Posted by: PJ | 2008/12/22

Broken collar bone

I broke my rh collar bone 3 weeks ago and asked the dr if a pin will be better than the conservative figure 8 brace and sling. I am a very active person -I cycle, gym, etc. and I want the best outcome, that will not leave me with funny shaped shoulders, etc.

He almost didn' t even answer me and just put the sling and brace on, sending me on my merry way.

My shoulder is much better, no pain, quite a bit of mobility already. However I can see that my left shoulder is wider than the right, suggesting there is an " 0verlap"  where it' s joined. It also doesn' t look similar anymore. I am upset about this!

What can be done at this late stage???

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageShoulder Doc

Dear PJ,

from what you tell me it sounds as if the collar bone is starting to heal. If it progresses to ful healing or "union" it often happens that it heals with an overlap or "bayonet apposition" as it is referred to. If the resultant shortening is more than 15 mm it may lead to significant shortening and dysfunction in some cases, not all. This "malunion" is common after clavicle fractures.
our reccommended management of these fractures is that all the aspects be discussed with the patient in the acute phase. Most patients do well withe conservative management but depending on the wishes of the patient operative reduction and fixation in the acute phase is certainly an option.

Once solid bony healing has occurred it is not advisable to re-break it to reduce the fracture, and one will probably then have to live with it. you may want to have new X-rays taken and have them assessed to evaluate how far bony union has progressed

Best regards,

Dr Joe de Beer

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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