Broken Collarbone

Joined
Oct 5, 2018
Likes
149
Location
Cumming, Georgia
#1
Well I knew I should've just stuck to skis. Took the ol KDX out for a ride last week and ate it coming off a jump. Landed fine, but pointing towards a log. Clipped it at a 45, went over some melon sized rocks and fell on my side probably going 20 or so. Broke my left collarbone clean in two. Luckily I was wearing full gear and me and the bike hardly have a scratch otherwise. Had to wait a week for surgery and got a plate put in 3 days ago. They cut open about 6" to install the plate. I'm already feeling better than before the surgery and my arm is fine under its own weight. Have to wear a sling for at least the next 2-3 weeks. Really just have a stiff neck muscle on that side now.

For anyone who's been through this, what was the recovery like? The doctor initially told me 3 months before heavy lifting. I also have an acquaintance who went through this and claims he was back on his bike in a month. I know doctors orders are best, and in a perfect world I should wait three months, but I'd hate to basically piss away the rest of summer. I'm fine with not touching the bike for a year, but I'm really just looking forward to getting back on the ski. I'm not too concerned with an impact as I've yet to really hit my shoulder on the ski. I'm more just worried about the bench press type force that it takes to ride. At this point, I hope I can get away with 6-8 weeks before casual riding.

TIA for any input
IMG_6131.jpg
 

Big Kahuna

Administrator
Joined
Jan 14, 2006
Likes
8,221
Location
Tuscaloosa, AL
#2
I broke mine when I was a kid, bad thing about them which you will not have to deal with because the plate, they usually after a week or to have a seperation, my Orthopedics told me it will probably separate in a few weeks and will hurt like crazy. Boy did it. Recovery was a bitch, I would say I was back riding bike in 6 weeks or so.. Not sure about you with that plate. Good Luck.
 
Joined
Dec 22, 2006
Likes
260
Location
MotorCity
#3
Some dudes ride the next day! they just interviewed Jet Lawrence and he was thinking of racing the Sunday after his broken/plated his C/Bone the week before.

I think some raced the next day on Tour De France few years ago

Since you don’t make a living on Jetskis. Maybe 4-6 weeks
 
Joined
Oct 5, 2018
Likes
149
Location
Cumming, Georgia
#5
Thanks for the input guys. I've broken my wrist twice and cracked my foot when I was younger. Never wore the inflatable boot, my dad dremeled the cast off my arm both times and I didn't go to the crazy expensive physical therapy as recommended. It's all mostly good, but with enough force they'll hurt for a few days or a week. Not sure if I would've come out any better or not. But this is definitely the worst break yet and I'll try to go by the book if I can.

3 months puts me at Southern Fried Freeride. Any word if that's happening this crazy effed up year?
 

Big Kahuna

Administrator
Joined
Jan 14, 2006
Likes
8,221
Location
Tuscaloosa, AL
#6
Thanks for the input guys. I've broken my wrist twice and cracked my foot when I was younger. Never wore the inflatable boot, my dad dremeled the cast off my arm both times and I didn't go to the crazy expensive physical therapy as recommended. It's all mostly good, but with enough force they'll hurt for a few days or a week. Not sure if I would've come out any better or not. But this is definitely the worst break yet and I'll try to go by the book if I can.

3 months puts me at Southern Fried Freeride. Any word if that's happening this crazy effed up year?
Not set any dates yet.
 

Quinc

Buy a Superjet
Joined
Feb 19, 2013
Likes
5,752
Location
California
#7
In my experience of multiple breaks throughout the years I find it best to start working the area as much as possible then take it down a notch if/when you have uncomfortable pain. Doing nothing is the worse thing you can do. Even doing light stretches will help with the healing process and blood flow to the area. My neanderthal theory is you need to give your body a reason to heal.
 
Joined
May 10, 2011
Likes
371
Location
NYC/Long Island
#8
9 years ago I broke my clavicle in 2 pieces and i didnt do surgery. It healed really fast and i think i was back to work (auto mechanic) at week 6. I remember it not being too painful, but I couldn't lift truck wheels. It happened in october so it was too cold to ski until april anyways. I was 100% at that point and it has never bothered me again. Just don't go separating your shoulder - those have long term complications :confused:
 

hornedogg79

dodgin' bass boats
Joined
Jul 9, 2009
Likes
790
#10
Not all clavicle breaks are equal. Looks like you broke yours pretty good. Lots of separation in there. 6-8wks min for that break to heal. Will the hardware come back out or stay in? Definitely more setback each time they cut you open. In my experience its a few weeks setback when hardware is removed. Find a good sports minded PT who understands your recovery goals and listen to them.

Sent from my Moto G (5) Plus using Tapatalk
 
Joined
Oct 5, 2018
Likes
149
Location
Cumming, Georgia
#11
After really studying the x ray it looks like the main part is barely touching in the center and the rest is separated pretty bad. Not sure what the growth rate of the bone is but that's a pretty big gap to fill. I'm going back for a follow up but I guess it will be pushing 3 months at least.

Hardware removal is optional, apparently like 15% of people get them removed. The screw heads will be just under the skin and sometimes the plate can be seen under the skin depending on location and how much fat is there. Some people complain about seat belts and backpack straps bothering them. I've heard cold weather as well. Not sure what it's going to look like because one of those big honey bandages is on it for the next week. I wonder if long term it's stronger with the reinforcement and screw holes or nothing there.

I think I'll be fine without physical therapy. I'm sure it would be best, but it's also not free. I'm not sure the going rate, but probably at least 2 B pipes.
 

hornedogg79

dodgin' bass boats
Joined
Jul 9, 2009
Likes
790
#13
You could also find a PT and marry her if you're going to keep breaking stuff. Worked out pretty good for me. You will lose some range of motion being in the sling a few weeks. Just start slowly towards regaining the motion as soon as the doc says you can. Listen to your body. Stretching pain is fine but sharp pain is not.


Sent from my Moto G (5) Plus using Tapatalk
 
Joined
Jan 31, 2006
Likes
26
Location
N. Carolina
#14
I broke my clavicle twice .Shattered it first time motorcycle should have had surgery but didn't.Looked pretty gory after it healed .5-6weeks can't lift your arm very high.I broke again 5 years later very close to the same spot can't even tell I ever broke it.It sucks because it is attached to the shoulder so no lifting .5-6 weeks minimum before you can enjoy sports.
 

Sanoman

Feellikekrashing
Joined
Jun 23, 2009
Likes
2,413
Location
NE Tenn
#15
Had rotator cuff surgery 2 and a half years ago.The surgery went well,but the cost of the the PT was like $450 a session twice a week.My deductible had not been met at that point.Surgery happened right before new years,so the therapy came in the new year.I researched and found a therapist that was great.We had one session a week to teach me what l needed to do at $40 per.lt was left up to me to exercise twice a day for 8 weeks.l also had the will and drive to want to get better.
Found out later that the more expensive therapy center did not push patients very hard and kind of milked the insurance companies.I found my guy from a speaking with a trainer at my gym.
 
Joined
Jan 31, 2006
Likes
26
Location
N. Carolina
#16
You could also find a PT and marry her if you're going to keep breaking stuff. Worked out pretty good for me. You will lose some range of motion being in the sling a few weeks. Just start slowly towards regaining the motion as soon as the doc says you can. Listen to your body. Stretching pain is fine but sharp pain is not.


Sent from my Moto G (5) Plus using Tapatalk
I married one of the PT s 10 years later got divorced not worth it heal on your own !! LOL
 
Joined
Jun 13, 2016
Likes
5
Location
Chattanooga, TN
#17
Good advice on here for the most part. Listen to your orthopedic surgeon. They care about you and want you to get a good outcome. I'm an ortho surgeon and shoulder/elbow specialist. I fix a lot of clavicle fractures and nonoperatively treat a high number also. There are many factors that go into the decision to have surgery, how long it takes to recover, and other aspects of the care episode. Your fracture does not equal every other person's clavicle fracture. I had a simple fracture from a road bike crash treated nonop and by 6 weeks was doing light activity. It took 3 months to have enough bone healing to start advancing heavier unrestricted activity. Your fracture was high energy (high speed, heavy impact) as indicated by your mechanism of injury and the comminution ( high number of small fragments on XR). Plate fixation is strong, but it will not tolerate high impact repetitive stress. It can fail. 98% chance you get this to heal with excellent result and completely normal shoulder function, but if you push it early and have a failure it can become a difficult problem. Once your bone heals the fixation becomes obsolete as bone is stronger and normally strengthens rather than fatigues with repetitive forces (unlike metal). If you were Lance Armstrong, you could ride the next day. One race defines his career plus he's road biking ( low stress on the fixation barring another crash).
A couple of things in my opinion you should do but ultimately defer to your surgeon's care/opinion:
1. Avoid any exposure to lake, river, or sea water until the incision is healed completely to limit exposure to bacteria and potential infection (about 3 wks)
2. Take oral vitamin D3, 5000 IU daily for 3 months to optimize your nutrition/ bone healing
3. For 6 wks use only for light day to day living: brush teeth, bathing, driving, cell phone, computer, no aggressive pushing, pulling, or carrying and keep range of motion generally below shoulder height
4. begin working on regaining full shoulder ROM at around 6-8 wks and begin light band shoulder strengthening exercises, you tube has tons of PT videos, this injury typically does not result in shoulder stiffness or long term problems and self rehabs nicely for active, motivated patients
5. can typically ease into heavier workouts at 12 weeks and easing into dirt bike/ standup jet ski, mountain bike etc
6. Once this heals you should have a normal shoulder with minimal to no change from pre injury function

In general terms if you had a sitdown jetski and wanted to cruise over to the marina and have a beer it'd be fine after 4 wks or so. The upper extremity forces and energy needed for standup jetski along with potential crashes even with nonaggressive riding outway the benefits of early return for a nonprofessional, nonpaid rider. If someone wants to pay you 500 K to ride at 6-8 wks it might be worth it.
 
Joined
Oct 5, 2018
Likes
149
Location
Cumming, Georgia
#18
Thanks, I really appreciate your input. Honestly you've given me more useful info than my surgeon. I have been taking calcium with a little vit. D in it, but I got some D3 5000 IU as per your recommendation.

No bone pain or anything at this point, still have a stiff neck though. Coming out of surgery, I was kind of pissed to see my trap on that side was totally gone. 3 weeks post op now and it's probably half what it was. I also got the bandage off so I could finally see my lovely new 5" scar. I'm only 145# and the plate is really noticeable under the skin. I now have a weird obsession for feeling around it and finding the screws lol. I'd like to have it removed at some point just so my collar bone isn't so asymmetrical, but that's another not so fun expensive procedure too.

My mobility is pretty good though and it hasn't stopped me from being able to work on most things. Washed, waxed, changed the oil in the car yesterday. I've also been working on getting my old Seadoo Speedster back in shape to use while this thing heals.

Also found a place for PT for a reasonable price. The doc wants 2x a week for 8 more weeks, but I'm hoping to just start doing my own thing after the bone has some strength in another 3 weeks or so.

Thanks again!
IMG_6144.jpg
IMG_6158.jpg
 
Joined
Sep 19, 2006
Likes
45
Location
Gilbert, AZ
#19
At the age of 45 I thought I would try my hand at BMX racing. That didn't last long. last week I went down hard in a corner. I broke the same one 20 years ago. I'm going the nonoperative route, though surgery would have quicker, better results. The several thousand saved by not having surgery will get put toward my 2021 1050 Superjet fund.
 

Attachments

Top Bottom