Collarbone woes

Xray Day 0:

Xray Day 13:

Xray Day 26: 

Comminuted mid clavicular fracture with superior angulation.  There is no evidence of significant callus formation and the fracture line is still clearly visible.

I sustained this injury whilst skiing in extremely marginal conditions at Broken River in New Zealand. I lost a ski in a bush whilst skiing fast, approaching an attempted jump. Due to my high speed I couldn’t bring myself under control with one ski, and fell forwards, hitting my clavicle directly on something hard, which smashed it into four pieces. I did not have surgery, as this injury was sustained in New Zealand, where they do not perform any clavicle surgery there. I returned to Australia a few days later, and doctors there advised that I wait and see.

The fracture did eventually heal, though it took a good four to five weeks before I noticed any increase in its stability. Once the break started to firm up it progressed remarkably quickly. The doctors say that the bones “bleed” a kind of highly vascularised fibrous tissue from the ends of the fractured bones, which grow towards each other, and once they touch they contract, pulling the ends of the bones together. Well, this is certainly what it felt like, and after six or so weeks I was back to fairly full functionality, and my shoulder geometry is pretty normal despite the fact that I have a spiky bit sticking out of my shoulder now.

Most of the pain I experienced was caused by my back muscles becoming tight and stiff from lying on my back in a restricted position for four weeks, because I couldn’t roll over onto my sides during sleep. I was off my pain medications a couple of days after sustaining the break because I didn’t find the pain from the fracture very bad and the side effects of codeine are to be avoided if possible (addictive, constipating). After it healed, I had some physiotherapy treatments to sort out the muscle stiffness, and today I am pretty much back to normal, though the spiky bit does sometimes get hit on things and the skin over the top bruised, I can carry a hiking pack just fine.

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1 Response to Collarbone woes

  1. Snarkattack says:

    Eek! Dude I am so horribly sorry for you 🙁

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