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Anyone had the plate removed from their broken collarbone?
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Broke my collarbone a while back. Had surgery to repair because there was a large margin of separation in the break.

The screws came about 3/4 the way out of my bone almost immediately. The break was very slow to heal and I'm not 100 convinced that it is healed yet after 1.5 years, but it is stable. What I mean is, the xrays still show dark areas in the break zone but you can tell that the bone is trying to heal.

I'm now thinking about having the plate removed since it's not really attached all that well, it hurts, and it makes noises when I move my arm. Has anyone experienced this?
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Re: Anyone had the plate removed from their broken collarbone? [Sam Apoc] [ In reply to ]
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I am in almost the exact same situation. Although it has only been 9 months after surgery. I'm having a checkup in 3 months to see how the well the bone has healed.

Curious if anyone has gotten their plate removed.
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Re: Anyone had the plate removed from their broken collarbone? [Sam Apoc] [ In reply to ]
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I had the hardware removed from my collarbone and, for me, it was a very good decision. I had constant pain from the hardware and I remember waking up from surgery and immediately feeling relief. Recovery was a breeze - wore a sling for ~ 3 days, was on the trainer approx 7 says after surgery and running 2 weeks after (swim was a different story as I had to wait for my incision to heal before getting in the water).
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Re: Anyone had the plate removed from their broken collarbone? [Sam Apoc] [ In reply to ]
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I've broken both collarbones. One from Jockey, one Motorcycle racing. Both times they broke in 2 places. Didn't even know hardware was an option at the time (happened a number of years ago). Had my arm in a sling and a wrap which held my arm in place. At night I slept on my good side with my bad arm sort of behind me. First few days took decent pain killers, then OTC pain killers, then nothing. In about 10 days things had started to mend and pain was limited but it still took awhile for them to heal enough that I could go back and do what I had been doing before.

BC Don
Pain is temporary, not giving it your all lasts all Winter.
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Re: Anyone had the plate removed from their broken collarbone? [Sam Apoc] [ In reply to ]
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I broke my collarbone in February of 2011 and had a plate installed about a month later.

I had a very quick rehab with getting in the water pretty quickly after surgery. No rehab specifically, but swimming got my range of motion back to 100% very quickly. I haven't had a single issue since the surgery until yesterday. I started feeling some pain in the outer area of the plate, but in the pool it went away. Today I feel fine.

I remember speaking to my surgeon, who came very highly recommended and I feel did an excellent job, and he said at some point the plate would likely have to come out. I also heard the same thing from another family friend, who has great experience as an Orthopedic surgeon. He told me that with people that are especially active, the chance of the screws coming loose is much higher.

I will keep my plate in until it causes issues. If it becomes painful, I'll have it taken out. But until that point, I will avoid having surgery at all cost.

I do think that this is a subject that you should be seeking expert opinions on though.

jake

http://www.AquaSphereSwim.com
http://www.MichaelPhelps.com
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Re: Anyone had the plate removed from their broken collarbone? [jakers] [ In reply to ]
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jakers wrote:
I will keep my plate in until it causes issues. If it becomes painful, I'll have it taken out. But until that point, I will avoid having surgery at all cost.

Me too

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Currently accepting limited number of new athletes
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Re: Anyone had the plate removed from their broken collarbone? [jakers] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks for the anecdote. I've had nothing but problems with my plate. I regret getting this surgery, but I think it helped. I cannot tell you how much I wish that I could go back and not have taken the bike ride that caused this. And I cannot tell you how scared I am of this operation. Not looking forward to it.
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Re: Anyone had the plate removed from their broken collarbone? [Sam Apoc] [ In reply to ]
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Broke my right collarbone (and a host of other injuries) in a high speed motorcycle accident, had a plate and screws inserted as it was a complete break in the middle and ends overlapping by about 2 inches which made leaving it to heal naturally not an option. Plate was literally a pain as when the bone reknitted, the screws holding it in place protruded out the other side of the bone by about 1/2 inch causing tearing and brusing to the tissue around it. Once I got the all clear from the osteo surgeon about 6 months later, got the thing and troublesome screws taken out.
Only real issue is that you're recovering from 2 surgeries as opposed to 1, in my case 3 as midway through the healing process I happened to drop a large metal toolbox on my collarbone snapping the thing again and putting a 45 degree bend in the plate requiring replacement.
Your osteo surgeon will advise based on how well the bone has healed whether its advised to remove the plate, if you can why wouldn't you.
Last edited by: Grim: Nov 29, 12 15:13
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Re: Anyone had the plate removed from their broken collarbone? [Grim] [ In reply to ]
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I had the plate removed from my broken collarbone and I'm very glad I did. Though it didn't cause pain, it felt and looked strange, and I could feel the heads of the screws through my skin. In other words, I was constantly reminded the plate was there. After removal, I was back to normal.
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Re: Anyone had the plate removed from their broken collarbone? [LegendRider] [ In reply to ]
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Curious, when you say that you could feel the screws, do you mean that they weren't counter sunk into the plate?

I can see the counter sunk holes and feel them, but they don't stick out.

jake

http://www.AquaSphereSwim.com
http://www.MichaelPhelps.com
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Re: Anyone had the plate removed from their broken collarbone? [jakers] [ In reply to ]
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My broken collarbone was in 1997, so perhaps the ortho hardware was different then. I recall the screw holes were countersunk, but I distinctly remember feeling four bulges from the screw heads.
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Re: Anyone had the plate removed from their broken collarbone? [Grim] [ In reply to ]
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Yeah, my surgeon is fine with removing it. I'm scheduled to go under the knife next week.

I also have screws protruding so much that they tent my skin a little bit. Really unhappy times here.
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Re: Anyone had the plate removed from their broken collarbone? [Sam Apoc] [ In reply to ]
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Plate and six screws in left clavicle since 2006, hasn't bothered me since. The surgeon who did the procedure said that unless I had issues such as chronic pain or inflamed tissue there was no need to take it out. Even though I stopped racing tri's a year after getting the plate, I have remained very active since and have not been hindered by having it.



"You can never win or lose if you don't run the race." - Richard Butler

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Re: Anyone had the plate removed from their broken collarbone? [Brian in MA] [ In reply to ]
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I had a plate and 4 screws on my broken clavicle for 9 months. I don't like any foreign objects in my body and I get a weird sensation when trying to scratch an itch on my shoulder.

I have had it removed and am happy with the decision.
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Re: Anyone had the plate removed from their broken collarbone? [Sam Apoc] [ In reply to ]
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Sam Apoc wrote:
...I cannot tell you how much I wish that I could go back and not have taken the bike ride that caused this...

I hear ya. I don't have a plate but the not so clean break is still not getting together after 8 months now. I have probably stalled the healing process on a few occasions (some stupid decisions, some just life) and it's hard not to beat oneself up about it. Sports doc has referred me to a surgeon. I hope the bones get together before the appointment (probably 2 months yet). Either way, it's looking like I'll loose a second racing season. I guess I wouldn't mind if I knew the thing was going to heal properly at all. Kinda in a funk just now, not too enthusiastic about training, even with things that don't bother my shoulder. I hope everything turns out for you.
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Re: Anyone had the plate removed from their broken collarbone? [Sam Apoc] [ In reply to ]
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I broke my collarbone in a bunch of places late March this year, and had a plate, screws and 'hook' inserted to stabilise the joint. I broke the bone from impact on the scapula right near the join on the tip of my shoulder.
From the start the plate, and in particlular the hook, gave me ongoing soreness and irritation.
I had the plate taken on on the 13th of November. Much better. I plan on returning to swimming in the next week. There is some soreness from the removal of what was a large and interesting appliance in my shoulder, but the soreness it caused almost immediately left me. The second incision, along the line of the first has closed, but I want to be sure before I return to swimming.
I am happy to have had the plate as the collarbone would not have healed without it - there were multiple breaks and due to the location it would not have latched onto the other bony sections, but after a few months with it I knew it had to go.
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Re: Anyone had the plate removed from their broken collarbone? [TriBiker] [ In reply to ]
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I'm right there with you in the funk department. It's really difficult to do anything with a broken clavicle. And when it's slow healing it just nags you 100% if the time.

I started randonneuring and just doing ridiculously long rides so that I could get exercise without the impact of running or the shoulder intensity of swimming. It's been difficult.
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Re: Anyone had the plate removed from their broken collarbone? [Sam Apoc] [ In reply to ]
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My coach had his removed since he'd bump it and that would cause intense pain. He had no issues after and is back racing (bikes).

clm
Nashville, TN
https://twitter.com/ironclm | http://ironclm.typepad.com
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Re: Anyone had the plate removed from their broken collarbone? [Sam Apoc] [ In reply to ]
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The bone is healed. You will always be able to tell by x-ray where a bone was broken because when a bone breaks and heals it leaves a sort of callous around and through the break - reinforcing material. In a way, the bone is stronger than before sort of.



Id recommend getting the plate removed, especially since there is little muscle on top of the bone (presuming the plate is on top) , there is increased friction on the skin. Plates deep inside the body are less of an issue.


If it is causing soreness, even more reason to get it removed.
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Re: Anyone had the plate removed from their broken collarbone? [AidanM] [ In reply to ]
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At 1.5 years, my bone is between stage 4 and 5 on your chart. It's really taking forever to heal. I'm pretty concerned about the screw holes filling in quickly.

Does anyone know if bone paste is worth using? My surgeon doesn't typically use it.
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Re: Anyone had the plate removed from their broken collarbone? [AidanM] [ In reply to ]
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May 2010 bike crash. Plate and 7 screws. Only discomfort is rubbing from say, a back pack worn for extended periods. No problems moving through detectors in airports.

I presume removal is full anestesia? If so, I don't need to roll the dice on someone having a bad day at the hospital. Other thoughts?


Such a Bad Runner
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Re: Anyone had the plate removed from their broken collarbone? [SBR_bestgoodbad] [ In reply to ]
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Lol, yeah it's full anesthesia! If you had to ask that, your pain tolerance is different from mine.

You can only detect the plate with a wand detector. I carry a doctor's note just in case. I'd bet it also shows up on the body scanner because those are geared to soft scatter, but I never bothered to see.
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Re: Anyone had the plate removed from their broken collarbone? [Sam Apoc] [ In reply to ]
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I've had my plate for about 3 years now. I wrecked (again) a couple months after having it done and it knocked it around... making it look fairly gruesome even now. It aches sometimes when it's cold (or, oddly, when I wear a knit long sleeve) and I had planned to have it removed almost from day1. Now I kind of look at it as a reminder that I'm not invincible and sometimes it's better to ease off a little bit instead of fighting for that inside corner in a Crash5.

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Re: Anyone had the plate removed from their broken collarbone? [Sam Apoc] [ In reply to ]
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I smashed my collar bone into 8 pieces in a road race 2 weeks after my second daughter was born. Doc said he was putting in a plate. That was 11 years ago so I don't remember the timing but the screws started to back out. By then the plate had done its job so the doctor took the plate out. I haven't missed it one bit.

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Re: Anyone had the plate removed from their broken collarbone? [Sam Apoc] [ In reply to ]
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I kept my plate and screws. It's been 3-4 years. I don't have tattoos, so it's like a cool badge of honor - you can see screws through thin skin. Nothing moved though, screws are still good.


Damn, that's a cold ass honkey.
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