broken collarbone

I broke my collarbone on September 14th in a mountain biking accident. The ER doctor and the orthopedic doctor that I saw on September 15th said surgery was not neccesary and it will heal in seven to nine weeks. However, after talking to a number of other bikers, there are a lot of stories of the healing taking longer or not healing at all. So I went to a 3rd doctor today and he recomended surgery which I have scheduled for Monday the 29th. He recomended surgery because the bones are approximately 30 mm apart. He thinks that, as a very active person (biking, skiing, running, etc) I should have it “fixed right.” So I’m in a quandry. Two doctors said it will heal fine, but the third doctor recomends surgery. Any advice would be welcome as well as any estimate on the healing time if I do not have surgery. I’m 43 years of age, 6’2″, 175 pounds. I’d also like an estimate if I do have surgery. Thank you!

1 Comment found


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    Jim, I was in a motorcycle accident on September 6th and broke my left collarbone. I am 23 years old and 190 lbs, 6 foot tall. The ER doctor and orthopedic both told me that it would heal by itself. I was put in a figure 8 brace and told to come back in 8 weeks. After 8 weeks of hell, I went back to find that the bones were further apart then they were originally. The doctor wanted me to stay in the brace for another 8-10 weeks, it was then that I got a second opinion. The second opinion told me that it was to far displaced (around 30 mm) to heal on its own and I would be better off having surgery. The second opinion told me that this would be the best option since I am very active. The surgery was only supposed to be an hour, but it ended up being 3 and 1/2. Once inside, the doctor had to clean up scar tissue and fibrous tissue from the bones being apart for so long. I had my surgery on the 29th of October and this is the best I felt since the wreck. I am the proud new owner of a 6″ titanium plate and 8 screws. The only problem I have now is there is a small numb spot underneath the incision, but I can deal with that. Now my shoulder is back in its original spot and there are no weird lumps sticking up under my skin. When I talked to the first doctor, he refused to put in a plate and I argued with him that it was my shoulder and I would have to live with it, that I wanted it fixed right. In my opinion, the surgery was the best thing that ever happened. I will be able to start lifting weights again on December 11th, 6 weeks after my surgery. I will write back and let you know how that goes.


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