In October 08 I was riding my Fixed Gear bike, Got tired so I rested by biking with no hands. Sadly I had forgotten that it was quite windy. When I went by a street, the whind blew my front tire the wrong way, luckyly I fell and slid away from traffic. However I slid towards a curb and my bodyweight crushed my right clavicle bone.
After going to ER with no Insurance I left with a $2,300 Hospital gown (Bill) and X-rays. The X rays showed a break in 2 possibly 3 places, really bad hit. But the doctor said nothing can be done unless I wanted surgery straighten it out. I asked if it would mean any difference other than appearence. he said no, Would just look better if we did surgury. So I left high on Vicodin to restless healing for 3 weeks.
By the end of the 1st week, I didn't even use the sling anymore. Today, it is nearly 3-4 months later, I only feel pain when I carry a lot of wieght on that arm. However, my sad news is that I took another X-ray today at school. When I looked at it, it looked exactly the same as the first one I had. The doctor said this is bad and I now need surgury. Again with no Health insurance, this is very very bad.
What I don't get however, is that the Doctor and nurses at the Hospital ER said nothing needs to be done. 2 Weeks later I went to my school and showed them the bone and the exrays and they too said nothing needs to be done. Today I now show, I guess, differnt staffed personel at school and they say I need to go seek a specialist do do surgury on my clavicle bone.
I finally stopped the Dr. from her professional medical speech and asked her what would happen if I did nothing. She responded with " It will form a gap. It will heal, but not together. It could also lead to arthritus. Your basically now victim to Chronic Degenerating Changes, but speak with an Orthipedist first."
With this, I'm very tempted to just ignor her. and do nothing. I cannot afford any kind of Hospital/medical visits now. I'm still paying off $900 of the previous bill.
My questions are, Is it accurate that this danger is possible, or is it pretty small? Do I really need to have surgery? Should I get a second opinion?
IMO, yes, get a second opinion from a specialist (orthopedist) and beg, borrow and/or steal the money to get proper medical care. You local hospital may have programs to help pay or even defray some of the costs: ASK.
Sorry to hear about your injury. Seek out a 2nd opinion, but I suspect it will confirm the need for surgery.
I live and grew up in countries with mandatory health insurance and/or state provided health care. Not saying that this is always a good thing, but it does shock me whenever I hear about people that live in wealthy nations, clearly need health care and can't get it because they are uninsured.
2012 Specialized Roubaix Expert 2010 Kona Jake the Snake
I'm no expert but have broken my right clavicle twice. The first time it was in broken it two places, the second time between the two previous fractures. Both my son and daughter each broke one. In all cases no surgery was done. It was an option with my double break but it would have been for aesthetics only. I do look pretty messed up now but have moved to road bikes from BMX.
Again I'm no expert, but you mentioned not wearing your sling / harness after the first week. It's important to keep the bones reasonably stable so they heal properly. Minor movement I was told was ok, but nothing repetative. I have another buddy who took a ton of pain killers and was pretty hard on his broken clavicle and it basically didn't fuse together, but rather has a sort of jount in it now. He either has to live with it or have surgery to fix.