Anyone had a fractured clavicle plated?

Home Forum Bike Forum Anyone had a fractured clavicle plated?

Viewing 13 posts - 1 through 13 (of 13 total)
  • Anyone had a fractured clavicle plated?
  • jimw

    A number of threads on this can be found under search.
    To recap. my experience, Broke mine in 2009, despite being told it had healed found 18 months later complete non-union, had it plated. Four months later on the bike again, year and a half later no significant issues. what took longest was getting my head round the fear of falling off. Wish I had had it done at the time of the initial fracture.


    plating can either be brilliant or a complete disaster, the theory is that plating should speed up and improve healing and where the break is multiple or severely out of shape then the plating pulls it all in to line where it wouldnt naturally re-align

    where it goes wrong can lead to multiple surgery to have it re-plated.
    A friend of mine had a nightmare requiring re-plating twice as the skin didnt heal over the plat and it all had to be moved.

    But look at most Moto GP and downhill riders who have had plates put in then they are back riding in a week or two

    Premier Icon Kryton57

    Mine was broken in 3 places, with the middle bit floating about on top of my lung. Just to add emphasis I’d broken the other elbow as well.

    So, the surgery is fine until about 1hr after when the drugs start to wear off, then you start to appreciate the pain that have your bones moved about and drilled into is.

    For the first night in hossie, it was an hourly rotation of some kind of injection, paracetamol and codiene. Each only lasted an hour as the pain was so much.

    Upon return to home, its a potent codiene/paracetomol mix for three weeks or until no longer required, no comfortable sitting /sleeping use of the arm.

    Every so often you return to the hospital to have the adhesive bandage pulled off the area that’s been sliced open (you really don’t want to be a hairy person) the wound inspected for infection and the bandage replaced. A few more months of aches and pains and some restricted movement, plenty of exercise to restore the movement and you are good to go after a while.

    Bloody painful, which is why I opted not to have mine removed.

    Fractured clavicle yesterday,saw consultant in Fracture clinic today,he said ” We often have to plate these distal fractures,we’ll give it 2 weeks reXray and decide that then”,so what’s it like?
    Panic Face

    Premier Icon mboy

    GF broke hers beginning of March.

    They didn’t want to plate it.

    15 weeks later it hasn’t healed at all so they decided it might be best to plate it after all! So they cut her open and caused her a whole lot more pain again…

    If I were you and they are thinking it might need plating, just beg them to bloody get on with it so you don’t have to wait any longer or spend twice as long healing twice from the injury! Plenty of people are back on the bike within a month of a plated collarbone so you might be a lot more lucky than my GF.


    Getting it plated is the last resort!
    It’s a full on operation with all the associated risks.

    So you got two weeks to give it your best shot!

    Even with a fairly bad collar bone break it’ll heal well and be as good as new if you treat it right.

    The crucial stage is from day one to around ten to fourteen days. During the later part of this period you’ll get what’s known as a ‘fibrous union’. After that it’s just a hardening off process.

    So, for the first couple of weeks do very little, rest and give it a chance. After that, assuming no complications, you can start turbo sessions. Pretty soon after, around the three week mark, that you can go for gentle rides (think, roadie towpath style). But, if you fall of and land on it you’ll **** it good so be careful.

    By six weeks you’ll be back riding normal – but be careful, make it progressive. After two months, it’s fixed, and it’ll never break in the same place again.

    All the above assumes that you are normal healthy sort of geezer.

    I ain’t no doctor
    ain’t no doctors son


    I broke mine and it ‘healed’ in the traditional way (triangle bandage+6weeks). A year later (almost to the day) I had a gentle lie down in the grass and it broke again. Within 48 hours, I had a plate put in courtesy of BUPA. I was back on the bike within a week and the only sight concern was a DVT that resulted in a week of Heperin stomach jabs and a year of Wafarin.

    Two key points:

    Do NOT let them harvest filler bone from you (hip/rib etc). Apparently it hurts like fk. They can use donated bone (aka dead mans bone) which is much less painful (for the recipient).

    Make sure they use disolveable stitches. It save lots of faffing, yanking and swearing later.

    Both of these I had to ask for (read ‘insist’).

    Premier Icon pinkwafer

    I broke my clavicle 13 years ago falling off my mtb. Thought it fixed with a malunion (Healed side to side). Climbed for years on it, up to French grade 7a+ and an accent of El Cap but it never felt quite right, particularly when sleeping with my arm or weight bearing lying on the elbow. I spoke to one of the orthopaedic surgeons at work as I was working in a hospital at the time and he said “we usually leave those alone” having a quick palpate and presuming it was a malunion. He said go to your GP and get an x-ray through the proper channels and he would be happy to have a look.
    X-ray showed a pseudoarthrosis (fibrotic non-union).
    I had a locking titanium plate fitted mid December with illiac crest graft off the right side which did hurt a bit for a couple of weeks but nothing too unbearable.

    In short, I’m really pleased I had it done and 7 months later I’m back up to climbing low 7 grades again.
    I have a numb area of skin approx. 3 inches under the 7 inch long surgical scar.
    Plate will stay in unless it causes problems.

    Everything will work out.
    Hope you fix quick!


    Mine’s plated: great. No worries. Fixed about 3 weeks after op. Able to use shoulder again properly 4-5 weeks after. Never looked back, 7 years on. Shoulder all nicely aligned. It probably did hurt, but I can’t remember – get your Doc to prescribe Tramadol – it’s bitchin’ stuff.. 8)

    Codine didn’t even touch the sides..


    a) No general anaesthetic is without risk.
    b) No orthopaedic open-reduction-internal-fixation is without risk.
    c) The combination of both is not without risk.

    Generally, it’s pretty safe, but if the alternative is less of a risk, I’d choose the less risky option.

    I worked in an orthopaedic operating theatre for 10 years, and have worked in Intensive care for the last 14 or so years. I’d not be opting for a plate if there was an alternative, even if it meant the summer off my bikes.


    Nothing is without risk, the reward however is much more interesting…..

    I have had distal fractures of the left and right collarbone, the consultants both thought they would need to be plated, they never did and they are fine and healed without issues. Apart from a few trapped nerves now and again and some odd lumps, oh and 2 dropped shoulders……

Viewing 13 posts - 1 through 13 (of 13 total)

The topic ‘Anyone had a fractured clavicle plated?’ is closed to new replies.

Comments are closed, but trackbacks are open.

Skip to top