Go Back  Bike Forums > The Racer's Forum > "The 33"-Road Bike Racing
Reload this Page >

Let's hear your broken collarbone plate operation experiences..

"The 33"-Road Bike Racing We set this forum up for our members to discuss their experiences in either pro or amateur racing, whether they are the big races, or even the small backyard races. Don't forget to update all the members with your own race results.

Let's hear your broken collarbone plate operation experiences..

Reply

Old 04-27-12, 08:10 AM
  #26  
jwible
Draught
 
jwible's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Georgia
Posts: 4,051

Bikes: N-1 where N = number needed

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Mine was pre cycling, but I did a lot of muscle damage. I couldn't raise my arm to even with my shoulder for a few months. Then at 6 months I had surgery to open my AC joint back up.

In the MC world the pros will race 1 week post op. Of course they get paid and can afford the risk, but If you are OK with the risks or crashing then do what you want to do. Just riding isn't going to have a negative impact on the healing.

How many fragments? The more fragments the longer I'd wait. I only had 3.
jwible is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-12, 08:21 AM
  #27  
gsteinb
out walking the earth
 
gsteinb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 20,552
Mentioned: 56 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 425 Post(s)
I raced four weeks after getting out of a trauma unit. That's ten days after collar bone surgery (jesus christ, really?). The collar bone surgery was the least of my problems. I was winning races again two months after the crash.
gsteinb is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-12, 08:58 AM
  #28  
zigmeister
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 882
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I was like 10yrs old when I broke my left clavicle from getting tripped in soccer. All I had was that stupid harness. Then 4 weeks later I decided to ride my friends bike, being an active silly kid, popped a wheelie and the front wheel fell off. Needless to say, when I came down, I hit the forks, went over the top and landed on my shoulder again. Rebroke it.

Went to the doctor a week later, took xrays, he came back in and was pissed and said, "you aren't staying still and running around like a nut right?" Uh...maybe. "I will take care of this for you mom."

He then proceeded to use brown stretch bandage, like for sprains, and wrapped my upper body like a mummy. I swear I could barely move, then he put the brace on top of that tightened, it, and more bandage.

The next 4 weeks were horrible to say the least, and I couldn't really bathe etc...had to wipe my pits etc..to stay non-stinky, but I still smelled.

No such thing as surgery back then, and for my age, they probably wouldn't have done it.
zigmeister is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-12, 09:18 AM
  #29  
aham23
grilled cheesus
 
aham23's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: 8675309
Posts: 6,951

Bikes: 2010 CAAD9 Custom, 06 Giant TCR C2 & 05 Specialized Hardrock Sport

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
i think one, maybe two, fragments. the two horizontal screws put that back into place.

for the mental recovery a ride outside will do wonders. im not sure when i will jump back into racing. likely not until June. it will all depend on how riding feels.

i do feel comfortable that riding outside now should not cause any harm. i hope......later.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
thebreak.jpg (87.7 KB, 87 views)
File Type: jpg
thefix.jpg (88.1 KB, 88 views)
__________________
aham23 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-12, 01:44 PM
  #30  
cmckenzie72
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 13
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Broken on June 29, surgery July 10, 1 plate 13 screws. On the trainer 3 days later. Outside training 4 weeks, 1st race 6 weeks. I'm 58 so I heal slow.
cmckenzie72 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-12, 08:38 PM
  #31  
Beaker
moth -----> flame
 
Beaker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 5,910

Bikes: 11 CAAD 10-4, 07 Specialized Roubaix Comp, 98 Peugeot Horizon

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Originally Posted by aham23 View Post
digging up an old thread, but it has some good info and leads to some questions on my situation.

im 4 weeks post surgery, plate and 9 screws, for a distal clavicle fracture. i was on the trainer 6 days post surgery. recovery is going well, almost seems fast, and i am ready to ride outside. of course, the Ortho gives me the general speech, wait 2 to 3 more weeks. in fact he suggest at that point i will be released from care. outside of the unforeseen, i cannot imagine that easy rides on smooth roads, right now, would be an issue.

from a racers standpoint i am looking to hear when you were back on the road, back to training hard, and back to racing.

my crash wiped out winters worth of hard work that me positioned for success in April, which was my goal. much thanks. later.
FWIW I'm on a similar time frame - fracture happened 4wks back and I'm 3wks post surgery. I got an intramedullar rod rather than a plate though. It was actually way more painful after the op than the week I was scooting around with a broken clavicle. I'm targeting late May to get back outdoors - why? I figure I want to get some more strength back in the bone, the Mrs would appreciate it and I've got more to loose in the remote chance that I take another fall than I have to gain as 41yo slow Cat 5. I've been back on the trainer for a couple of weeks, and doing some running. Www.trainerroad.com has really helped make the trainer more enjoyable and build in some intensity and structure to my indoor time.

GL.
__________________
BF, in a nutshell
Beaker is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 04-28-12, 06:13 AM
  #32  
aham23
grilled cheesus
 
aham23's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: 8675309
Posts: 6,951

Bikes: 2010 CAAD9 Custom, 06 Giant TCR C2 & 05 Specialized Hardrock Sport

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
^^^^ you got the Fabian clavicle rod, cool. i recall he was tweeting about a lot of pain post surgery as well. besides the day after, i felt 1000 times better immediately. no sling, just dull pain and muscle soreness/tightness.

our situations are very similar for sure; i am a 38 year old cat 4 with family and a demanding job. i have to wonder whats the point to rushing back? to starting the training all over? the mental aspect is now the challenge. i think a nice ride outside will go a long way to clearing my mind. one way or the other.

good luck. later.
__________________
aham23 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 04-28-12, 06:58 AM
  #33  
gsteinb
out walking the earth
 
gsteinb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 20,552
Mentioned: 56 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 425 Post(s)
The pain I experienced after the surgery was other worldly. In fact I was pissed at the doctor for not telling me how much it would hurt. It was a few days before the urge to kill him subsided. The plate still hurts though if someone does the yeah buddy grab of my collar bone or if I make contact with something with it.
gsteinb is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 04-28-12, 08:03 AM
  #34  
Beaker
moth -----> flame
 
Beaker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 5,910

Bikes: 11 CAAD 10-4, 07 Specialized Roubaix Comp, 98 Peugeot Horizon

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Originally Posted by aham23 View Post
^^^^ you got the Fabian clavicle rod, cool. i recall he was tweeting about a lot of pain post surgery as well. besides the day after, i felt 1000 times better immediately. no sling, just dull pain and muscle soreness/tightness.

our situations are very similar for sure; i am a 38 year old cat 4 with family and a demanding job. i have to wonder whats the point to rushing back? to starting the training all over? the mental aspect is now the challenge. i think a nice ride outside will go a long way to clearing my mind. one way or the other.

good luck. later.
My own paranoia is being offset by supportive teammates and trainer workouts that feel like they're actually of training value. I've been doing some running to get my outdoor fix too.

I was wondering why I hurt so much more after surgery, then after googling Rockwood clavicle pin I realized that installing the thing required me to under go a one sided WWF bout with a dude packing power tools. The thing should come out after 4mo or so apparently. Judging by the hard protrusion I feel under the skin of my shoulder, the steal is real.
__________________
BF, in a nutshell
Beaker is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-12, 08:32 AM
  #35  
aham23
grilled cheesus
 
aham23's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: 8675309
Posts: 6,951

Bikes: 2010 CAAD9 Custom, 06 Giant TCR C2 & 05 Specialized Hardrock Sport

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
so what was/is the determining factor for getting the rod vs plate & pins?

i rode outside yesterday, 2 hours. i was surprised that the legs were more of an issue than the shoulder. kept to the flat and smooth roads of course. very limited standing and no aggressive efforts. near the end the muscles on that side started to tighten up around the shoulder. nothing major though. after 20 plus trainer hours in April i needed to ride outside. for the next 2 weeks i am going to mix and match, trainer & outside efforts, just be safe.

appreciate the input. best of luck. later.
__________________
aham23 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-12, 09:25 AM
  #36  
Beaker
moth -----> flame
 
Beaker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 5,910

Bikes: 11 CAAD 10-4, 07 Specialized Roubaix Comp, 98 Peugeot Horizon

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Kudos! Why the rod vs the plate? Good question - I think at the end of the day my ortho preferred that route. He'd actually had one installed himself about a year back. From what I can tell the advantages are supposed to be less chance of nerve damage during the procedure, smaller incisions and less need to disturb underlying muscle. It's also very simple to remove with a 5min outpatient procedure. Having said all that, all the folks I know who've had a clavicle op got a plate.
__________________
BF, in a nutshell
Beaker is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-12, 10:09 AM
  #37  
soma5
Hanging On
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 872
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
I got a Ti plate and 7 screws to fix a Z-shaped clavicle about a month before Lance broke his. Durn guy keeps following in my footsteps...
soma5 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-12, 12:03 PM
  #38  
LAWMAN
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 45
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I broke 1 of mine several years ago riding a dirt bike. it was ugly, the sharp, broken ends kept poking into the already-irritated muscles. I was offered the surgery, but declined it--the doc told me it would heal quicker without it, & I was worried about losing points in the race series. I just wore the figure-8 brace. so now I have a big ugly knot there--no big deal; the right side of my body is about 1/2" lower than the left, I actually have to have extra padding put in the right shoulder when I get a suit fitted; & every now & then it will ache when the weather is about to change.

I was putting around on the dirt bike at 4 weeks, riding pretty hard at 6 weeks, & racing at 8--all about 4 weeks quicker than the doc said.

Last edited by LAWMAN; 05-02-12 at 11:59 AM. Reason: fixed typo
LAWMAN is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-12, 05:23 AM
  #39  
aham23
grilled cheesus
 
aham23's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: 8675309
Posts: 6,951

Bikes: 2010 CAAD9 Custom, 06 Giant TCR C2 & 05 Specialized Hardrock Sport

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
3 rides outside to date and all seems good. very happy to see that the 25 trainer hours i logged in April have kept me fit. high end is lacking, but no one will be riding away from me. stepping up the effort a bit today with a group ride. its good to be back. later.
__________________
aham23 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-12, 11:13 PM
  #40  
smash1
Newbie
 
smash1's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 2
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Feel like a wimp that I am 3 weeks post surgery and still immobilized. I finally decided to cough up for my first all carbon road bike and enter some local races and went out for my second ride on the new wheels on april 9th. Some jerk-off in a car clipped me and sent me flying. Among other injuries I managed to break my clavicle into 4 pieces, with the largest portion sticking back thru my trapezius. I ended up with a grade IV separation along with the fracture (which they didn't discover until they opened me up for the clavicle, which meant my 1.5 hour surgery took 4.5 hours). I still have significant pain along where the plate is and have ridiculous times trying to sleep due to the fact that I can't sleep and any movement is painful. My surgeon put me on immobilization for 6 weeks,.and am just wondering if anyone out there dealt with the extraneous issues for the joint/ligaments with their fracture. Compound fracture April 9, surgery April 18, still struggling :-\
smash1 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-12, 07:05 AM
  #41  
Beaker
moth -----> flame
 
Beaker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 5,910

Bikes: 11 CAAD 10-4, 07 Specialized Roubaix Comp, 98 Peugeot Horizon

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
It sounds like you've had a lot more to get over than just a fractured clavicle - don't be too hard on yourself so soon. Surgery takes some getting over - it's like an extra level of muscle/soft tissue and maybe nerve injury to recover from; I'm guessing your body's got quite a bit of healing to do as it is. Everyone's experiences are different so just work to your own timetable.

Good luck and heal fast.
__________________
BF, in a nutshell
Beaker is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-12, 08:06 AM
  #42  
jwible
Draught
 
jwible's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Georgia
Posts: 4,051

Bikes: N-1 where N = number needed

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I didn't have a separation but I did have an AC joint that got munged up to no end. That required surgery 4 months after the plate.

Just keep healing and don't push it. The extent of the muscle and tendon damage can't really be determined for a while. I will say that my massage thereapist said she saw tons of folks with what she termed 'sling damage' around the rotator cuff. She said this was the strained / damaged tissue healing too tight due to the sling keeping the joint imobile too long. She was able to loosen mine up through massage.

Did your doc tell you to do any PT yet? Mine had me lean forward, and hold a can of food in the hand of the busted arm and move it in small circles fully extended to keep the joint moving and start loosening things up.

My personal non medical thought is that moving the arm around will help keep scaring at a minimum and loosen things up.

My plate hurt at the incision line and to touch for a long time. The bone quit hurting around 4-6 weeks. The joint itself not until I got it worked over by the massage therapist 3 years later.
jwible is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-12, 02:28 PM
  #43  
aham23
grilled cheesus
 
aham23's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: 8675309
Posts: 6,951

Bikes: 2010 CAAD9 Custom, 06 Giant TCR C2 & 05 Specialized Hardrock Sport

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
yeah i do not have any joint or ligament issues to date. i know that just an ac joint issue or separation without a broken clavicle can keep a rider out much longer than i was. rest and heal. you will know when you can ride again. good luck. later.
__________________
aham23 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-12, 03:41 PM
  #44  
tmiranda
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 8
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I have broken both of my clavicles and have had both surgically repaired. Highly recommend surgery. Recovery time is much faster, especially if you have a bad break. I broke my right one about 10 years ago before I started riding and don't remember the recovery period too well but I feel like after 4 weeks I was back to living a "normal" life of a 16 year old. About 2 weeks ago (July 3rd) I broke my left one. The x-ray looked almost exactly the same as my right one did 10 years ago - a clean break with the bone trying to poke through the skin. After 6 days I had surgery, that was this past Monday. Today is Friday and I am able to sit here and type this without a sling and this morning I rode the stationary for 45 minutes. (although I do plan to keep it in the sling as much as possible for the first 2 weeks after surgery) I do still have a little pain but not enough to "need" any pain killers. Most of the pain is related to the actual incision and staples - not the plate. I feel with the pace of my recovery so far, I should be able to resume riding within 4 weeks, 6 at the most.

To answer your questions...With my right clavicle, in the 10 years I've had the plate in there I haven't had a single problem. I have 100% mobility in that shoulder. The only "issue" I have is when people try to slap me on the shoulder or something and make contact directly with the skin above the plate and pins - its still kind of tender in that regard.

To close, I highly recommend this surgery to anyone who has just broken their clavicle, it seems the recovery time is much shorter and I would imagine it could help prevent future breaks as well seeing as it reinforces your fracture point with a piece of titanium


One last thing...I've read horror stories of people getting the incision infected or re-opening it during their recovery period. Obviously this greatly increased their recovery times. Make sure you take it easy, keep it the sling until the Dr removes the staples AND if you are going to work out on the stationary, make sure you clean the incision with soap and water after your workout. After that, for good measure, dab some hydrogen peroxide on it as well to keep infection at bay. You don't want sweat and dirt sitting in there too long.
tmiranda is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-12, 04:08 PM
  #45  
mollusk
Elite Fred
 
mollusk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Edge City
Posts: 10,878

Bikes: 2009 Spooky (cracked frame), 2006 Curtlo, 2002 Lemond (current race bike) Zurich, 1987 Serotta Colorado, 1986 Cannondale for commuting, a 1984 Cannondale on loan to my son

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 42 Post(s)
I have a friend that shattered his collar bone on a fixie. His pant leg that was rolled up and secured became unsecured, rolled down, and got caught in the chain/chainring and he was violently thrown over the bars directly onto his collar bone.

While that is horrible, what happened at the hospital was worse. In spite of the fact that his collar bone was broken in multiple places, everything was pretty much lined up. The doctor prescribed a certain sling to keep things in place, but the nurses gave him a different one that took everything out of alignment.

This is an aside, but it is important. This guy was at one time a VERY strong racer. He was asked to be on an Aussie team by Robbie M back when Robbie was "the man" in the sprints. He was that good.

So being a bike racer at a high level and familiar with that kind of pain he followed his instructions and it totally fubared his collarbone. After multiple surgeries it still isn't right and he is paying for most of this out of pocket because the hospital that f'd him wouldn't admit that they screwed up.

So, my parable is: If you break your collarbone and you think that the medical advice you are getting is wrong, PLEASE get a second opinion.
mollusk is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-12, 06:02 PM
  #46  
Fat Boy
Wheelsuck
 
Fat Boy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 6,158
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Originally Posted by mollusk View Post
So, my parable is: If you break your collarbone and you think that the medical advice you are getting is wrong, PLEASE get a second opinion.
Pretty good advice for any medical situation.
Fat Boy is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-18-12, 09:27 AM
  #47  
aham23
grilled cheesus
 
aham23's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: 8675309
Posts: 6,951

Bikes: 2010 CAAD9 Custom, 06 Giant TCR C2 & 05 Specialized Hardrock Sport

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
^^^^ +1000. first guy told me six months off the bike and maybe an MRI to rule out ligament damage then shoved me out the door with a bottle of pills. before i was home i had an appointment set with a shoulder "guy." surgery was done 1 day after that visit and i was back on the trainer 6 days post op and outside 4 weeks post op. im not saying jump into surgery and to me it was obvious the first Ortho only treats fat people for sore backs and knees so a second opinion was a must. later.
__________________
aham23 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-18-12, 10:35 AM
  #48  
2005trek1200
BALM Co.
 
2005trek1200's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Thornton, CO
Posts: 335

Bikes: 2010 Aerocat rR350, 2010 Aerocat R750, 2014 Salsa El Mariachi, 1986 Bianchi Trofeo, 2013 Trek Ion Pro CX

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
i pray that i never have anything to add to this thread...
2005trek1200 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-18-12, 11:32 AM
  #49  
gadabout007
Banned
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Toronto Canada
Posts: 477
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I crashed on the 9th of June and suffered a clean break in the middle of my right clavicle. Had it pinned a little more than a week later. At 3.5 weeks I started riding 1/2 hour at a time on the trainer with slight discomfort. This past Sunday July 15th I did my first ride outdoors 80k no pain or problems at all... 6 weeks + 1 day total recovery time. I'm just doing physio now to rebuild my trapezius and pectoral muscles but they weren't very big to begin with.
gadabout007 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-18-12, 08:18 PM
  #50  
waterford54
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 1
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I have broken both clavicles, most recent 27 May (amendment to date) following a motorbike accident at the track (single break but complicated). Previous one was a bicycle accident ( 5 pieces). Both resulted in a plate and screws (8 and 7 respectively). In both cases I was told by emergency that there was either no break or it would fix itself. Both very far from the truth. So in all cases do yourself a favour and ALWAYS get a second opinion. In my case the orthopedic specialist recommended and used the plate and screw method having moved away from the removeable pin type of repair.

In both cases the fix removed alot of the pain associated with the floating bit of bone that are trying to join. This seems to "fix" the shoulder area and lock it into the way it is meant to be and thus assists post operatively with your recovery.

In the case of both of my repairs I did notice shoulder joint problems after some weeks of recovery caused by the impact of both accidents. In the case of the older accident I required physiotherapy for ligament damage to gain full movement back. in the case of the current accident (only 2.5 weeks post op) I am current without a sling and using limited movement (as specified by specialist) without any weight bearing. I also suspect that this will also require physio once I am given the all clear as the shoulder joint feel "frozen" with limited movement at present caused by a 4 week period post accident in a sling, followed by a further 1 week post op also in a sling.

Time for the eventual heal is dependant on several factors in my view, predominately seriousness of break and soft tissue damage, physical condition pre-accident and age. The older you are the longer it takes and in my case that is the problem. Dont be in a rush as the bike (whatever sort) will always be waiting when you are ready.

However I am able to drive a manual car now so at last can get out and about which is a definate plus.

Last edited by waterford54; 07-23-12 at 02:51 AM.
waterford54 is offline  
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Terms of Service