Anyone got a good story about how their broken collar bone healed without an op?

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  • Anyone got a good story about how their broken collar bone healed without an op?
  • Premier Icon molgrips

    My collarbones are both different, it looks like I broke one but I haven’t. The tendons in my neck are also differently arranged on eiter side which is only visible if I grimace. However I don’t look asymmetric in any othe rway.


    Broke collar bone and shoulder blade in the same bike related incident. It hurt. Took two days off work… worked reduced hours (ave 4-5 hours per day) for next 3 weeks, then returned to work.
    After 8 week check at hospital they said I could return to work and start to drive a car again (never stopped) and referred me for phisio.
    Phisio was a bit surprised as I had full mobility and was back on the bike by then.

    Premier Icon Prophet2

    Broke my left collarbone, healed fine without any surgery. Just don’t do anything with it until it’s time to get the sling off. Of course each break is different but I’ve come of the bike several times and landed on my left side and it’s held up to the impact.

    Really ugly bumpy where the bone knitted together but it serves as a constant reminder that I’m not a biking god 😀


    Thanks again chaps. it helps to have another perspective

    Premier Icon bigjim

    Thanks fellas. How can keeping it moving before it heals help? I can see how u might keep strength up in muscles but surely its going to upset the bones?

    You need to let it knit, you’ll get an x ray a few weeks in and if it is knitting the doctor will give the go ahead for physio to start, at least thats what I had. The gap between this and physio starting was too long in my case and I got a frozen shoulder.


    broke my left one twice. didn’t know about the first break until i had an xray for the second break, both ok so far without any ops, but expecting loads of pain in later life.

    Premier Icon steveh

    mattbiltong – Member
    I guess every cae is differnet, but if keeping a broken bone “mobile” was a benfit then surely plaster casts would no longer be used.

    The bones need time to knit back together, by moving it you’re only increasing this time. Once the bones have knitted then easy, rotator-cuff type excerises (google it) will help keep muscles and tendons supple, also reducing muscle wastage.

    I was told sling for a month then slowly start working it, i had no physio and was back to full strength after 10 weeks i’d say.

    But i’m no doc.

    I’m also no doc but was riding easily in 3 weeks after a multi location break, 5 weeks and I did a week of stuff in Scotland. I had another break before and did nothing and with the treatment the recovery was definitely better. The jointing of the bone was quicker with the treatment, I can tell from the point at which the grinding/clicking of the bones stops.

    It does depend on the injury but there is definitely evidence that for collar bones mobility (within limits) is better than a sling and no movement. I was sceptical that it would help when I went but went on the basis of very good reports from people I know who’d been before and am in no doubt that it helped and got me repaired quicker.


    I did mine about a year ago, clean break in the middle. Back on the bike after 3 weeks but only very gently and it did hurt a lot….. Took about 3 months to sort itself to decent level but still struggling to pull on the bars. After six months it was nearly fully sorted, now completely ok.

    Beware of the painkillers with a high amount of codine, the constipation from them was worse that the broken bone! 🙁

    Also don’t try and move it in the early stages and keep it supported to allow the bones to knit. However I did get out the sling fairly early and it seemed not to be a problem.

    Good luck!


    Broke mine two years ago. Went private and have the MRI scans to show……that it would heal fine. And it did.

    Painkillers are great. Try a day without them a week in to provide a nice gauge of their effects. And I found the sling terrible. Could never get my arm in the right place, so I gave up on it unless I was looking for attention.

    Healing took three months. As the bones knit together, they come apart again and you can hear them click. Try it in a pool, but don’t swim breastroke. then the clicking stops and then they are healed. I found it most noticeable at night in bed.

    And then you can go and fall off again after three months, confident that the new bone is much stronger and it won’t break. Well I gave it quite a stress test, which it passed. Now have just a small lump.

    And it counts as a long bone break, so milk it 😉

    Premier Icon Nick

    Nothing? I suspect you at least had an x-ray to confirm it was a simple break. and that the doc arranged for follow-up appointments at the Fracture Clinic to make sure it was healing up alright? And they probably gave you a nice sling, which you were free to use or not as you preferred.

    Yes, sorry, I had an x-ray, I already had a nice sling as I had broken my collar bone before on a motorbike, other than that, erm nothing, no follow up appointment no pretty nurse asking if it was sore, nothing.

    And I really did ride the Borrowdale bash 7 weeks to the day.


    Broke my right (dominant) clavicle 6 weeks ago.

    Short story:
    Very bad break, had to beg for surgery, very glad I had it done.

    Long story:
    Very bad break, type 2, shortened with main bits pointing in different directions, very far apart with a nice sized fragment floating around at the front.
    They sent me home saying no operation needed, come back in three weeks.
    Shoulder was completely “floppy” and occasionally the bone ends would lock together in a completely unnatural position, agonising (10 on the scale!) had to “bang” them apart. Felt like sharpened antler-scissors in there 🙁

    Luckily my friend is a physio, she got some other physios to have a look at the x-rays, they couldn’t believe that I hadn’t had it pinned.
    Got another appointment, Physio friend came with me and we had to battle with the registrar for about 20 minutes to try and get surgery (he mumbled 12 months to heal at one point!)
    He finally went off to ask the consultant, who came in and said yes if it was his shoulder he would have surgery.

    From that point on the NHS couldn’t have treated me better, it all went very well and everyone I came into contact with during the op was excellent.

    Surgeon said the break was worse than it looked in the X-rays, the fragment of bone at the front was from around the back!

    I now own my first titanium parts 🙂

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