold me back in anyway, I have a lot of issues with my neck and shoulder being sore because of the clavicle being short. It also causes headaches for me. I frequently visit the chiropractor and it helps, but i wish I would have had it fixed. If given the option do it. Thats my opinion.

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11/22/2018 8:31 AM

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11/22/2018 8:32 AM

yeroc281 wrote:

Plate it. I've broken my left once and my right twice. The first two were clean breaks, no plate needed. The second however ...more

I agree with your point about asking medical professionals.

Asking an orthopedic surgeon whether to operate a collarbone or not will most likely not give you a surprising answer laughing laughing

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11/22/2018 8:47 AM

I plated mine and got an infection from surgery. 7 surgeries and 3 years later its still broken as the day I broke it. I too had to option to do the surgery or not, I wish I would never have started down the road of surgery. My doc feels there is less than 50% chance of ever getting it to heal now.

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11/22/2018 10:05 AM

If it's medical advice you're after, well you have come to the right place.laughing

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11/22/2018 10:54 AM
Edited Date/Time: 11/22/2018 11:04 AM

Plate it. Both mine are plated. As jenssog showed you the evidence for no difference in surgery vs conservative management. Well I tried the conservative route the second time because that’s what the ortho told me. So I’m like game on. No surgery. Great studies. Let’s see how it works out. (right collarbone) And it just made my life hell for 6 months and I never regained 100% ROM. Couldn’t lift my arm over my head. Second opinion. They rebroke it, plated it. And now 110% like it never happened. You can try both routes. But both my dollar ones are plated.

First one at 14 years old. Second one at 28. I’m 32 now. No problems except being able to detect when it’s going to rain.

With your pics I’d go with a plate buddy. Consider with your injury how short your shoulder is. The surgery will get it back out to length.

This was me before conservative management:Photo

Try to get a well renownked sports MED guy.

Damien billow md at Cleveland clinic main campus has done work on Cavs players. He did my surgery. Great surgeon.

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GP740
Since 1987

11/22/2018 10:56 AM

If it were me, I'd opt for the choice that does not involve surgery and a metal plate inserted in my body - either forever, or until I get another surgery to remove it.

But like Underground implied, perhaps this forum is not the best repository of medical knowledge. grin

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Braaapin' aint easy.

11/22/2018 11:41 AM
Edited Date/Time: 11/22/2018 11:42 AM

Thanks for all the responses so far! I'm now leaning towards plating it while I type this with my left hand...

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11/22/2018 2:12 PM

jenssog wrote:

I broke my collarbone mountain biking. Two clean breaks. I did not get surgery and was back downhill mountain biking 6-8 weeks ...more

15 years ago there was no plating, 8 years ago they plated everything, now doctors say it is a 50-50. From a functional perspective, it is so much better to plate it. The only concern with surgery today is if something goes wrong and that risk is so small i dont think it out ways the benefits.

Just sleeping is a freaking nightmare first weeks with it broken and risk is also that you do fall, or hit it so is screws up.

From a healing perspective you can discuss if it matters, but from a functional perspective there is absolutely nothing positive about not doing a surgery. You can pretty much go back to normal life 12h after surgery. Without surgery, it takes weeks.

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11/22/2018 2:41 PM

Good luck with whatever you decide...
I knew a guy that had broken both his collar bones so many times they finally took them out. It was weird, he could almost touch his shoulders together in front of him...

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11/22/2018 2:47 PM

Yes on plate.

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It's better to die on your feet, than to live on your knees.

11/22/2018 3:08 PM

Falcon wrote:

If it were me, I'd opt for the choice that does not involve surgery and a metal plate inserted in my body - either forever, or ...more

I'd say this place is the perfect place for medical advice, especially broken collarbones. There are 2 types of motocrossers, ones who have broken a collarbone and ones who will

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11/22/2018 3:13 PM

Looks quite displaced. I was gonna say plate it until I read about the guy above with the infection.

I wanted to plate mine, docs said no and it took 2 months until it began healing so I could start to even move it. Frozen shoulder for the two months stopped. I worked my ass hard but never recovered the 100% range.
Fracture took 6 months to heal up and 1 year until I was allowed to ride. Crazy for a simple collarbone.
I've broken humerus, tibia wrist and fingers before. Never had this kind of problem (wasnt so old either).

So I would definitely plate it.
BUT much respect for the opinion of the guy that had problems with the surgery. Shit happens everywhere.

This was mine
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Whatever it is, good luck, man. In normal conditions it wont be a complicated process.

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11/22/2018 5:13 PM

How old are you? I'd say plate it. Mine 'healed on its own' and my left shoulder is jacked and will be forever because of it. It was a clean break, the bones are overlapped by 7mm if i remember correctly, and now I basically have this huge 'ball' of bone between my neck and shoulder where they fused together. My arm doesn't hang down my side very well, it's really right in the armpit area, my range of motion is limited, I can't sleep on that side with out waking up with pain, and lately I think it's been the cause of some neck pain. It was 6 years ago, I did all the recommended PT etc. Luckily it doesn't bother me on two wheels. I didn't have insurance at the time or I would have plated it.

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