Collarbone Woes

dyrlac Posts: 751
Just as I was about 100% recovered from this (, I was taken out by a car pulling a U turn across my path in Barcelona. Instant diagnosis was a type A shear fractured clavicle. Held in place by a figure of 8 brace (as is common on the continent in preference to a sling). Resumed cycling on the turbo after a week, back on the commute as pain allowed, which turned out to be two weeks. Ortho was fine with this, even said so in his summary letter.

Sadly, 60 days on, the fracture is showing little sign of wanting to join back up. Pain is a manageable dull ache, unless I attempt eccentric lateral pulling movements: both tug-of-war and line hauling on a sailboat are right out; and there is definite movement at the fracture site confirming the diagnosis of non-union. Ortho says it could improve over the course of the next month, but chances are I am stuffed. Two options:

1) do nothing. Apparently loads of horse racing jockeys and professional cyclists are riding around with three bits of collarbone floating around and no serious ill effects. OTOH, significant blindspots in upper body strength are guaranteed, and it probably wouldn't be great when I'm old(er) and decrepit(er).

2) surgical pin. Means 8 weeks in a sling, risks of surgery, more titanium bits in my body, not really 100% guaranteed to force union to occur. OTOH more likely than not to sort the issue and I would have another interesting scar.

Anyone had to choose between these? Ortho is admirably indifferent (he knows that I am a keen cyclist and will be seriously peeved about the 8 weeks which he sets against his prospective sawbones fee).


  • sungod
    sungod Posts: 16,327
    if it's most likely to restore normal function, i'd get the metal
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
  • esmr
    esmr Posts: 5
    Similar thing happened to me. Broken collarbone failed to mend and five months later had a plate inserted. Had the plate removed a couple of years later and no problems since.
  • Lookyhere
    Lookyhere Posts: 987
    How can it form a union if you are moving it about all the time?
    i done 3 collar bone breaks, each one takes longer to form a proper join as i get older BUT riding around is stupid, a; u risk a fall as you ve even less control and b; its moving about.
    Most bones get put in a plaster for a reason, a collar bone cant but it still needs to be held in position to alow new bone to grow,

    metal work runs serious risks if left in, migration of a screw being one of them, break it again with metal inside and that metal can cut through blood vessels, plus drilling holes in the bone weakens it.

    When i ve broken mine i m in a figure of 8, on the turbo within the day or two and riding on the road maybe 4 to 6 weeks later

    you r not a pro cyclist, so get another doctors opinion.
  • cycleclinic
    cycleclinic Posts: 6,865
    When I fractured mine it looked like for a while it would not join up. I opted not to have surgery fortunatley mine did join up but the ortho did say if it does not join it matter little some folk are bone without collar bones. I would not have the surgery. surgery carries risks and given you will have nearly normal function if it does not join then the surery is pointless.

    It still might join though. it maybe more joined than you think.

    You probably do need to move it less though. Keeping it still is not necessary but I did take a whole month of the bike. I used the sling on and off. When I felt the bone poking about it was sling time until it sorted it self out. Give it time and put the bike away for a bit. -wheel building and other stuff.
  • dyrlac
    dyrlac Posts: 751
    Thanks all. Waiting for at least another month in any event. Will report back as I'm sure everyone is on tenterhooks!