The Broken Clavicle Part II

I’m on my way home now and I have to say the pain is excruciating. This sort of injury makes you realise just how bad the roads are, the smallest bump in road surface and I’m screaming from the pain.

As soon as I get in the door I’m pouring water to take the painkillers but straight away I remember that I can’t swallow pills. Strange I know but it’s something I’ve always had a problem with. Luckily I’m able to chew the pill form of cocodimol that I was prescribed and I picked up some soluble tablets in the next few days.

The plan was to go on holiday at the end of the week but over the next few days I was un-able to do normal tasks. Even getting in and out of a chair was difficult and extremely painful let alone getting in and out of bed, which was not something I could do by my self.
So I had to cancel my family holiday because there was no way I could travel, even sitting in a chair was uncomfortable.

My initial appointment for the fracture clinic was 12 days after it happened, the usual time for the first appointment is within the first 7 days, so mine is nearly 2 weeks out.
I tried to rearrange my appointment but unfortunately that was just not possible.

From what I was told it was a simple fracture and it should heal fairly easily but over the 12 days leading to my check up appointment the pain and discomfort was not getting better. I was limited to sitting in a chair and watching the television, even then in pain and discomfort. This was quite depressing, I’m an active person, I like to be out and about doing things, spending time on my computer and playing video games with friends. None of those things where possible with a painful shoulder and not being able to move my arm without pain.

The 12 days passed slowly and painfully. But I’m now waiting in the fracture clinic. I’m called in to see the doctor and on his monitor is my x-ray, the first time I’ve seen it. He tells me what we can see, it’s a double break, my clavicle is in 3 pieces.
He takes a look at my how it’s healing and it’s clear something is wrong, my clavicle is still pushing up on the skin and making a sizeable lump.
He says I need an operation to fix it (it should have been operated on the day it happened), it will involve repositioning the bones, inserting a plate and screwing it all in place. So he opens his diary on the computer, and says he can’t fit me in today but will do it tomorrow!

The shock hit me pretty hard, I wasn’t expecting that, especially after being told that I won’t need an operation when I was in A&E. It will be my first operation and something I’m not really prepared for mentally.

11 thoughts on “The Broken Clavicle Part II

  1. Gaz, daughter had an op a couple of months ago (at 9 mo. old), and she sailed through, so I’m sure you’ll be fine. I did my collarbone when I was 15, so completely sympathuse: best of luck with the op. and the recovery.

  2. Hope it all goes well with the op. I ended up needing a slightly less serious op after my off. I can still remember going to the hospital after it happened thinking it was just a bad cut only to find I physically couldn’t move that finger!

    Any ways good luck with it all and wishing you a speedy recovery 🙂

  3. Gaz, a friend of mine had almost exactly the same experience with mismanagement of his fractured clavicle. He had it plated and, glad to say, all is fine – he’s no longer in pain and able to get back into the gym.

    I’m sure you’ll be fine for the op, just remember to explain to the docs and the nurses that you don’t do pills.

  4. Heya, long time reader, first time commenter. I broke my collar bone in a bike spill a few months back, and like you needed an operation. It is bloody sore, and it still is giving me quite a bit of trouble (sorry mate: might just be me though). I had a wire drilled through the bone rather than a plate. Keep up with the pain relief! If you have two types (say paracetamol and codeine) stagger how you take them: at 10 take the paracetamol, then at 12 take the codeine. You’ll keep yourself covered that way.

    Take it easy, let people help. Thanks again for the silly cyclist series as it really helps me with my riding having someone commenting on real world footage.

    1. I’m on co-codimol which is a mix of codeine and paracetamol. so i can’t take them close together, more than 4mg of paracetamol in 24 hours will cause liver damage.
      My routine is 7am, 1pm, 6.30pm, 11.30pm and it’s working to manage the pain.
      The problem for me at present is my joints, i wasn’t able to move my arm for 2 weeks so physio is very painful!

  5. You’ll breeze the op. My Mother, overweight Scottish diabetic, had a new knee last year at the age of 71. She was awake and alert a couple of hours afterwards. Woman in bed next to her getting same thing was 82. It’ll be a skoosh as we say in Jockland.

  6. Hey Gaz, heard about your accident a few days ago but only just found this link. I also fractured my left clavicle on Sat night after a driver at a stop sign decided to drive in front of me just as I was passing him.

    Was crazy though as it was an empty, quiet street and I had dual lights going and all. He just said he didn’t see me. My left shoulder took all the impact from the crash so my bike only has minor damage, front wheel a little buckled and left brake lever bent inwards but that’s about it. All being covered by driver’s insurance though.

    Also had a fun ride in the ambulance getting doped up to relieve the pain (who would have though a broken collarbone would hurt that much). Also got my dose of radiation for the next 40 years with multiple xrays.

    Going to see the surgeon in a few days to see if I’ll need surgery, docs on the night said that I it was highly likely as my fracture was pretty nasty; managed to fracture it in 2 spots and one bone was pushing into the other. Hurts like crap and really annoying to even do little things like have a shower or put clothes on.

    I’m a full-time student too, doing my honours thesis, so this has really thrown me a curve ball as typing on a computer for more than an hour becomes extremely painful and difficult.

    Anyway mate, best of luck with your recovery and just letting you know there are others in the same boat. Hopefully we’ll both be back on the saddle sooner than we think.


    1. Sorry to hear that, get well soon.
      Sounds like we know each others pain, i’ve had my operation and it’s healing much better now, easier to put clothes on and have a shower!

  7. Ouch Gaz!, just seen you pic on Twitter. Now I know why you sounded so glum on the last Silly Cyclists 😉

    Hope it heals well now you’ve got the plate fitted. Take it easy for a good few months, even when it all feels like its healed up (trust me, it won’t be!). I made the mistake of trying to pretend everything was back to normal after a car crash. 10 years on my shoulder is an achy mess of tendinitis and bone spurs. My advice is learn from my mistake and take it easy.

    Get well soon.

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