What to Expect From a Broken Clavicle

The following is a funny story sent to me by a rider that broke her collar bone while cycling. She found my site when searching for more information on training and recovery from the break.

Along with the story she mentions “I know it would’ve helped me alot if this information had been available when I was lost in the land of one arm. I have attached my ridiculously long account”. She then adds that I may post the story if I wish.

Well, I think it’s well worth posting. So here it is.


DISCLAIMER: The following content is for informational purposes only. The content is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Diagnosis and treatment of all health conditions should only be performed by your doctor or other licensed health care professional. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this site.

What to Expect From a Broken Clavicle

By Laura Erker

On March 23rd I had the exciting experience of breaking my left clavicle while riding my bike. I thought I’d put together a synopsis of what to expect so that anyone else can read and see what’s in store. If you’re reading this and you have broken you clavicle then get someone to run out to the store and get you some really good calcium. You should take 2000mg of calcium with 6mg of Boron a day! While they’re at it, have them pick you about four books to read and ten movies to go through. Further, a really funny account of the first five days with a broken clavicle can be found on line http://www.kurlancheek.com/clavicle.htm. Also, relax, it’s gonna be a while.

So, what happened? Good question, everyone has their own version of who is to blame and how it all went down. From my vantage point I only know that I was cruising along in a group, riding into a crosswind. Someone had the bright idea to put it in the gutter and everyone started fighting for wheels. Then, I heard some tires hit and “…zzt zzzt zzt crack crack crack”. The bike in front of me came to a screeching halt and as I hit my brakes I went into a skid that had my back wheel hit the back tire in front of me. Next thing I knew I was picking myself up off the ground and getting back on my bike. But, as I rode away I realized that something was very wrong. Not only was my left shoulder ON FIRE with pain but I could feel/hear a clicking there that could only be a broken bone. Deciding that I was not stupid enough to try to ride the remaining 25 miles with a broken bone I attempted to bring myself to a stop and threw my bike in the dirt glad to be rid of that infernal pain machine. The pain was so intense now that fainting was the only possibility. But, I had to wait to lose all consciousness until I could hail down an ambulance, cab, person! I could see a group of cars a mile away down the road at the site of the crash, where I should have stayed. Well, hindsight is always 20/20. I hailed the ambulance like a cab and crawled in just in time to faint. I was then transferred to another ambulance and so began my new adventure into a one-armed existence.

The emergency room was exciting and the staff was very generous. All in all, a three hour affair in the door and out. It ends up I broke the distal third of my collar bone. However, getting a hold of someone to pick me up became a new challenge. I didn’t have my cell phone with me and not knowing any phone numbers I had to go on the internet to get the number of my team director, Chris Evertsen. Chris or an official was able to relate to my husband where I was located and he headed off to get me. After sitting in the emergency entrance for hours, seeing my husband come through the door of the emergency room was one of the happiest moments of my life!

Week 1 (This is movie week)

One quickly learns that it is a two-armed world out there and this will not make your broken clavicled life any easier. But, on with life.

Killing the pain. First, let’s discuss the power of alchohol. Through the ages this fine substance has been used to dull the pain of many a fallen soldier. Seeing myself as such, I broke into the whiskey with wild abandon. Choosing Jack Daniels’ as my personal “fav’ I set out to imbibe. If you dose this correctly you won’t have to pick up your prescription vicadin. Careful to drink a glass of water for each alcoholic drink so you avoid hangovers.

Dressing, this becomes a new adventure. You must keep your hurt shoulder extremely still. This means that the arm attached to it is completely useless. If you are a woman then forget the bra. If you must have a bra get someone you “trust’ to put your most comfortable one on and realize you will be wearing this item for at least two or three days. Unable to work out how to get a t-shirt on I tried my shirts that button up. You soon come to realize that buttons are not an option. Ok, back to regular shirts. I could get large t-shirts on by feeding the sleeve of the bad arm over my useless hand up to my armpit and then carefully pulling it over my head and then putting my functional arm in the other arm hole. Getting the t-shirt off again is usually a two-person project. Forget tying shoelaces or wearing tight pants, they become the enemy.

Sleeping. Most certainly, one must avoid, at all costs, rolling onto the affected shoulder during the first week. This will wake you up in just as much pain as the day you crashed. I found that propping pillows all along the length of my body helped to reduce unwarranted movement. I slept a lot, there wasn’t much else to do. But, this doesn’t really matter, as dressing, eating, and drinking will take about 5 times longer than usual, so I filled my day accordingly.

Book read: Foundation by Isaac Asimov
Movies watched: a lot!
Alcohol consumption: can’t accurately remember :’)

Week 2

Now I was really starting to feel better, less pain in the shoulder and I could use my hand a bit. But my shoulder turned a pallid green. The bruising is disgusting and continued to creep down my torso for another week. But, since I only owned three t-shirts that I could manage to pull over my arm and head I just continued with the same state of affairs. It was about now that I realized I only had one thing to do to entertain myself!go to work. So, off I went arm in sling. I had only two things on my “to do” list each day. These items were usually something that would normally take me about an hour. Not now, I could spend all day working on simple problems. I had to get people to open the freezers for me and handle mice etc! But I got to talk with everyone at work quite a bit :’). I’d be able to work about 6 hours maximum a day before I completely cracked. This is when I learned to value of ibuprofen! One little pill can take a cranky/pained Laura and turn her into a working machine for about 2 more hours, lovely.

Comraderie. It was now that I learned that walking around in a sling attracts a lot of attention. People have to comment. They can’t help it.

“Fall off a bar stool?”
“Boy, broken collar bone, that’s the worst!”

I quickly pointed out that being on fire would probably be worse, but ok it’s nice to know people care.

I also learned that other injured people are most certainly your friend. You have to ask them what they did, and if they have a good left arm then you always ask if you could borrow it, or something corny like this. But, it’s fun.

I also started to get on the bike at the gym around this time. According to one man, I was great inspiration working out with my sling on. Well, I’d surely give up my inspiration status to use my left arm again, buddy! I went home suddenly after some of these visits to the gym because I would try to do too much and BLAM, pain again. Don’t do sit ups.

Doctor visit. It was mid-week that I was able to go and see a doctor. I sat there for about an hour just to get a referral to an orthopedist. Once I got in to see the nurse she looked straight at me (let me remind the reader that I was wearing my left arm in a sling and was covered with a big green bruise that covered my arm and torso)!

“So, what is your problem, today?”
“I have a broken clavicle and need to be referred to an orthopedist”
“Which arm is broken?”
(again, I remind the reader that my left arm was is a sling)
“My left arm”
“Okay, and what are you doing for it?”
I point to the sling, flabbergasted.
“When did it happen?”
“One week ago” I replied.
Surprised, “And you haven’t been in to see a doctor yet?”
“Well, no, I was just starting to feel like I could venture out of my “healing cocoon’.”
“Alright, let’s get you an appointment. Right, so the soonest our orthopedist can see you will be April 22nd.”
“That’s in three weeks! I have a broken bone. Isn’t there something sooner?”
“There isn’t really anything we can do for that, do you have any ibuprofen?”

Eventually I got x-rayed and was told to come back in three weeks.

Book Read: Second Foundation, Isaac Asimov

Week 3

I felt the same as Week 2 but was able to get on the trainer with my sling. I got a workout regimen from Hans Kellner on line. Very nice guy, who broke his clavicle a while back, you can go to !

Hans Kellner Dot Com :: Broken Clavicle No More

The training regimen consists of workouts broken up by Week 1, Week 2, and Week 3. Wow, I thought, this guy was training at week 1. Well, straight onto the trainer then, let’s get to work. Ends up, “Week 1” should be approached more as “the first week he began training after the break”. Holding my entire upper body up on my bike trainer with just my right arm was another challenge I hadn’t anticipated. I pushed through it. Also, it seems it only took Hans three weeks to recover, that’s only as long as his workout regimen was. Excellent, I’ll only be on the trainer for one week! This is great. Again, it ends up the three week training regimen can be repeated ad infinitum until you heal, just a little heads up.

Pit of Despair. This probably only applies to women. I could not shave the injured arm’s pit! This was horrible and I began to refer to this area of my body as the “pit of despair”. This is when you realize the ultimate greatness of the Mach 3 razor. You can literally shave without lifting your arm! Well lift it as much as you can. Good luck girls!

Book read: Swimming Across by Andrew Grove

Week 4

Having contracted some kind of horrible cold (which I affectionately call “the snot blanket”) I was unable to sleep at night or workout. I fell into a depressive mood. Out of desperation I rode my bike on the road for one hour and ended up hurting it again. This is when I completely cracked under the strain of heading out into the world each and every day facing new painful challenges. I was tired of it. I wanted just one day where I didn’t have to struggle to get my clothes on or sleep! I felt that no one could possibly understand the pain I was going through. It was during this time that a friend and coworker died in a tragic car accident. Suddenly I found myself very appreciative of my situation. I was alive, fairly healthy and had people that loved me.

Back to riding, I found that I couldn’t reach the handlebars with my bad arm until the end of Week 4, this may be because I had a distal break, but I don’t know. I just kept focusing on my appointment with the doctor and the x-ray machine. He would certainly tell me that I was completely healed and I could resume my life again. Alas, it was not to be, the x-ray looked the same as the day I broke my arm. Well, I headed back home to cry, pulled myself together, bought a year’s supply of calcium and vowed not to drink any alcohol until I was better and healed! I hear alcohol can reduce your healing abilities. Also, when you break a bone you should take 2000mg of calcium a day with 6mg of Boron.

This was the week that I talked with Dr. Allan Richberg, also a cyclist. He informed me that seeing no healing after four weeks was normal for a 30 year old. This greatly lifted my spirits! He talked with me for a good 30 minutes on what to expect from my injury. He informed me that if you ride in the early healing stages of a broken clavicle you will most probably put a rib into your lung if you crash. This was alarming, why didn’t my doctor tell me this. Thanks Allan!

Book read: Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Doug Adams

Week 5

My arm started to feel a lot better now. I could lift it over my head! Also, I could start driving my car with two hands. This was great! I started really riding the trainer a lot and was able to just get my left hand up to the bars comfortably and put a little weight on it. I did seven hours on the trainer this week, good for me. Whoever thought I’d be riding my trainer so much in So Cal with it sunny and 80F outside!

Book read: Finished Hitch Hiker’s Guide

Week 6

I risked a ride on the road, against the doctor’s orders and found that my arm was ok. Whew!

Book read: Sequel to Hitch Hiker’s guide “Restaurant at the End of the Universe” by Doug Adams

Week 7

Now I am back to riding 3 times a week and really enjoying it. My body sure is tired though.

Book read: Finished Restaurant at the End of the Universe by Doug Adams

Week 8

I have an appointment with the doctor to get x-rayed again. Keep your fingers crossed. I am really looking forward to racing and just glued my ksyriums with the help of the best husband in the world, Jacob Erker.

Book read: Started Ringworld by Larry Niven

More “Broken Collar Bone” Articles

Don’t miss reading the information and comments in my two other collar bone entries:

Broken Clavicle (collar bone)
Broken Clavicle No More
Chad’s Broken Collar Bone Report


  1. Sam Gray

    I broke my Humorous and Clavile a year and a half ago, and being a swimmer I got pushed back to the times from two year before even though i still have a broken collar bone, which still hurts I swim, I’ve wondered should I get it fixed, you seem to be experienced in bone breaking .

    Hi Sam – If you are still experiencing problems, such as pain, after this length of time then I would recommend you visit your doctor or a specialist (e.g. an orthopedist) for an examination. Be sure to explain that you are a swimmer and need the use of your arm and shoulder for the activity. Detail the pain you are experiencing and what your expectations are. Hopefully they will be able to help. It can also useful getting a second doctor’s opinion.

  2. Raheel khan

    this is raheel from Pakistan. 4 weeks back i went for shopping, after shopping i caught a rickshaw for getting me home. after 5 mins of travelling my rickshaw tyre badly hit a rock and banggg. The rickshaw has fallen down and so as i . when i got up i found a sharp pain in my left shoulder and my arm is unable to move. i have called to my brother and he took me to the hospital. The doctor recommended x ray and when reports came it shows that i have a clavicle fracture.. the doctor put my arm on sling and i was on sling for 2 weeks. after 2 weeks another x ray was done that shows the mal union of my clavicl. the bone. the doctor has advised me for surgery. i have taken a second opnion from other hospital. They put a plaster on my arm and chest and told me tat my clavicle would be fine. after two weeks of plaster my shoulder becomes stiff and i felt like my shoulder is seperate thing from my body. Also there are sharp pain in my neck and clavicle bone sometimes. i m so worried whther i should go to a surgery or not…

    Sorry to hear about your accident. It sounds like your muscles and joints are stiffening from lack of movement. This can cause the symptoms you describe. I recommend talking with your doctor about these issues. Lack of movement can also cause problems for the joints. As for having surgery or not, I also recommend thoroughly discussing this with your doctor. If your condition isn’t improving then surgery will be one way to have a better guarantee of recovery.

    – Hans

  3. Diego

    Diego here once again. This is just a follow-up, I took off the brace since last night and I feel much better now without it. It feels good to finally free myself of that brace after 5 weeks. I have a good range of movement — can straighten my arm, bend my elbows, and even started to play the guitar again.

    I will go to a therapist tonight to have a therapeutic massage my left arm, shoulder and back. I think I can go to work without the brace starting tomorrow. It’s amazing for me at 40 to feel ok after just 5 weeks. I thank God for this.

    Thanks by the way Hans for your reply, I just would to ask from what week did you start the physiotherapy that you suggested?

    Great news! It’s been a while but I believe I started physical therapy 3 weeks after the break. Very simple light therapy that increased with time. I did a quick search and found this information which might help you: http://sportsmedicine.about.com/od/surgeryrehab/qt/Clavicle-Rehab.htm.

    – Hans

  4. Diego

    Hi I’m Diego of the Philippines, just would like to share how I’m coping up with my left middle collarbone fracture which happened about 4 weeks ago in the gym. The stories I read here was really helpful as it provides me advance info what to expect on each week of my recovery. Thank you Hans for putting up this site as it provides me the reassurance that I will heal without the surgery because without this rich sources of info I might have undergone the surgery process now. To show my gratitude I would like to share also my experience to motivate others who are recent collarbone break sufferers.

    I have a displaced fractured/comminuted collarbone but my ortho advised me to allow natural healing — although he gave me about 60-70% chance of healing at first due to degree of my injury and my age at 40. But after 4 weeks, my doc gave me 90% chance seeing my condition and recent xray. The bones are still displaced just exactly similar perhaps to my first xray but the fragments showed promising development and it seems that it bridges well the gap — there’s probable callus formation at the those fragments. My ortho said that if I will successfully healed my bones will not be perfectly aligned as it was, I will have a permanent bump where the break was. He further said that with therapy and exercises I will be able to regain my range of movement anyway so the bump is the only disadvantage and it is not worth opening me up through surgery.

    The good news is that after 4 weeks I am now able to use my arm from below shoulder level. The ortho warned me to not aggressively try to raise my arm above shoulder level to minimize risk of re-fracture. Sleeping is not anymore a problem as I can sleep now without pain. By the way, I did only took pain relievers during the 1st two days of my injury and after that the pain was just tolerable so I did not bother to take any pain relievers anymore. However, I’m still using the Figure 8 brace since day 2 (4 weeks ago) and my ortho advised me to wear it for 4 more weeks. The good thing about my break was that it allowed me to work even after the incident — I made no downtimes with my work. I can say that the Figure 8 brace really carried me from day 1 as it provided me the comfort and support. I did not even bother to use the sling as I don’t want people to notice my injury although my ortho strongly suggested that I wear it. I’m also lucky to have a job that only requires me to handle meetings, presentations, and prepare reports so that’s the reason why I was really able to function well even with my injury. Without the sling most of my officemates don’t even noticed that I injured my self. Well I’m ashamed of telling them that I got a bad injury like this because I’m the Safety Officer of the company anyway. LOL. So only Figure 8 brace with no sling but I do recover well ‘frozen shoulder’ as they call it here but I really made concious effort not to move left arm aggressively.

    Thank God, it is really true that broken collarbone heal itself and most likely surgery is not needed. By the way, here’s my advise to those recent collarbone sufferers like me.

    1. Consider using the Figure 8 brace from Day 1 (I wore it even when I sleep) but remove it during bath time. Be sure that you observe proper posture after removing the brace to immobilised that shoulder. There are time at the shower you will feel that you are not healing because without the brace you will really feel unsupported and very much broken. But as the days passed I noticed that the bones are now attached to each other but the bond are not that strong yet I can tell. So just be careful especially when you remove the figure 8 brace.

    2. If you can tolerate the pain stay away from pain killers (like I did) to speed up bone healing. Pain killers are bone snatchers.

    3. Eat foods that are rich in calcium (i.e. milk, cereals, soy milk)- go check the internet on this. I also took 3 tabs of calcium supplements per day at 600mg per tablet. I followed the suggestion that I should intake 2000mg of calcium and food rich with boron (i.e. apples) for proper calcium absorption. It is not a matter of much calcium you take but rather how much you absorb.

    4. Made a concious effort not to move your shoulder aggressively — even if it is not painful. If you are not using a sling just like I did, be sure to rest your pocket, to a table, etc. Do not allow it to hang straight as it may displace the fracture even further.

    5. No alcoholic drinks, coffe and other meats rich with fats (these drinks/foods are bone snatchers).

    6. Maintain a positive mind and pray a lot — all things are possible if you just believe.

    Hans, do you have a recommended physio exercises to successfully raise my arm above shoulder level? Thanks in advance and heal well everyone.

    Great writeup of your recovery! I’m glad to hear the site has helped and that your recovery is going well.

    For my physical therapy I would perform the “finger wall crawl”. Face the wall at half your arm’s length. Extend your hand to the wall and touch it with your finger tips. Now “walk” two of your fingers up the wall as high as possible but stop as soon as there is any sign of discomfort. Repeat two more times. Continue this exercise each day and try to “climb” a little higher on the wall each time.

    There are some other therapies you might consider. For example, using small weights and/or therabands (large rubber bands) to strengthen the muscles. If possible try and schedule a visit with a physical therapist. That will provide you with a recovery plan tailored exactly to your injury.

    – Hans

    1. Reniel

      Helloo Diego. I’m From philippines too.. I had my right clavicle fractured. just had 1 question how dis-aligned your collarbone? my is approximately 1 cm apart. do you think this can be help by 8 points brace and sling?


  5. Mandar Gadre

    Dear Laura
    What a beautiful write up it is. I am in my first week of collar bone fracture. Fortunately the bone has only one single crack and not to the full depth of the bone.
    Your write up has motivted me a lot. I will be visiting my doctor on the 10th day of the fall and hope he gives permission for gym cycling and walking.

  6. Rami

    Hans thank you for your reply….just to update u on my situation..have seen another dr and he put me on a figure 8 which fixed my posture as well as aligned my clavicle…I feel more confident and comfortable like this….the sling honestly in my situation was not doing it…3 more weeks should be enough to heal…figure 8 really feels like only way to go as you have already been saying since ur injury as well πŸ™‚ happy healing everybody

  7. Rami

    Hans and everyone else here would like to say THANK U!!!!
    I broke my left clavicle 2 weeks ago playing soccer and xray that day showed a clean fracture in middle section. Put a sling and rested. Now 2 weeks later new xray shows bones moved further apart about 1.5 cm, 4 pieces with jagged end on one of them….my question is , is it normal for bones to move apart from start of injury? I’m 32 and dr says it might take longer to heal so should consider surgery plate…..should I give natural healing a try first?

    Yes, it’s possible for the bones to move apart. As your muscles loosen up after the injury the bones can shift. Also, arm and shoulder movement can move the bones. This is one of the reasons people use a figure-8 brace. The brace will help to minimize movement of the shoulder and movement of the bones.

    Should you select surgery for recovery? I would recommend that get a second doctor’s opinion before choosing surgery. It’s become more common for doctors to recommend surgery for a broken collar bone. It’s not a 100% guarantee of recovery and there are risks from it. But it provides a method of recovering within a certain length of time.

    – Hans

  8. kaiser,

    thanks n for ur replies
    I am into my 6th week now and there is no sign of bump on my fractured area what does this mean? there is no calcification happening is it worrying and one more thing if I remove sling this week does that mean healing will be slow then. i have already put off figure 8 after 5th week. i am doing exercises for frozen elbow and shoulder
    kindly Advice


    Not everyone gets a bump so I don’t think not having one is a bad sign. I would think that you wouldn’t need the sling at this point. But you should always check with and follow the advice of your doctor. Each injury is unique and will heal at different rates. Your doctor will be the best source of information since they will have examined you and your injury. But be sure to ask your doctor very specific questions about healing and what you can do to provide the best care to speed up the healing.

    – Hans

  9. kaiser,

    thanks Hans
    my immediate worry is that i cannot sleep on my bed for last 4.5 weeks as it is troubling me i am trying to sleep opposite side of my broken clavicle but it really hurts after 1 to 2 hours as i feel whole side soared .when can i sleep normally and how much time it takes to heal completely.

    It took me a while before I was comfortable sleeping. I’ve forgotten now how long that was. But over 6 weeks at least. I did find that using extra pillows for support helped with sleeping. I was place my bad arm on a pillow to keep it raised. And another pillow on my side to keep from rolling onto the bad side. The healing takes time. And there’s no way to know how long since each person heals differently.

    – Hans

  10. kaiser

    i broke my collar bone 4 weeks ago playing soccer was immediately taken to Dr who found my right calvicle boken on X ray and i put on figure 8 as well as arm sling .after 4 weeks i had another X ray which is still showing fracture but the gap has minimized . The Dr has told me to put off figure 8 but wear arm sling for two more weeks and start pendulum exercises .Now my worry is should i take of figure 8 or not and when can i start driving my vehicle ,how will it take to heal completely .My age is 40 years now

    It’s probably about time to stop using the figure-8 brace. You are far enough along that it’s probably not helping that much any longer. I would think that you should be able to start driving, at least an automatic. Might be harder to drive with a manual transmission if you injured the side used for shifting gears. Depends on your level of pain, range of motion, and strength. If all is healing well then you should be getting close to healed. But age is a factor and can cause healing to take longer. Be sure to check with your doctor regarding these questions. They will give you the best information since they will have examined you. And each person’s injury is unique.

    – Hans

  11. chanakya chanu

    i to have a broken clavicle…but im surprised that people become unconciuos after having their clavicle broken…but in my case it didnt happen.i feel from a bus gng at 60km/hr speed.as i feel i rolled to my left nd getting up i realised i broke my clavicle..then i travelled 25 km to reach home then took some water and went to doctor..after a week my bone went far unable to attach then i was suggested for surgery and had it after few days…after a month i am completely fine with an odd feeling in my left hand…now starting to gain muscle in my left hand…after surgery my left arm muscle reduced..now can any one tell me how to gain my muscle back??..and thank u in advance…

    I suggest getting an appointment to see a physical therapist. The therapist will be able to evaluate your injury and provide you with a set of exercises. I don’t recommend you get physical therapy advice from anyone that isn’t qualified nor hasn’t examined you. Otherwise you risk performing an exercise that may hurt you more than help you.

    – Hans

  12. Carolyn Cranna

    I broke my right clavical 5 weeks ago. Been wearing a brace, but not a figure 8. Crosses around the back to the front and across my left shoulder around my back. Still sleep with it on worried about moving it too much.
    Have just started taking it off during day. Have noticed my right shoulder
    is more forward than my left. I look twistered. Still getting a lot of aching, and wondering if it is just muscles pulling shoulder forward?
    Have more movement, but not sure how much I should move my right arm, still get the odd little clicking but not like it was. My x-ray @ three weeks, no change, bone over lapped, go for next x-ray this week will be 6 weeks. Seems like for ever. Have not been taking extra calcium, as a site told me a balanced diet is more important durrrr, don’t know what to think now.
    Sooooo over it.
    Have been walking most days for about an hour with sling on, worried its going to heal crooked.
    Carolyn Cranna
    Age 51

    1. hans

      @Carolyn – Sorry to hear about your clavicle break. It sounds like you are doing all the right things for your recovery. I don’t know what might be causing the one shoulder to be further forward. It might be because the clavicle is now overlapping and thus pulling the shoulder forward. Or, as you mention, the muscles are doing that. On your next visit with your doc be sure you have a list of questions such as the position of your shoulder.

      Also, although it takes time there’s always a good chance it will heal on its own and you won’t have to think about it any longer. I eventually got to that point.

  13. Lisa Myers

    Hello. I am a 38 year old female with 4 girls. I broke my collarbone last week during a group ride with the local bike shop. My husband and I had started commuting from work on alternating days. My speed had improved and I was gearing up for my october MS ride from St Augustine to Daytona, FL. Unfortunately I do not remember what happened that caused me to lose control of my bike. My husband literally ran me over because he was behind me. He just got a little bruised up and some road rash.
    Anyway it is my right arm that I messed up and now I am learning to do everything with my left arm. I stumbled across this website and was encouraged by the other cycling stories. I am anxious to ride again. I have a spinner and a trainer that I will hopefully be able to get on soon.

  14. John Altizer

    This is a great site – glad I found it.

    I broke my left clavicle on 5/15 in a charity road ride, but I was particularly aggressive that day and intent on staying with the lead pack. I was into mile 68 of a 75-mile ride with ride average at that point at 23.5 mph. I don’t recall how it all happened, but after that ugly sound of wheels rubbing, several riders went down. Most got up and continued on, some called it a day, and I had to go to the hospital in an ambulance. I was thankful that there was ride support there to call for help and to make arrangements for my bike to be transported back to the ride start point. I had considerable road rash on my left shoulder, left arm, and left thigh & knee. In addition, my helmet was cracked clean through in 2 places. At the ER, I was given a series of xrays at the clavicle, knee, & elbow. Only the clavicle was damaged. Because of the broken helmet, they also took a CT scan of my head – thank God no injury there either. (Quickly purchased a new helmet on sale, though I knew I’d have no need for it for many weeks)
    Though I don’t race competitively, I do consider byself an avid enthusiast, logging 250 miles per week except in the winter in NC. I spoke with numerous cycling friends who had broken their clavicles, seeking their opinions on course of treatment. I was in immense pain, even with ocycontin, and was biased that surgery would be the best course of action. My friends, all racers, said that even in marginal situations, they would tend to select the more aggressive option of surgery. I saw a sports orthopedic surgeon about 5 days after in crash. He was referred to me by the local hospital. Xrays showed the fracture to be in somewhat complicated geometry, with several loose, but not overly conerning, shards of bone. The doctor said he was not optimistic about the outcome if I chose no surgery. I am 44 and did not wish to take chances with the use of my left arm for the remainder of my life. So based on his opinion, the opinion of friends who had had broken clavicles and experienced both surgery and natural healing, because I wanted the most expediant recovery as possible, and because I wanted the pain to stop, I opted for the surgery. I realize every broken clavicle presents a unique set of circumstances, and that other’s non-medical opinions are simply anecdotal.

    The doctor preferred to use an intermedullary pin (a titanium rod hammered into the internal bone canal, joining both sections of the fractured clavicle together) rather than plates and screws. He would have to wait until he got into my shoulder before deciding which method would work. Fortunately, the pin was selected. Sugery would skip the “union” process and allow the two sections to knit together that much faster.

    The surgery was done about 1 week later on an out-patient basis. In all, the surgery lasted 90 minutes and was pain-free (at least until the anesthesia wore off). I was on 5mg of oxycontin every 4 hours. That seemed to do the trick. I can leave the pin in for eternity if I wish, or have it removed, but that would require another surgery under general anesthesia. I intend to leave it in unless it gives me trouble in future years. There is a chance that it could work itself out in future years, creating a small “tenting’ effect with the skin. Obviously, I would need to remove it at that point. Even now, there is a slightly noticeable bulge where the pin head is protruding from the bone just under the skin (about 5mm wide). I didn’t notice it at first because the surrounding area inflammation was hiding it. Now that all of the inflammtion has receded, it’s definitely there. It does not bother me – just looks a little funny. I also have 2 surgical scars. One is about 3 inches long and another is 1 inch long. I’m not sure why there were two incisions made. But they are not terribly noticeable and diminishing with each week. I was glad the surgeon used dissolvable sutures – no need to have them removed in a follow-up office visit.

    Because the crash was on a Saturday, I was right back to work that Monday. I did miss 2 days of work – 1 for the surgery, and 1 day of recovery.

    For the next 3 weeks, I discovered the importance of owning shirts that button. My usual attire was golf shirts or t-shirts. Like others, I had to sleep in a sitting upright position for the first few weeks. I’ve since been able to sleep in any fashion I wish EXCEPT on my left side (the injury side). I was in a sling up until week 4 following the surgery.

    I was allowed to get on the indoor trainer at about week 3. I am going crazy being limited to that trainer- I’m logging in about 10 hours a week on it. Yesterday, I had a 5-6 week follow-up xray. To my greatest satisfaction, I was cleared to get back on the bike outside but only under the most controlled conditions (only solo riding, no “balls-out” hammer riding). The doc explained that there is still a great deal of risk – if I crashed again, the treatment will be substantially more complicated and the outcome more uncertain. I will be at the beach all next week and I love early morning solo rides along the coast – so I rationalize that this type of riding will meet my doc’s conditions. I was worried about what the pin would do if subjected to another crash. The doc did not seem overly concerned stating that titanium has some flexibility to it and that it would give a little and then spring back.

    I still have good days and bad days with pain. But I can tell that the pain is mostly muscular and limited to surrounding muscles still “guarding” the injury site. I still feel what fells like fracture bone pain when I try to reach behind my back. Oddly, lifting my hand over my head was never a problem, probably due to the quick union that surgery necessarily performs.

    Make sure you have good insurance if you go the surgery route. Bills are still coming in – but I project the total cost to be around $15,000. This includes: Ambulance, ER, surgeon, hospital fees, radiography, anesthesiologist, & drugs.

  15. Sophie

    It’s amazing how many clavicles get broken and mostly at the mercy of our (2- and 4-) wheeled friends. I broke my clavicle after being knocked off my bike 7 weeks ago. At first it was straightforward and then displaced. The first surgeon I saw told me to leave it to nature and said he’d see me in a couple of months. I got a second opinion from a renowned shoulder specialist and he said he’d always plate, which he did 3 weeks ago. After a painful and uncomfortable couple of weeks, he has now let me shed the sling and go back on the indoor trainer. He reckons by week 6 he’ll be sending me back out into the world to do what I like. I was due to do an Ironman Triathlon this week and am devastated to be missing it after months and months of training (with full-time job and 2 year-old). However, I’m so glad I had the surgery. In a funny way, the accident and the broken bone has also given me time to appreciate full health (and be bitter with people who do nothing to help themselves on that score). I keep repeating to myself the following mantra: “Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful”……..
    Hope all your bones mend quickly.

  16. Deb

    It was a beautiful Memorial Day morning so my husband and I decided to take our motorcycles out for a ride. I had surgery for a kidney tumor scheduled and wanted to get one final ride in since I didn’t know how long it would be until I was going to be able to ride again. It’s going to be awhile. I was pulling in to get gas on the way home toward the end of a glorious ride. I was watching the roadside gravel as I came around so that the backend of the motorcycle didn’t slide. I should have been watching the curb on the planter ahead of me. A 3mph side-swipe of the curb and down I went landing on my right shoulder. Fully padded motorcycle jacket not withstanding I have broken my right clavicle. Not only does that end my riding season but it halts my kidney tumor surgery. During surgery I will be lying on my left side with my right arm extending over my head for two hours. I endured a second ambulance ride the day after the crash because of the shoulder seizing up on me. Saw an Ortho doc yesterday. Between the two ER visits and the Ortho surgeon I’ve come to this conclusion: there’s pretty much nothing to be done but wait it out. “You’ll have that” was the universal response to my detailed and sundry complaints. Since I can’t drive, I’m going to have someone take me to the baby section of our local store. There I will buy some pretty little barrettes to adorn my blossoming armpit which I shall now call Amelia. Maybe something in yellow and green to match the bruises. This blog has been a refreshment to my spirit. Thanks, everyone, for sharing your experiences ~ straight up, no ice. Oh, waiter …!

  17. Ashley C.

    My niece broke her collar bone in P.E. It’s been alomost a month since it happened and she went to the doctor. She is still in a back brace to hold her shoulders straight, while its healing. Last night, she said she was feeling no pain, so I told her to take her brace off ,and see what she felt like, she took it off and said there was no pain still. She tried to raise her arm, and couldn’t hold it up but for about 10 seconds. We do not have insurance and cannot afford a physical therapist, so does anyone know some excercise that I can do for her, untill we talk to her doctor. If so please E-Mail me at rja_chick@yahoo.com I really appreciate this. I’m desperate.

  18. Barbara Johnson

    Fabulous website, thanks! Now for my story. I am a 54 year old non-athlete. While on a work plus vacation visit to Colorado in March I decided to try cross country skiing. In my youth I tried downhill but soon discovered my extreme dislike for uncontrolled speed. Unlike most of you atheletes, I have no adrenalyn rush genes and like safe and slow.
    The first three days of cross country I was in heaven. Beautiful countryside, somewhat effortless activity, and burning calories. I thought I’d finally found my sport! Day four we tried a new track. The first several miles were fabulous. Then the track changed from beginner to intermediate with no other options. Feeling cocky after my previous three days experience I had no qualms about finishing the course rather than turning back. I then learned that intermediate meant hills, but none were more than a gentle slope of maybe 20 feet at the apex. Unfortunately I thought I should stay in the groomed track rather than move over out of the ruts. The result was zooming down the hills with no method of slowing down. I could have attempted to snowplow if I’d been out of the track. At the bottom of each hill I would end up on my butt, but laughed it off and kept going.
    About six hills and several miles later came the injury. I remember starting zooming and being scared of my speed as ususal, then being on the ground. I immediately knew something was broken and called out to the others who were ahead of me that I’d broken my shoulder. They reported seeing me fall and that I’d basically done a cartwheel. I think I must have caught a ski pole which launched me airborn. I’ve never been able to do a cartwheel in my entire life! Being experienced skiiers they reassured me I was just shaken up and perhaps had pulled some muscles. I proceeded to ski the remaining three miles but found I could not use my right arm. Upon reaching the car and removing my gloves, I could feel that my clavicle was raised about 2″ and then knew I was in trouble.
    Lucky for me I was in a ski resort town with a walk in Ortho clinic with one of the world’s most respected doctors on staff. X-rays showed that I had shattered the end of the clavicle nearest my shoulder. They explained that I could elect to do nothing but with the amount of bone now in shards I probably would never be able to use the arm properly. Unlike interior clavicle breaks it would not knit together on its own as the fragments were scattered and not close to the remaining bone. I could have surgery and they would plate the pieces back together. I was scheduled for the following day since it was late afternoon on a Spring Break week and the surgeon had 5 more people for that day who had injured themselves.
    I was put into a sling. That night despite Percoset (which I later discovered doesn’t work for me) was a living hell. They had recommended sleeping sitting up and I found that I could not recline at all so I spent the night in a recliner unable to sleep in severe pain wishing for the next day to hurry and arrive.
    At the hospital when my surgeon got her first thorough look at my x-rays she said it was a much more complicated break than originally thought. There did not appear to be any fragments large enough to accept a plate, and the 3/4″ of bone that was now pulverized would leave a large gap between what was left of my clavicle and the shoulder joint. She gave me my options and I elected to proceed with surgery. She said she would attempt to find a solution once she was seeing the bones and knew what was viable. It was possible she would have to take a bone graph from my hip and tendons from another body part if what I had left was too damaged to repair.
    Fortunately for me there was one viable fragment about the size of a staple that had all of my tendons attached to it. Because of the small size, a plate was out of the question because there wasn’t enough bone to screw into. The surgeon pulled the big part of the clavicle down into the natural position, and pulled the fragment up to meet it. She then took a wire and wrapped the two together going around and around with the wire. Since I am female she took extra care to have the skin side of the wrapping as flat as possible and the wire ends tucked inward trying to give me a result that would not be noticable and would not interfere with bra straps once healed. She also braided lengths of suture material together to give herself a stronger thread and used this to weave and sew my tendons to I don’t know what.
    I had to extend my vacation a week in order to have a follow up visit and also to get to a point that I thought traveling might be physically possible. The x-ray showed everything in the right place and the surgeon then revealed I had been her most complicated clavicle repair in 15 years of sports medicine to include being one of the Olympic team’s doctors specializing in bicylce events which are famous for breaking clavicles (as evidenced in how many on this website broke theirs on a bike). Her clinic walls are full of extreme athletes (a lot of famous folks) photos autographed with their thank you notes for putting them back together! Trust a non-athlete to trump folks doing extreme sports. Go figure. I left her office with instructions to wear the sling 24/7, no lifting with either arm, instructions to do pendulums regulary but nothing else, and instructions that it was fine to use a keyboard since the arm could stay in the sling which was good news since my entire job is Internet related. I was told to get a local Ortho immediately on return home. I was to expect no physical activity for 4 weeks and a 12 week total recovery.
    Now on to the really terrible parts of all of this – the pain. First I had to get home. Was able to book a one stop flight which should have been about 6 hours flying with a 1 hour layover. First and longest leg of flight got delayed when the incoming flight had a stewardess carted off the the hospital resulting in not being allowed to fly. Passengers were told not to leave the airport as they were attempting to find another stew. Six hours later we did get to leave. It had been a 2 hour drive to the airport with arrival 2 hours early so I was now 10 hours into traveling. By the time the 5 hour flight ended I was in silent screaming agony because I could change positions to take some pressure off the clavicle and had no ice. Due to the delay all flights had finished for the day stranding me in Atlanta overnight. I had to claim my bag which even on wheels was not something I was supposed to pull even with the good side. I spent 4 short and painful hours at a hotel then had to get back to the airport with luggage and get through security, etc. Over 30 hours after I began the trip I was finally at home, a sobbing mess of relentless pain. I was back to the same level of raw relentless pain that I had the night before surgery.
    I saw a local Ortho the next day who agreed with everything that had been done and wanted me to return in a month for more x-rays. No activity with injured side except keyboard and pendulums. No weight bearing even with good arm. I had to immediately begin working and could not find a way that wasn’t torture. Eventually ended up putting keyboard on a low table so that my injured right side (I’m right handed) was being used with my arm not having to be raised at all. After pushing myself too hard the first week I finally realized that two hours was the maximum I could work without a major break for ice and reclining.
    By now I was in weeks 2 and 3 post surgery. I could not live without regular every 4 hour doses of Vicodin with Advil in between doses. My pain level did not change from how I felt on day 4 for the next 5 weeks. On a scale of 1 to 10 I was a constant 8.
    My month visit back to the Ortho for the x-ray was comical. I wore a halter top which is one of the few styles I can get on. I shimmy into it feet first and then pop the strap around my neck. Luckily I live in the warm south and not cold Colorado! My scar is visable and about 5″ long and I have on the sling. The x-ray tech had me stand against a plate mounted to the wall still fully clothed, and then took a very long time lining up the cross hairs on my LEFT shoulder. I wondered why she cared about the uninjured side but decided to stay silent as I thought perhaps they wanted a look at the good side and would then take x-rays of the injury to compare. Luckily a second tech came in and looked at the orders and asked the first tech if she was sure she had the correct side. The tech said that the orders were for the right shoulder – hello – she had no clue it was my right not HER right.
    She then took x-rays of the right side and after developing them asked me if I’d had surgery. I guess the fresh unhealed scar was not a clue and the sling a fashion statement? She then asked if I was wearing a bra. Hello – you can see my whole shoulders so where would a bra strap be hiding? She said she was seeing something on the clavicle that looked like metal and wondered if it was a bra strap metal adjustment hardware. I explained it was a surgical wire wrapping. NOT a warm and fuzzy experience for the skill set of the practice!
    The ortho said all looked well but for another month only do pendulums and begin finger crawling up the wall as tolerated. In his experience with my level of both fracture, tendon tearing, and soft tissue damage most people have debilitating pain for six to eight weeks and a four month healing process. He did refill the Vicodin and gave me a sleeping pill when I asked for help being able to sleep more than an hour at a time as pain would wake me up. Sleeping half the night now and am feeling more human. Am finally able to sleep without sitting bolt upright but have to remain flat on my back with the injured arm on a bed pillow which seems to hold the clavicle from dropping down to the mattress.
    I am now on week 6 and can finally report that the pain is about a 4 out of 10. I’ve been given permissin not to wear the sling around the house which resulted in lots of muscle pain in the back of the shoulder and arm from not using them. A heating pad does wonders. Am now down to 1/2 a Vicodin at bedtime and lots of Advil during the day on days when I have been a good camper. On days when I try to do lots of computer work I sometimes have to have Vicodin during the day. Riding in a car for more than 15 minutes will set the pain into overdrive still. I can’t go shopping as I can’t push a cart or lift things into it.
    As for my grooming hints – I have curly hair so that has been good that it doesn’t need much styling. My drying method is to put the end of the hair dryer that is the exhaust over the sink bowl with the handle resting on the sink edge. I can then hold the handle down with my slinged arm. I bend at the waist and allow the air to flow up into my hair. I take the round brush with my good arm and have been able to at least get the bang portion straight. I fully understand the underarm furry creature issue, but now can move my arm out enough to sneak in a razor. Immediately after surgery I purchased a second cheap sling online and would change into it before entering the shower and let it get wet. This was much better than attempting to shower without a sling when any movement of the bad arm was excruciating and frankly I was scared not to have on a sling for fear of moving something. I’d highly recommend getting an extra sling (mine was $10 with shipping) for this for the first couple of weeks. I found that wearing zip up lightweight hoodies was the easiest top to wear and usually thick enough to hide the fact that I can’t wear a bra. I still cannot stand the strap of a bra, but now can wear anything with a V-neck or wide neck as I place the injured arm in first and then torque my head and other arm into the garment.
    Depression is a huge issue. Like most folks, I hate to ask for help. Most of my recreational activites are impossible. My husband has been wonderful doing all the shopping, cooking, and cleaning and putting up with me πŸ™‚ I am grateful and aware that not all injuries are temporary and that this too shall pass.
    I’d love to hear from anyone else who has had my type of fracture. I’m concerned with the future once I’ve healed and wonder about long term discomfort, especially for middle aged non-atheletes like me.
    p.s. I still want to cross country next year on my Colorado visit, but plan to take lessons on how to slow down.

  19. moses

    im a swimmer that broke my clavical a few months ago but i still have some slight pain should i continue swimming? will it affect me?????

    The overhead movement used for swimming can put a lot of twist and strain on the shoulder and clavicle. If you aren’t healed fully then you might be doing more harm.

    The only way to know is to have a doc examine you. Don’t listen to anyone that isn’t a doctor and hasn’t actually examined you. You wouldn’t want to jeopardize your mobility and your ability to swim.

  20. Chey

    Hi! i broke my right collar bone sledding 7 seven weeks ago and i havent healed yet. My bones are supposed to grow back together but my recent xray a week ago today shows no sign of connection. They’re as far apart as the night i broke them. I get sharp, numb pains down my arm and cant stand for about 15 mins without it burning and bringing tears to my eyes. i recently went and had an EMG Nerve Study test done to see if there was any nerve damage done but there was not. Something else is wrong and i’m freaking out. Has anyone had these type pains from a broken collar bone?!

    I had some radiating pain when I was healing. But it eventually went away. The pain you are experiencing sounds extreme. I wonder if it’s muscle related? If your back and/or shoulder muscles are strained because of supporting the injured region then they might be going into spasms. In an extreme case that can lead to sharp pain. You might consider using a heating pad or getting a massage to relieve some of the muscle stress and see if that helps.

  21. Maggie

    Phew, found this site when looking up to see how long it should take for clavicle to heal. I broke mine in May, falling off my bike on way to children’s school. I knew there was a car behind me and indicated that I was turning left and in an unbelievably stupid move, my brain told my right hand to put on the brakes. Needless to say I flipped myself over the handlebars into the middle of a pedestrian crossing, in front of the car that was behind me. She stopped. I landed on my shoulder, then my head.
    All the school mum’s picked me up, called the ambulance, called my hubby at work to come collect me from the hospital, and off I went.
    My fracture was at the end of the left clavicle in the joint. No displacement, no bump. I am left handed and a left sided sleeper.
    Scalp glued together, and arm in a sling, I went home, dazed from the whack on the head. I didn’t get offered any pain meds, or even a decent sling. I had a triangle bandage, which caused pain in my neck and blisters on my skin.
    The bruising started to show up after about 5 days and lasted for nearly 2 months. I am glad to have landed on my shoulder first and not my head, as I wasn’t wearing a helmet. I do now.
    The worst thing was trying to sleep, and like lots of you I had a nest of pillows, but it was the backache from not moving that was keeping me awake. My solution was using a thick sheepskin rug under my body, kept my back from aching, and allowed me to move a bit more from side to side than being directly on the mattress.
    I also had terrible pain in my elbow when I had the triangular bandage sling, which improved once I had a decent one that kept my arm in correct position.
    I had to get a complete new wardrobe, no bras, lots of vest tops to wear under tops with large openings that I could thread my hand and arm through, lift over my head and slide my right arm in.
    A shower took about an hour, so had to be done at night, with help, then had to wear vest to bed, so that hubby could help me dress before going to work in mornings. I was lucky that it was warm enough for summer clothes and sandals, as no way could I have done winter clothes and shoes.
    It is now 5 months later and after my 3rd xray and 2 months of physio, I have nearly full range of motion, but the bones have not healed at all. That is a bit depressing to say the least. It may not have helped that the first time out on my bike again, I somehow managed to overbalance myself whilst dismounting and landed on my left arm. And I wonder why my husband doesn’t want me to try out the rollerblades that I bought on holiday.
    I can now sleep on my left side, very carefully, with 2 strategically placed pillows, and more importantly, I can scratch my back.
    My local pharmacist has given me knitbone to try to encourage bone growth and after 5 months I am ready to try it. The surgeon talked to me about surgery, but didn’t really recommend as this comes with more risks than my fracture is worth, as due to position in joint it would involve plating the joint, at which point I was turning pale and he stopped talking. He did however keep asking me if I smoked, which really annoyed me as I don’t and never have. He couldn’t believe that I have not even started to show bone growth, so assumed I was lying about smoking, as this inhibits bone growth. I asked if it would ever grow together and he said possibly not. I will be going to see my GP who I am sure will give me a sensible answer, although will, as usual, compare my injury to the rugby players he usually deals with.

  22. J Freyensee

    I am a cyclist as well as a ju-jitsu martial arts guy and broke my clavicle one week ago from today. Boy was a depressed because I had a ju-jitsu tournament in two weeks. But since I saw the doctor two days after breaking it, I have had good spirits. My first week was very similar to the theme of the first week, ‘movie week’, but that is about where it ends. My doctor actually wanted my arm out of the sling as much as possible. His reasoning is he didn’t want the entire right muscular side to cramp up in the sling. The shoulder was also relatively stable and already healing after two days. So although in the first couple of days I went to work and school via public transit with a broken clavicle (blah), Thurs-Sunday all I did was sit in a comfortable chair at home with the arm out of the sling watching movies and reading (though I did sleep with the sling on all week). I didn’t bother putting on a shirt, but when I had to go somewhere, I just wore a cycling zip-up vest (that has no sleeves and big arm holes) and draped a jacket over me like a cape. Not the best fashion statement, but I certainly did not care, and i was still clothes-wise legal in any grocery store or even work (with no malfunctions). Today I can use my right arm for simple things like typing in this blog, grabbing my house keys, or even cutting fruit and vegetables. The only reason why I cannot drink from my right hand is tightness in the shoulder. So this week I’m looking at working out again, stairmaster, leg weights, preacher db curls (elbow rests on the leg), and probably martial art kicking. Next week is the real test to see where I am at when I get my next x-rays.
    So I think where I want to go with this is when I read this blog I saw a lot of nightmare situations (at least for me), but not all seem to go that way (like mine so far). Also, you may want to ask the doctor by NOT wearing your sling, but still keeping sure you don’t move the arm the first week. I was actually more comfortable with it off in my chair than wearing it, but I think the true test of how effective that was will be in about a month when I start doing strength conditioning for the shoulder again.
    Here’s keeping my fingers crossed for next week’s xray…

  23. cyndi leslie

    Hi I’m a Judoka, 2 weeks ago I fractured my left clavical on a sudden stop fall off my bike (cycling) it is end of week 2 and yesterday I did one push up with no pain. in the mornings I heat pack my shoulder area to get rid of the stiff ness. In 2-3 weeks I will get back on the mat in Judo. at first i thought the world had ended for my Judo. but i found courage and strength from my coach. thansk for haveing this info here it helps me too.

  24. Cary

    Laura, thank-you for starting this with your hilarious account. Right on!
    Like many of you, I too am comforted by the fact I share the same the agony and misery of those who have suffered the same clavicle fate as I.
    Marten, you and I broke ours on almost the same day, mine was on May 7, 2009. Did itfalling from my bike, superman style right over the handle bars. I had the nasty looking “tent” with the dang bone protruding from day one. By week seven the x-rays showed no change, very depressing.
    I recommend John Yardley’ post at http://www.jpy.com/john/clavicle/ very insightful. Most doctors don’t recommend open reduction internal fixation, surgery. However, at some point you have to stop the bleeding, so to speak. Your whole life becomes a living nightmare, sleeping, moving, picking things up. Everything is just off. And if the bones are overlapping in your x-ray, they may never fuse back together. And like Colleen Pope, I could still move the bones around with my left hand.
    So, surgery on June 25th, exactly 7 weeks post crash. It’s been a little over 3 weeks since the surgery and I can tell you that the bone is lined up nicely now. I don’t care what kind of scar I have, I just could not go on living with that bone tent. My wife said from the very beginning that it looked like I’d need surgery. I wish now I had considered that option sooner because surgery does a complete reset on the recovery time table. At least another 6-8 weeks, maybe more. And you need to really use the sling and no riding, no jogging.
    Good luck everyone. Happy healing.

  25. Dee

    Are there any dental hygienists out there who have broken their collarbone? I’m right handed and broke my right collarbone. I had surgery the very next day and have the plate and screws now. I’m wondering how soon I can expect to return to work… but I want to really be certain at the same time to allow for proper healing time. I’d love to hear from you if you are out there!! Thanks bunches!

  26. Tanya

    Hey! Enjoyed reading this and it reminded me of when I broke my left clavicle in a car accident in ’03. My question is this? After years, how is your collarbone now? I’ve noticed that I seem to get arthritis in the break location, cannot carry purses or bags on that shoulder for long, can’t carry my kids on my shoulders for long at all, and after I just got off the carpet after watching tv laying on my left side the area is pretty sore. I was just wondering if yours (or any one elses out there who had the injury occur over a year ago) still gives you trouble like that! πŸ™‚ Thanks for the read!

    My shoulder and collar bone feels fine and as strong as ever. Although I do occasionally feel tightness in that shoulder more than the other. You might consider a follow up with an orthopedic doctor to see if there’s something related to the original break or something entirely different.

  27. Marten

    I broke my clavicle 9 days ago while snowboarding. Exactly the same way as J.Austin Hunt above. Didn’t quite make it over the flat part after the jump and bounced off. The bone was sticking up quite nastily so I went to a hospital nearby and had X-rays. After 2 wrong X-Rays they finally captured my clavicle and it’s obvious: http://marten.klencke.net/misc/sleutelbeen_square.jpg
    Anyway, I was put in a sling and sent home. Had an appointment with an orthopedist 3 days later and they also said I wouldn’t need surgery but I should come back in 2 weeks.
    The first few days were painful but bearable so I didn’t take any pain medication. Now, 9 days after the incident there’s almost no pain (only when raising the arm or trying to lift things) and I have quite some freedom of movement. However, it does still look very nasty and it seems to me that the bone is quite severely displaced. It’s ‘tenting’ the skin above my shoulder.
    I’m going back for X-rays in 8 days, let’s see what they say then. I think they were expecting the bones to more or less realign themselves but I’m not seeing that now.
    Any experiences like this? Will the bone lower itself after some time? Will the tent on my shoulder go away? πŸ™‚
    I am, by the way, quite astonished by how quickly the body is able to cope with such an injury! I expected to be immobile for a few weeks.

    Wow, the ends of the bone look shifted rather far apart. But it’s hard to tell from the one x-ray. It’s possible for the bones to start to realign. It depends on many factors. I would recommend that you get a second opinion on how to treat it. Also, be very clear to your doctor what you expect once healed. For example, be clear that you are active and want to be able to regain full mobility of your shoulder. If that break heals but is misaligned it can hinder your movement. Or if the break is so far apart that the ends can’t fuse back together, then you may other problems. Prepare a list of questions before you visit your doctor again. It’s easy to forget when with the doctor.

  28. Matt

    I was playing lacrosse and broke y lft clavicle. I want to be able to go back and play in 7 weeks. Can it happen or is it at really serious risk of being injured?

    Being able to heal in 7 weeks is possible. There are a lot of factors that effect healing. For example, how well you take care of yourself while healing, if you listen to your doctor’s advice, and how bad your injury is. Talk with your doctor and let them know what your expectations are about healing. Be sure they know you are an athlete and that you want to heal fully to the level where you can fully participate in your sport.

  29. janet

    Broke my left clavicle 2 weeks ago skiing in France – well actually I was standing still at the time and have no idea what happened! Medical centre put me in a figure of 8 brace which was very badly fitted. Whem I returned for a follow-up x ray 6 days later the bones had moved. Saw orthopaedic consultant on my return home. He says it will heal eventually on its own but I’m quite worried as I’m 50. First physio today to avoid frozen shoulder. Pain not too bad – more a dull ache – but night times are awful. All I want to do is turn over on my side and have a lovely sleep! Nice to read all the entries and know I’m not alone. Anyone notice any signs of healing, rather than just having to wait for an x ray?

  30. davie

    broke mine two days ago by riding my bike into a fence at 30kph. boy is it sore! reading is now going through the roof! any ideas on the best way to sleep?

    Pillows saved me! Set them up around you to keep you from rolling around. Use one under your arm to keep it raised a little.
    Some folks have slept better being more upright. They sleep sitting in a lounge chair or reclining chair. Again, using pillows to help prop up the arm.

  31. Liz Saunders

    I broke my right clavicle on 12/29/07 along with six ribs on my right side. The ribs healed, of course, but I am left with a horrible-looking bone jutting out from my shoulder that spoils the wearing of most of today’s fashions. I wish I didn’t have a woman’s vanity, but I do. Any ideas on how to cope? I should be grateful I didn’t break a hip.
    Good luck to all of you.

  32. darryl low

    G`Day people,
    I smashed my left clavicle on 11/4/07, 5 months of hell later an op to rebreak the bone shift it and plate it so as the artery and nerves stopped being crushed. At the 6 week mark it felt great, lots of movement and no pain. 6 weeks and 1 day my fingers started tingling. Slowly this got worse and the numbing pain was back, also my tempreture kept going throught the roof. Finaly on 10/20/08 after an MRI, a CT scan, Neurological studies I had an angiogram. Bingo when I stood up it was crushing the artery and nerves again. Surgery booked for 11/25/08 to remove plate, reduce the bone size and shift the artery and nerves. 1 week after surgery it just exploded in my shoulder. To be standing there and bang I cannot desribe. Now 6 weeks later I am booked for more surgery in 2 weeks for a bone graft from my hip to be put in the shoulder and replating. Here`s hoping 3rd time lucky.

  33. Michael Fitzpatrick

    Hi all,
    First posted end of June 08. Broke clavicle kitesurfing and had surgery with hook plate inserted. Plate out in Dec. Back on the water many weeks before before and two weeks after the plate extraction operation. Everything perfect. Full range of movement and no pain. Hope this gives comfort to those of you who are still in the pain/depression/frustration zone.
    Note to Cary and other hook platers..MAKE SURE they take that hook plate out. Not good to leave in long term.

  34. Cary Gallagher

    I had a Grade 1 open fracture outer end of clavicle left side,I had surgery the same day, they put in an ‘Hook Plate’ that I hope they will be taking out. It happened on the 12th september 2008. It was a motor bike accident, not my fault. I’m still off work, my shoulder is still very sore and tender. Still taking painkillers, sleep still not good. can’t drink due to alcohol and painkillers do not go together. Having my first physiotherapy on monday 21st January 2009. I can’t see myself going back to work for another 8 weeks.I’m a plumber/Pipefitter.
    I wish this never happened, it’s a nightmare.

  35. Danny

    Hey there. First posted back in August after breaking my left clavicle on the 18th. Almost 120 days out now and I feel like I’m at about 90-95%. I’m lifting weights regularly(but not too heavy yet, especially when bench pressing), can do push ups with little pain, etc.. But I go to the doctor today and my x-ray shows very little sign of healing! That sucks! He says I’m able to exercise and such due to the build up of scar tissue around the bone. How common is this I wonder? Doc said all people heal differently, we could do surgery and plate it, or I could just wait and see. I don’t want to do surgery and end up back at square one. Anyone had the same thing with healing taking a long time? I’m 41 and very healthy, don’t smoke, but I do drink a good bit of alcohol. Usually vodka and orange juice. Orange juice has calcium, right? πŸ™‚

  36. andy

    hey fellow bone snappers, im not alone,,,,yeah mine feels better already.!!
    snapped mine last week kite buggying, it was a great day apart from the last few minutes. my friends helped me to get to the hospital from the beach, thanks guys. where i was told after 4 hours of waiting, to put it in a sling,(piece of material with a pin!!) and come back in a month… yeah right!!
    incidentaly, none of the people/nurses/doctors who saw me even touched the shoulder! the only help i got was in the form of an x ray which showed a clean break to the outer side (near the shoulder) about 1 inche in. At least i knew what i was dealing with.
    i could move the end of it about with my finger, snapping and crunching to great effect, all coupled with a dose of intense pain. i must have reset it 10 times a day, lying on the bed with my shoulders back, kneeding it into place.
    after 2 days i’d had enough. i spoke to my sports injury/chiropractor friend who advised me to get it plated back together, so of i went to the gp for a referal. i am lucky enough to be on a medical insurance scheme.
    the op came 4 days after, no dramas at all.
    it is now one day after and it feels unbelievable conpared to yesterday. no binding no pain, thanks to the codeine. and a near complete, albeit slow and steady, range of movement.so now i start the long road of waiting for the bones to fuse and strengthen up.
    It was important to me to get the position of the bone right so as not to cause any compensation/sympathy from other muscle groups.
    when i was a kid i broke the other collar bone, and i have memories of that time,slings and months of waiting and pain. i have since then had a nerve which fires up every now and then, which i attribute to this old injury.
    this is soooooo much better.
    i cant understand the reasoning when it comes to fusing two ends of bone together, that they can possibly be correct if not held in position!
    i hope everyone recovers well.
    ill check back later with another report, hopefully i will mend!

  37. Dean

    I have been wearing a figure 8 brace for about 6 weeks now and other than my right forearm/elbow area swelling up the brace has not been as bad to wear as I thought it was going to be. The swelling has been because the brace is just tight enough that the blood from my arm has a tough time circulating. Swelling goes down instantly if I ice or elevate my arm. The most disappointing thing that happened after I wrecked mtn. biking in Montana was that the ER doctor in Couer D’ Alene, ID apparently “looked” at my x-rays, told me that I did not have anything wrong with my shoulder and sent me away with a sling for a week. Talk about getting your hopes up to be able to ride in a couple weeks!! My shoulder did not feel any better after a week of wearing the sling, so I decided to go see my physician…they too said that I didnt have anything wrong with my shoulder maybe strained it thats it. After a couple more days wearing the sling and doing excercises for a strained shoulder (I know!! They told me to move it around so I wouldnt get a “frozen” shoulder) I went back to my physician and asked for another set of x-rays. The x-ray tech brought in my images and said that she did not see anything abnormal in the x-rays and the doc would be in shortly…While waiting I looked at the x-rays and noticed that I had CLEARLY broken my collarbone!! I managed to find not one but two doctors that misdiagnosed a fairly simple injury. I certainly wish better luck to all other breakees in getting a good diagnosis the first time!!

  38. Colleen Pope

    Hello all, it’s been a while since I posted (end of May?)
    I wrote a story about a month after my surgery about my surgery with a brief history leading up to it. Here it is….

    Colleen’s Broken Clavicle

    I am female, 38 years old and I broke my left clavicle on August 12, 2007 dirt bike riding with my husband. He was on his brand new Honda CRF450X and me on my not-so-new Honda CRF230F. I was going too fast in the sand over the whoops and my front tire washed out. In a matter of seconds I hit the ground HARD! I got up and wandered around in a daze trying to get rid of the stars I was seeing. I was scared and in shock, but I didn’t cry. I was cleaned up and taken to the hospital. Checking in at emergency, my voice faltered and my eyes watered, but I still didn’t cry. I was x-rayed, put in a figure 8 brace, given Percocets and sent home. The x-ray showed a 3cm overlap, 1.5cm gap and a bone fragment in between.

    I was referred to an orthopedic specialist, who again, x-rayed me and told me to continue wearing the brace for up to 10 weeks. Surgery seems to be a last resort and the preferred treatment is to let these things heal by themselves.

    Three months later I went back to the specialist and again, no change to my condition. The bone wasn’t healing. He told me that it can take up to nine months to heal and only 1% of these cases end up in non-union.

    Three months after that, no healing yet. Coincidentally, he had just read an article about heavy doses of calcium and vitamin D promoting bone growth, so I opted to go that route, rather than going under the knife.

    After diligently taking my supplements, I returned for more x-rays, 9 months post-injury. STILL NO SIGNS OF HEALING!!! (I already knew this, because I could grab the bone and move it.) This is when both Doc & I decided it was time for surgery!.I guess I’m in that special class of 1% non-unions.

    I am now 4 weeks post-op and on the mend. This is how the surgery went down!

    I was admitted to the hospital on June 5th, 2008 at 12:15pm. They hooked me up with an IV right away. It took two tries to get it in my left hand only to have them remove it in the operating room and put it in my right hand. My surgeon thought it might get in the way of the operation on the left side of my body! I guess I should have clued in, but who is going to question a girl (who does this for a living) with a needle in her hand waiting to jab it in you?!

    I parted with my husband before I was wheeled off to the operating room where I was greeted by the anesthesiologist and my surgeon. I was scared and I fought the urge to cry, but felt a little better when the anesthesiologist assured me that I wouldn’t wake up before they took the tube out of my throat. The time was 2:15pm. I was asleep in no time. The operation was supposed to take 1 hour, but lasted 2 (partly due to the lack of chisels in the operating room needed to hack a piece of bone off of me). They cut open a 6 inch incision below my collar bone and proceeded to clean up the ends of the bones, which consisted of “rubbery stuff” (I think that was the technical term used). Then they cut a 3 inch incision along my left pelvic bone, pulled back the muscle and chipped away some bone underneath. They packed the bone under my collar bone and attached a plate with 8 screws to hold it all together. I woke up just as they were about to wheel me out of the operating room and into the recovery room. The first question I asked, which I am told is common, is “what time is it?” It was 4:15pm. The next was to ask for water, which they wouldn’t give to me. I felt like someone had taken rough sandpaper and rubbed it on the inside of my throat. I so needed to clear my throat, but coughing was not an option due to the agony in my hip. All they would give me was a not-very-wet sponge lollipop!not the least bit satisfying. This made me want to cry. I got 10 shots of morphine in no time until they were happy with my pain level, then I was wheeled to my room for the night. My husband and father were there to see me right away and my step-daughters came to visit shortly after. I called a couple friends that night and some called me, which I remember, but vaguely. Could my haze have been due to the self-administered morphine drip, which I used every 6-1/2 minutes when the light turned green? Red means no, Green means go! I slept sitting up that night, if you call waking up every 5 minutes sleeping. I couldn’t move around at all, but I wasn’t allowed out of bed anyway. I had my first experience with a bedpan that night. Thank goodness it was a female nurse. I declined the bedpan offer from the male nurse later. I spent most of the night fighting off the urge to spew my guts, mostly because I didn’t want to endure the pain in my hip from the spasms, but also because I didn’t want to disturb the three neighbours I had in my room and because I didn’t want to make a mess on myself! I was given a small kidney-shaped dish in which to heave in if I felt so inclined.

    My husband came to pick me up early the next morning and it was about a minute after he arrived that I decided to empty the contents of my stomach!.the previous night’s tea and beef bouillon soup and the morning’s coffee, oatmeal mush and carnation instant breakfast. I found out very fast that, just as I suspected, the small kidney-shaped dish was not big enough for what I had brewing. Thank goodness my husband was there to grab another bigger dish to shove under me as I continued spewing. (He didn’t feel as lucky to be there!) When we got home, I required the company of a bucket wherever I went in the house, just in case. Bending over a toilet was not an option due to the agony in my hip.

    My husband was a sweetheart that day. For someone who does not normally cook, I supervised him while he made dinner. He dished out a plate for me and asked if it was too much, I promptly shook my head yes, grabbed my bucket and let loose again. If he never cooks for me again, I will understand. Thankfully, I was able to put the bucket away the next day. It must have been the anesthesia and/or morphine working its way out of my system.

    For the next week or two, doing just about anything was painful! I shuffled like an old lady (I’m only 38 you know!), took the stairs one at a time. Getting in and out of the car was brutal. If I dropped something it stayed there until someone else picked it up. I didn’t/couldn’t blow my nose or cough; thank goodness I didn’t have to sneeze. Hiccups didn’t occur either, for which I am truly thankful. Sitting down was awful, getting up was worse, and good luck getting into bed, worse luck getting out. I had to use a stool and my husband. There was one morning when I thought I was going to be stuck in bed even with my husband’s help! I almost cried then. I slept sitting up for a while, spent one night in a chair. I had to grab my pant leg to lift my leg up on to a stool and even then it was a slow, laborious and painful process. I spent a lot of time in clothes with spandex and/or elastic waists. All of this was due to the fact that they pulled that muscle away from my pelvic bone which affected the muscles in my thigh. I did not spend any time in the shower or bath as I wasn’t allowed to get my incisions wet for 2 weeks; soap and a washcloth, no more. I didn’t cry at any of this.
    I am happy to say that 4 weeks after my surgery, I have been showering on a regular basis, and I am out of my sling as of yesterday (no more one-fingered typing!) and ready to go back to work next week. I still need to take it easy, but feel worlds away from where I was only a few short weeks ago. As much as I hate to say it, my husband and friends were (probably) right!.if I’d had the surgery when the accident happened or shortly after, this ordeal would have been a breeze. They wouldn’t have had to take a bone graft from my hip which seemed to have caused most of my difficulties.

    My hip feels much better, but the bone itself still feels a little sore to touch. The incision is placed conveniently where my undies or bikini bottoms will cover and is healing very nicely anyway; my surgeon did an amazingly neat job stitching me up. He was very concerned about leaving ugly scars. Now that my hip and leg feel better, I am feeling the pain in my collar bone now. The bone hurts to touch and the incision area is sore, but the skin all around the incision is numb. I am hoping that the sensation will come back, but I don’t know for sure. I am told by friends that I need to massage the area to get the circulation and nerves working again. I will ask my doctor at my next checkup.

    I have found through this whole experience that the only thing that makes me cry is talking about dirt biking, watching other people dirt biking, hearing other people talk about dirt biking, writing about dirt biking and not knowing if my future includes dirt biking. On that note, I will end this with tears in my eyes!

    It has now been almost 5 months since my surgery and I am doing very well. My hip is back to normal and my collar bone has finally fused back together. I have perfect range of motion and did not have to go for physio. The plate & screws is noticable since the skin there is so thin and not much meat there either. My surgeon did an amazing job on the incision…it is about 6 inches long but a very thin white line. Most of the redness has disappeared. The skin all around the scar is still numb and not much sign of the feeling coming back. Doesn’t bother me though. Only if something strikes the plate or a car seat belt rubbing across the plate really bothers me. I’m hoping to be able to keep the plate in and not have surgery to take it out. I have the go-ahead to start lifting weights again (if I can get off my lazy butt!)
    I went dirt biking for the first time a couple of weeks ago and it was an amazing feeling to be riding again. I only hit one tree and managed to make it home intact! lol

    Best wishes to all out there….keep the rubber side down!

    Wow, an amazing story. Thanks so much for sharing that with everyone.


  39. ANN

    I broke mine in May and it appears to finally be healing, but it is overlapped and about three-fourths of an inch shorter than the other shoulder. One problem I am having is underarm chafing because the arm and chest are now closer together. I have to make a concious effort to hold my arm out and have to sleep with a rolled towel between my arm and chest. Has anyone else had this chafing problem, and what did you do? I am using Gold Bond Power, but this doesn’t help much.

  40. Lyndsey

    well, the first time i broke my clavicle it was the right side. It was my first tournament in the wonderful sport of judo,I was 14. The 2nd time i broke my clavicle the left one this time, once again in judo, I was 19. The 3rd time I broke it it was the same left one and it was because I returned to judo 3 months after I broke it, supposedly to early. Well, I guess I am a veteran at this, but wow it hurts so much everytime. The 2nd time I broke it a literally laid on the couch for a month waching tv, the 2nd month I went camping, so i pretty much sat on my ass for another month. By the third month I just couldnt handle it anymore and heasded back to judo, just to get sent back to the infamous hospital once again. O ya A week after I found out I broke it the first time, I ended up getting pneumonia. I think getting sick after being broken happens cause you are just so stressed out. Well, I am about about 3 weeks into my 3rd break (2nd on the left shoulder) and I headed back to judo just to work on my legs. Contact sports suck because it takes way longer then a month and a half to get back into things. Well, thats my shortened story, I just thought I would share some of my experience with the infamous clavicle. Does anyone know about clavicle braces? cause I would absolutely love to get my hands on one of them, if they worked

  41. Jeff

    Well i feel encouraged, thanks everyone. I am 41 male and broke left clavicle. Doc said, “this will heal.” (notice the quotation marks)It didnt. In fact he said that the 2 halves were even further seperated. 2 weeks to the day of the break he put a metal plate and 7 screws holding me back together. We are the Borg, resistance is futile… I have been home for 2 weeks and am going crazy. I suppose this wouldnt be so bad, dont forget the fact that i had to learn how to wipe my butt with my right hand, if i didnt just get over kidney stones 2 months ago. Yep they had to go in with a back hoe to get them out…
    I am still swollen but its only 2 days after surgery, and i can see the plate across tho broken clavicle. I hope they can take it out without risking further injury.

  42. Luis

    Greetings to all, just wanted to add my two cents worth to this invaluable site. I too fell victim to gravity while cycling. No help from anyone but my own inner daredevil. Anyway, as I was trying to see how fast I could bomb down a fireroad on my mountain bike on a trail above La Tuna canyon here in So. Cal, my front tire lost traction at about 28mph. I landed really hard on my right shoulder and immediately heard a loud POP. I fell so fast that my hands were still on the grips when I hit the ground. After taking a quick body inventory and realizing what I had broken and also deciding that walking out of that canyon would take too long, I decided to get back on my bike and try to ride down as far as possible. Well, half a mile later I realized how dangerous that was. Especially considering I was only using one arm AND I had to ride the front brake on a downhill that was getting steeper. Lucky for me two fellow mt bikers, complete strangers, helped me walk my bike and myself for about 45 minutes in 90+ heat to my truck at the bottom of the trail. I regret not remembering my two guardian angels names, I was trying not to let the intense pain get the better of me.
    That was four weeks ago. The first week was hell, and in my desperation caused by lack of sleep, I googled ‘How to sleep with a broken clavicle’ and somehow I found this site.
    Besides sharing my collarbone breaking experience, I wanted to share how I was able to get a decent night’s rest in bed. I too tried the pillows in different positions but nothing would help the lower back pain that would wake me from even the most deepest of sleep (vicodin induced of course). Not to mention the cramping triceps, shoulder and upper back.
    What really did the trick for me was a two-inch memory foam bed topper that my wife and I purchased at the local Target dept store. It allowed my entire body to be supported, giving me a floating sensation because my whole entire body contacts the mattress now. No more pillows under my knees just so my lower back could touch the mattress. I’m even braving sleeping on my side somewhat, actually i’m leaning on my wife…
    Oh yeah, I’m using both a figure eight brace (clavicle brace) and the arm sling. The figure 8 brace really helps to sleep on my side because it keeps my right shoulder from drooping while I lay on my left side. I use the sling in the daytime to help keep my arm from moving around too much (doctors orders!).

  43. Randy

    Hello All, Broke left clavicle 7 days ago in a surprise ditch while cyclocross training in a field. I’ve not had any severe pain or taken any pain killers. Other than general brusing and some pain if I lift over my head I seem to be lucky thus far which is freakin’ me out after reading others stories. Strange -since I broke same clavicle 15 years ago and thinkin maybe nerves not so sensitive?? I was back on my road bike 4 day after the crash and have ridden 3 times so far for about 120 miles total. Figure 8 has been good but I don’t feel I have to wear it all the time… Either way just wondering if I am doing any damage while riding? Arms are out mostly straight on top of bars and I feel a little tension if a bump comes up on the road. Thanks for the feed back….

    After I broke my collar bone I also wanted to ride right away. Especially after building up so much fitness. But my coach and doc talked me out of it. Better spending a few weeks recovering then risking months recovering or possibly surgery.
    So I think you are really risking recovery by riding so early. You might be really lucky and the bones are next to each other and rather stable. But one good bump or a crash might set you way back.
    Although it sounds terrible, think about riding the stationary for now to maintain your fitness (also look at the trainer workout I used Trainer Workout). And there’s still time left to recover and get in some late season CX racing.

  44. Marcus Hill

    I’m in week 10 now, the bone hasn’t fused yet, I have a displaced fracture and there is 5mm to 10mm distance between the pieces, with about 12mm overlap. I wear the sling half the day there is little pain now 2/10 unless I do anything or lift anything then its quite painful 6/10. I just can’t sleep in the sling, but the pillow trick really worked at first.
    The last two times I broke my collar bones it healed in three weeks I was a teenager then but now I’m 30. I’m getting really depressed, the last xray at 6 weeks showed no bone growth. I can’t ride my bike either – the only thing that cheers me up :(.
    Maybe I’ve been using my arm too much, some people have said there is no way bone will grow over that distance, I’m wondering if I’ll need surgery, my next Xray is in 2 weeks so I’m drinking my milk and taking my calcium pills and just wishing it will heal.
    Can I ask you guys, if I get a metal plate how long will it take before I can start to live a normal life again? I’m quite worried about having to go through all that pain again. But if I look on the bright side at least I wont have lose bones rattling about!
    Good luck to all you others and hope your healing goes quicker than mine!

    Into your 3rd collar bone break? Ouch, that’s unlucky.
    If you go the surgery route and get the metal plate you are looking at a minimum 6-8 weeks of recovery time and then physical therapy. Hopefully there will be signs of bone growth in your next x-ray and you won’t have to get surgery.

  45. tom fordyce

    this has been a great help and amazingly accurate to my story!
    three weeks ago i broke my left clavicle in three places playing rugby. i have just taken my sling off and i have an almost full range of movement even putting my hand straight up above my head without any pain. how long should i wait before starting any physical exercise with the arm and when can i start using weights to build up the muscle? i have a huge bump and i have been told that i might not be able to play any contact sport again because the bone is not straight and will just snap if put under any pressure. is this true?
    good luck to everyone recovering from injuries!

  46. mike

    i just shattered mine in my prime condition for xc racing…
    talk about depression…
    life goes on
    im 16 and all may heal faster than expecyed
    we can only hope
    thanks for the article though
    it really did help

  47. Gary

    I broke my collar bone on May 28th 08 playing football, it was a displaced fracture and my OS suggested not to operate. I have pretty much full movement with little or no discomfort and the site seems fairly solid. A recent xray showed signs of healing but the thing that I am told is normal but see no-one mentioning is the ‘clicking’ and ‘popping’ (like when you bend back your fingers)from the site of the break and the joint with the shoulder. Anyone else getting this?

  48. Vince F

    Thanks! Just about a spitting image of my experience thus far. Beginning week #3. I declined treatment, as I have no insurance God Bless America. I’ve done it/broke just about everything before and I always decline surgery so – the pain killers I’m cool, I wouldn’t opt for surgery until 3 months or so went by, by then I should have insurance again. I did the booze thing too ha day 1-2. Nyquil to sleep. 800mg Advil throughout the day, lots of dairy, soy, cal, Calcium+ Mag every 4 hours and bought a sling. Week#3 I can put on shirts, got a small/med bump and it appears fused well woot! Still aches in the mornings, after getting dressed etc….Good Blog. This time I didn’t crack it all the way through I think as I didn’t have the clicking as I did last time. I just met a girl last night who crashed and had a clean collarbone break. She has been sleeping sitting up, wont use her arm, and it still hadn’t fused, week #4 for her, her doc is now giving her the surgery option. My dad’s had corrective surgery to fix this and that surgery/screw/plate that moved or came loose all his life, not my bag. It’s supposed to take about 2 months to get back to “normal” but no push ups for awhile, unless your Tyler Hamilton and are on God knows what Franken-Dope πŸ™‚

  49. John

    I get what you mean about the sling, Danny. I got rid of it at the end of week two because I found it kind of useless, plus it caused cramps in my triceps. I’m into week 4 after crashing onto my right clavicle during a martial arts class. My instructor’s girlfriend (a doctor)was able to give me some advice, but I STILL haven’t been able to officially see a doctor (no insurance, scheduling problems, doctors out of town etc.)I know I don’t have a dislocation, but I still feel a bump protruding through the skin at the end of the clavicle. Nonetheless, my arm strength is back as well as much of my flexibility. I can raise my arm and extend it normally with few problems but the main thing is that I can’t apply pressure with my full arm (push-ups, etc.)or move it too fast. Does anyone have advice for this stage?

  50. Danny

    Well, I’m 3.5 weeks into this break and there are several positives and negatives to report. Broke my left clavicle on 8-18 and as of today I would say the pain has gone down to about a 3 on a 1-10 scale. It was about a 9 in week one. I can lift my arm above my head SLOWLY and out to the side easily and have a bit of rotational movement, but still get stabbing pains if I try to do anything too quickly. The dull ache of the surrounding muscles is really the worst thing. After any significant amount of activity such as walking, sitting upright for long periods, driving, mowing grass (on a riding mower), I still get lots of dull pain. Particularly around my scapula on my back and in my deltoid. I pretty much ditched the sling early into week two, and have been much more comfortable since. Still sleeping on my back only with my “bad arm” propped up on a pillow. I hate not being able to roll from side to side. Have re-injured myself a time or six by trying to do too much too soon. The keys as I see them are as much rest as possible, even though it may drive you bonkers, and lots of ice. MUCH patience is required or you will continue to re-aggravate your injury and slow down your healing time. As time has gone on depression has set in as well. This is so FRUSTRATING! Spending so much time lying on my back after eating has given me major heartburn problems as well, so anyone who has GERD (as I do) will need to take all necessary precautions on that front. Make sure you have plenty of antacids. Remember, take it slooooow….. πŸ™‚

  51. Matt Davis

    Lots of reading, and I guess I must have it better than most. On 8/31/08, I broke my left clavicle when I was bucked off my horse. It was something that I could have prevented had I not allowed myself to be rushed, so it’s not her fault, but I guess I’m the one paying the price.
    Damn ER gave me a sling and vicodin – all they ever do for anything – so I followed up with an orthopedist in two days. X-rays showed very slight displacement, and the ends touched, though I could feel a groove where the tops do not meet though the bottoms do. Funny thing is, I must have a high tolerance for pain – the worst pain is not the break – it’s the residual damage to my shoulder. Obvious pulled muscles and tendons, likely severely strained ligaments. Doc gave me a figure-8 (expected it to hurt like SOB), and I have my wife pull it as tight as she can without losing circulation, and it doesn’t hurt at all. Taking extra calcium and multi-vitamin (knew that was a good idea) seems to help. Have next appointment on 9/26 for x-rays and another follow-up. I’m 34, so I’m not expecting much healing at that check-up, but am hoping to be pleasantly surprised.
    Thanks for all the informative notes – they’ve been helpful and uplifting.

  52. Vicente

    I broke my left clavicle on a bicycle fall on my birthday last week. What a birthday present! The xray showed a break at 2/3 to shoulder with a gap in break, though the doctor in emergency made light of it, and though I asked for specialist, was told they saw xray but I couldn’t get an appt till next Wednesday in clinic. I could hear the bone click and when I moved shoulder a certain way ugh the pain is intense. I saw an orthopedist that Friday who suggested that surgery would be best to get union and also that as it was compressed a little in remaining distal end the surgery would also help that. Mind you the digital xrays in emergency room didn’t visualize what the conventional xray plates did in Ortho Dr office. Anyway, I am now scheduled for surgery end of this week (9 days after accident, my Dr told me to do it within first 10 days before mending begins) using plate and screws “to predictably restore body architecture and provide scaffold for healing.” I am scared, as I’ve not had knife based surgery since a child, though my regular Doc says colonoscopy poses greater risks, I just turned 53, and really try to stay active. Now after surgery what of recovery and restored movement? I believe this is part of fear I have, but also feel for future good recovery not much choice here. What have others been through on this recovery front?

  53. Claudia

    I wrote earlier about the plate on my collar bone beginning to protrude. I saw the surgeon and apparently the surgery done in February resulted in a non-union. The plate has actually bent outward in response to bone placement. Tomorrow I’m scheduled for more surgery to replace the old plate, draft in bone, and put in a new plate. Seven months after the original skiing injury, I’m starting all over again. This is getting very old! I never would have imagined that the clavicle could cause so many problems.

    Interesting. First time I have heard of the plate protruding because of that. Let’s hope they get this one right.

  54. Nick

    Fell off my bike in Richmond Park 5 weeks ago & broke left clavical. Think Im on the mend but wont find out for sure until 2nd lot of x rays in 3 weeks, Don’t have anything particuarly useful to add, just wanted to join the party. However, I am also finding alcohol (in my case, London Pride) very therapautic! Good luck to all feelow sufferers. If they were so bloody difficult to get on & off Id suggest we design a special tee shiirt!

  55. Maria Sgambati

    Dear Friends,
    Thanks so much for all your postings; it’s made me feel less alone in my broken collarbone state.
    I took a spill from my bike and had a comminuted mid-shaft clavicle fracture in my right clavicle (my dominant hand). The fracture was fairly displaced with a free floating fragment. I am a 45 y.o. female very physically active and essentially this is my first major illlness. I am also an internist and I almost cried when I saw my x-ray in the ER and heard that I might need surgery to fix the collarbone. The pain was very severe the first two days, even with round the clock narcotics and the worst was feeling/hearing the bone fragments rub together when I would move, particularly getting out of bed.
    I saw the orthopedic surgeon two days after my injury. I had been in a conventional sling for two days with essentially no visible reduction in the fracture. He said that the U.S. medical board answer is to let these fractures heal on their own but he leaned towards surgery because he felt it would reduce the risk of non-union (when the bones don’t heal). Being a doctor, I spent the evening looking at some of the medical literature. The Canadian Trauma Society had recently published a paper in which patients were treated with either surgery or non-surgery and the results showed that the surgery group did slightly better. I am including the link here in case anyone is interested.
    I decided to have the surgery which went very smoothly and basically took about 45 minutes. I went to the hospital in the morning and went home in the late afternoon. The most important thing for me was to regain full function of my shoulder and to avoid having a non-union and surgery down the line. It wasn’t an easy decision and I gather from the medical research that is one that is still up in the air in terms of the best treatment option. I am less than three weeks out from my surgery and feeling tons better. I have some pain still but am basically only taking tylenol and advil.
    My biggest questions are what is it like to have the plate in long term? I’d really like to hear from people who are months or years out from their surgery to hear how they are doing and whether they have any physical restrictions.
    Maria, United States

  56. Claudia

    I wrote in last January when I broke my collar bone skiing. The displacement was so bad that it required surgery with a plate holding it all together. The doctor said that I had literally splintered the bone. I also received a brachial plexus (spelling?) injury that left my arm numb for two months and even now, 7 months later, I have numbness around the site of the break.
    My question is this – during the past month the plate has been slowing protruding out from my collar bone area. Is this normal? It was not nearly as noticeable as it has become in the past few weeks.

    I don’t know why there would be a change. It’s possible for the screws and plate to come loose. In rare cases the plate can break. I would recommend a followup phone call with your doctor.

  57. mitch rose

    Thanks for the rehab info…I’m in week 3, and have gone thru all of the stuff from week 2…including the Jack Daniels portion. Although it does medicate, it also tends to make you forget and the possibility of a reinjury is great, so you have to be careful. But from what I can see, the key to this process is patience and a lot of it. I’m an everyday rider and this has been the worse of all my crashes. I have been trying to do a little with some 5 pound dumbells but not too much. I think that I might want to wait at least one more week before I try anything more than that, but you do have to be patient, that seems to be the key, and find yourself, this is a great time to do that…you’ll be surprised at what you might find. Peace

  58. palki malhotra

    hey…feeling so much better reading your stories. i am 30 year old female and have fractured my left collar bone playing soccer…though it has been 4 weeks, my doc has asked me to continue the sling and restrict movement. so i havent been lucky to put my left hand above my head….guess should push myself to do so…had a few queries…i have a shooting pain below my left shoulder blade and breast…it occurs together…and my left hand is still swollen….just wanted to know if this is normal.

    A shooting pain is something I experienced during recovery and others have reported. If it’s something that worsens then I recommend checking with your doctor.

  59. Shawn Pedersen

    This page is great! I broke my collarbone on Sunday the 17th while riding the bike park in Whistler,B.C. I was given a figure eight sling and arm sling. Anyone know how tight the figure eight sling needs to be? Do I have to sleep with it too? Seems like when I lay on my back the thing loosens up quite a bit and becomes useless? It would be nice to be able to not have to feel the metal rings on my back for 6 weeks..:)
    I’m also curious how long i should wait until I try working like normal again. I’m a bike mechanic and use hand tools quite a bit. Thanks for any suggestions!

    In addition to the figure-8 I also had a sling that had a waist strap and allowed my upper arm to be velcroed to the strap. I would wear that at night instead of the figure-8 since it was more comfortable and kept me from moving my upper arm and shoulder around.
    When I wore the figure-8 during the day I had it adjusted snug but not too tight that it was uncomfortable. Adjusting the locations of the straps and adding placing extra padding can help.
    When you are able to work normal again is unique to each person’s injury. Your doctor will give you the best answer to that question.

  60. Cosmin

    Well.. thanks for all the info. Nice story ther Laura.
    I broke my clavicle on 20th august while being in a hot pursuit by a car. The doctors still aren’t sure if I should do surgery or not, will find that on monday. Pain is almost tolerable but i Hate not being able to do anything with my right arm.
    And no Vicodin here. They don’t give it. Bloody Romania, what can /i say?..

  61. Danny

    Well, there seems to be a theme emerging…… Bicycles are friggin dangerous! πŸ™‚ I wiped out on a curve at a local track last night and broke my left clavicle. Still in quite a bit of pain. Seeing my ortho in the morning. I’m 41 and in relatively good shape so hopefully things will go well. Thanks all for sharing your stories, tips, etc…

  62. Peter

    Hi guys
    I’m 46 years old and I broke my clavicle about 5 weeks ago while cycling. The shoulder took a direct hit on the road and I felt the bone break. I wasn’t in a lot of pain but feeling the bone move around felt funny. On my first trip to the hospital no-one wanted to look at me because apparently I wasn’t in enough pain. I went home and took off my shirt and I could see the bone sticking out. So I went back to the hospital and showed them; this time they were more sympathetic! After an x-ray which showed displacement — but not enough to warrant surgery — I was put in a sling. Still very little pain. Had an uncomfortable night’s sleep the first night as I could only sleep on my back. Next day I thought I’d dreamed it all until I went to lift my arm up, which brought me back to reality. Had another x-ray a week later which didn’t do anything other than confirm what the first one had shown. I ditched the sling after three weeks and now I can pretty much do everything except heavy lifting. Sleeping on my back for several weeks was not enjoyable, but now I can sleep on my shoulders. I’m due for another x-ray in about a week — hopefully I’ll get the all clear and be back on the bike again.
    So if you do break your clavical hopefully you will be like me and have very little pain and heal nice and easily.

  63. Rmani Crawford

    Hey everyone, this website has been really comforting. I am 16 and broke my collar bone in one place last wendsday so it will be a week in two days. it happened during football. I came across the middle and jumped for a high pass. I caught it of course..lol took one step and got hit on my left side which then forced my right shoulder directly into the ground. the impact of the fall broke my collar bone in one place. I felt a sharp pain in my shoulder but got up to play the next play. I did the next play and then told my coach something was wrong. so i went out felt and after a second to regain my composure i told my coach i think i broke my collar bone. so i went to the trainer and he told me i broke it. i then wen to urgent care with my mother and took x rays which confirmed that it was broken. The first night was extremely painful but now it really doesnt bother me. I want to recover as fast as possible and im remaining optimistic that i will. i am currently in a sling and that seems to be doing the trick. my goal is to be back in 6 weeks which will allow me to play in the third game of the season for my webster thomas titans. so every pray for me and ill pray for you!!! youll hear from me soon and ill be hoping to hear from you also..
    Rmani L. Crawford

  64. Rmani Crawford

    Hey everyone, this website has been really comforting. I am 16 and broke my collar bone in one place last wendsday so it will be a week in two days. it happened during football. I came across the middle and jumped for a high pass. I caught it of course..lol took one step and got hit on my left side which then forced my right shoulder directly into the ground. the impact of the fall broke my collar bone in one place. I felt a sharp pain in my shoulder but got up to play the next play. I did the next play and then told my coach something was wrong. so i went out felt and after a second to regain my composure i told my coach i think i broke my collar bone. so i went to the trainer and he told me i broke it. i then wen to urgent care with my mother and took x rays which confirmed that it was broken. The first night was extremely painful but now it really doesnt bother me. I want to recover as fast as possible and im remaining optimistic that i will. i am currently in a sling and that seems to be doing the trick. my goal is to be back in 6 weeks which will allow me to play in the third game of the season for my webster thomas titans. so every pray for me and ill pray for you!!! youll hear from me soon and ill be hoping to hear from you also..
    Rmani L. Crawford

  65. Anthony Elenterio

    Hey everyone,
    im a 27 yr old phys ed teacher, i broke my lft clavicle playing flag football. I got 2 opinions, one dr wants to operate, he syas the breaks are too far apart, the other wants to do the exogen bone stimulator, its been 3 weeks and i have mainly full range of motion, there is no sign of bone growth but i can fish, lift things, ect? im not sure what to do, anyone have any opinions?
    very confused,

  66. Oliver

    Hi one armed bandits,
    this is just a follow up on my pre-op concern. The Orth. doc was concerned I would loose feeling in the left side of my chest. Thank you for your answer Hans and I would like to let you (all) know that I’m ok one week after the operation. It may be still a little early to say but I think its gonna be just fine. I pinched and tickled the entire chest area and I can feel it (through the pain). I’ve got a shiny plate with 7 screws inserted but no bone draft after all. Future will tell if it can stay in or need to be taken out in a few month. I’ll be still in a sling for a while but I feel much better already. One thing is important though, see a Physio and do the exercises he will show you. I was in a sling for 8 weeks before the op and didn’t do anything and my left shoulder, elbow as well as my wrist is now very stiff. I thought I just go back to my gym and I’ll be fine…wrong!!!! Exercising the affected arm is very important.
    Hans, thank you for a great website. It has helped me a lot in the past couple of month and I will come back to read the stories of our fellow sufferers.
    cheers for now, Oliver

  67. Marcus Hill

    Crashed my bike at Glentress Scotland yesterday, took air off a kicker at about 25mph front wheel went way too high, lost it on landing, hit the ground so fast I didn’t even have time to react. Felt it break on impact, broken both collar bones before as a teenager. I stood up – crunch grind, maybe I’ll sit down. Called ambulance and tried to explain location of Hit Squad Hill in the middle of a forest. Shock symptoms and loadsa sweat. loads of guys stopped to say hi as my lady went up trail to look for ambulance.
    Worst break yet, got an end of it bulging upwards and the other end is pointing down, have an ortho appointment in two weeks.
    Had to sleep sitting up just like the other two times. Taking drugs for this one. No drugs for second one as it was minor.
    Really fed up there goes my summer and I hope work will still pay me!
    Lovely girlfriend is taking care of me! will keep you posted on healing times as I’m 30 yrs old.
    If its happened to you, just hang in there it will get better!

  68. Mark

    Hi, just following up from my previous post.
    I got another x-ray a couple of days ago, the four week mark. The doctor tried some mobility exersizes like getting me to lift the arm above my head and hold it out in front of me, neither of which I could do and both of which were mighty uncomfortable.
    What basically seems to be the problem is that as its been the second break there was a bend in the bone already. When it went for the second time one of the fracture points was at the bottom of the bend.
    This then overlapped the bone beneath it so its at a perpindicular angle, the end of one bone to the outside of the other, not end to end.
    And its a long overlap so the ends are not at all close.
    The doctor was saying this is whats hindering the healing process, that the bone needs to meet end to end for recovery to occur. Is this true, is recovery not possible unless both ends meet?
    He said to give it another few weeks then come back for another x-ray as there was a very small amount of bone growth around the connection point and he wanted to see would this develop but that surgery was quite a possibility.
    Also just as was mentioned above about “healing” being possible without actual bone growth. I take it this refers to a callous being formed.
    Does this callous show up on an x-ray?
    Like would the small amount of bone growth I saw on the x-ray actually be the callous and not meaningful bone growth?
    Many thanks.

  69. Mike

    Thanks to all above who have shared your story.
    While visiting family in Tucson yesterday, I was playing football with my brother, our sons, and nephews. I should have known better! Having just turned 53 earlier this week, I am old enough to know I should not have been out there with those kids. But such is the way with our family and football. My demise came on a long pass where my legs just would not carry me any further. I made the catch, lost my legs, and hit the ground with my left shoulder: ouch! My brother, whose footsteps I heard at my heals, said he heard the ‘snap’. My left clavical was broken. Well, we stopped the game and went to an urgent care facility where they x-rayed the shoulder and confirmed the break. Somehow, I thought there would be more to the care they gave me. I got a sling that immobilized my left arm and a prescription for vicodin and they sent me on my way. Wasn’t till I spoke to a few other friends and family later in the day, and read this site just now, that I began to get a better understanding of how this break is normally treated. I didn’t let the break stop our fun yesterday; I took a pain killer and went to see the new Batman movie with the family. Great movie!!! See it!
    I am now only in the afternoon of the second day, so I have much to look forward to over the next 6 weeks or so. Again, thanks to those above for your stories.

  70. Ben

    Though it’s been said in many forms here over the past 4 years, I’ll say it again: this site is great.
    I’m finishing up wk2 after a ‘greenstick’ fracture of the left clavicle after a bicycle accident (probably one of the easier breaks to recover from). I’ve learned lots about human anatomy and biology, to say something positive out of the whole thing (didn’t even know clavicle is the medical name for collarbone before this, as a start).
    So many things people have written ring true with me, and thank you for sharing advice. I’ve found one-armed living definately has its challenges, especially:
    – sleeping (back only – drugs help)
    – cleaning/deodorant-applying on my good arm (get help or get flexible)
    – driving a manual (not recommended, but I have no choice – use right knee to steer when shifting)
    – dressing myself (especially shirts (button-up only) and socks)
    – typing (holy pain in my $%% to do this all day)
    – staying in the sling (cant do it to sleep)
    – ok, just about everything sucks
    I really found swimming pools very useful in maintaining arm mobility – takes the weight off so you can gently explore and expand your range of movement.
    I’ve hit the calcium supplements (with VitD) and milk since day 2 when I first discovered this blog, in the hope it will provide my body with the raw materials needed to mend quickly.
    I found it difficult to avoid paranoia about it healing badly, what with the apparent daily changes in bone shape around the fracture and severe pain when actuating my anterior deltoid (fear that the bone may have subluxated over the ligament), but with time things are looking and feeling better. I think a lot of the changes were a result of swelling changes and muscle tension, but i’ll find out for sure at my 3-wk follow-up.
    Alright, enough typing for one day. Thanks again for the awesome site and for giving me a place to share this with people who might understand.

  71. Maria

    Is it normal not to be able to lift your arm all the way up after 2 1/2 months? I thought it might be since the doctor said not to move my arm at all and I have been wearing a figure 8-brace the whole time. Just wanted to find out if anyone else had the same problem after two months. I can only lift my arm about shoulder length. I would appreciate any input.

    It can take some time to regain full range of motion. But it’s also possible that not moving your arm and the joint soon enough has reduced the range. My doctor recommended using my arm and moving the joints early on and use pain as a guide to how much to move. So taking my arm out of the sling and bending the elbow. And slowly raising and lowering my arm. This was to prevent losing range of motion and a condition called frozen socket. That can occur when you don’t use a joint and it begins to “freeze up” and not work.
    I would recommend that you talk with your doctor about starting physical therapy. There are some simple exercises that can help regain your range of motion.

  72. helal hussain

    hi! i broke my left collar bone during a football match. i am moving into the 4th week now and feel much better than the earlier days of fracture. recently i am feeling this electric shock kinda thing within my skin near the area of fracture and i was beginning to worry about it. but after reading some of your stories i feel much better…its normal i guess.
    during the 2nd week, when i began to feel a little better i tried juggling with the football, lost my footing and hurt myself for the second time. during the 3rd week, in order to save my feet from a falling table i caught it in the air with my left hand and could literally feel my bone poking me on skin trying to break through on the outer surface…hurt myself for the 3rd time.
    i would suggest you guys to be more careful during the first 6 weeks…dont hurt yourself while your hand is in a sling.

  73. Mark

    Hi guys, broke my right clavicale about three weeks ago. The pain is basically non existant and I have not bad motion back in it but I can’t lift it above my head yet.
    Its broke in two places and it’s actually the second time its happened with the breaks in exactly the same place. First time I fell and landed awkwardly on my shoulder and then I was thrown Judo style and even though I had been thrown like that plenty of times for some reason I just came down badly and it went again.
    The doctor said it broke in such a way that there was the possibility of no bone regrowth but it feeling better so that must mean there is regrowth?

    No necessarily. You can actually “heal” without the bones fusing back together. Your feeling better might also be from the soft tissue damage (muscles, etc) recovering.

    Actually have had quite a number of fractures. Is it known that some people just fracture more easily than others? Any possible way to strengthen bones. I usually drink 2-3 litters of milk a day mainly for protein, maybe lack of Vit D? Any comments/experience of the situation please contribute.

    Yes, some people have weaker bones than others. There are several causes. For example, low bone mass, osteoporosis, smoking, disease, etc.. You should talk with your doctor about your concerns.
    Milk is a good source for calcium which helps lead to stronger bones. I believe the current recommendation is 1,200 mg of calcium per day. Along with the calcium one should be getting vitamin D as it helps to absorb the calcium. Please check with your doctor about the proper amounts and forms to take.

    One last thing and apologies for this appallingly long post, has anyone ever had the experience of breaking something or suffering some kind of injury and then coming back stronger, like in some way it benefited you? Like Lance Armstrong getting cancer but on recovery bouncing back stronger than ever?
    Many thanks.

    No worries about the length of your post. Glad to help.
    I don’t think it’s possible to fairly answer your question. There are so many forms of injuries and factors that it’s impossible to answer. In Lance’s case, which is as extreme as I have seen, the only benefit from the cancer that I can tell was the loss of weight. Beyond that it was his amazing ability to train, mental focus, and being an elite athlete.
    And don’t let the mental aspect of recovery go lightly. I believe that’s something can determine success or failure in recovery. Have a positive attitude! :’)

  74. Kabusted

    Good advice! The doc here has been great about letting hike and get back on my bike, barring anything more than pavement. They are just apprehensive to say exactly what I can and cannot use for rehab. Which brings up the pressing issue of the back pack. It is part of my job, and I feel as though I need to gently rehab it as soon as possible. I would also love to hear any helpfull advice about getting off the pavement and back to the single track. Thanks again, I love the site!

  75. Kabusted

    Great site! I broke my right clavicle 5weeks ago, got all kinds of nifty hardware 3weeks ago, and ever since been researching rehab measures. Doctors won’t utter a straight answer( law suit/ deniable plausibility), and there is little on the web. Are any of you avid backpackers ? when can I wear a pack, and are there any recommended strap alterations?

    I’ve been able to carry a loaded multi-day backpack without problems once my collar bone healed. But I healed without surgery and hardware. I know others have expressed concern about placing the weight of a heavy pack over the injury site when they have a plate and screws. I haven’t read any feedback though regarding this and the possible problems. It’s a question better answered by a doctor willing to give the information.
    If you aren’t getting the information you need from your doctor I would recommend getting another doctor’s opinion. Maybe you can also find a doctor with backpacking experience.

  76. Oliver

    Hi everybody,
    Just following up from my post on July 9. Saw the Orth.Doc today again and he now wants to operate. I will get bone draft where he takes some from my hip and plate/pin the left clavicle. He mentioned that there is danger of losing feeling in the left side of my chest. I could find no info about this anywhere and I’m a little concerned now. Has anybody experienced this problem? I would appreciate an honest answer. The op is on July 22 and I could still chicken out, would prefer the op though because I’m still in a lot of bother after 7 weeks. Thanks in advance,

    I don’t recall anyone leaving a comment with the issue you mention. Maybe someone reading this has had the experience and can comment.

  77. Rafe

    I broke my left clavicle Tuesday before last. I was informed by the doc a couple of days after that because I broke the tip of it and it was well out of line with the rest of it then surgery was the best bet.
    Just got back today after having some wire thing put around it as apparently where it had been rubbing it was a little chewed up.
    Have a pink foam sling made up of one long strip with two hoops for the arm to pass through twice and a huge sticky patch across the top of my shoulder where they cut into it to get at the bone. Difficult to move neck too much as the darn sticky patch has glued it into one big lump that pulls at the skin.
    Have been given ibuprofen and paracetamol but will definitely look out for some calcium tablets as they seem like a good idea (although this wasn’t mentioned in hospital).
    I had reached the point where I could pivot my lower arm at my elbow to get some use from my left hand but after the op it feels pretty much like going back to day 1… hurts like hell.
    Still can’t lay on it properly here at home although it was easier in hospital but then they have adjustable beds so could sleep in semi sitting position.
    Was good to read how others have coped with it. First time I have ever broken a bone and am 36.

  78. Oliver

    Bloody Quad bikes ha ha. Outch, laughing hurts a lot and this story made me laugh a lot. I’m in week 6 now and still very, very sore. Doctor said I have a beauty and smashed it rather than break the bone. Just as well to do it right the first time. 45 years old and suffering. Just lost my job too. Can’t lift a thing.I think I started to get a little depressed but after reading all these messages I appreciate that I’m not the only one and don’t feel so sorry for myself anymore. Thanks for that guys. Anyway, missing going to Gym a lot. Doctor reckons I have at least 12 to 15 weeks to go because I can’t even lift my left arm higher than my chest after 6 weeks. Great, but lets soldier on. I still might get surgery but right now the left side is still to mushy. Heads up, I hope you all feel/get better soon
    Cheers, Oliver

  79. Kathleen

    I broke my right clavicle and in my 3rd week of hopefully healing.
    I am 56 and was headed out for a bike ride with my husband when a dog ran out at my bike and knocked the bike over. I really enjoy reading all these postings, as I am getting a good picture of various recoveries and options. I had a new x-ray done yesterday and it looks like that the three bone masses are in a good place for healing or fusing together. My orthopedist seemed to think I would get fusion. Looks like, if I concentrate on taking care of myself, that I may be functional in about 6 weeks. The bones feel flat to the touch, rather than sticking out as described by other bloggers. I only had bad pain for the first 2 days. I know I overdid activity the first week, but have since settled into a good routine of resting most of the time, using the hand only lightly. I have put myself on a strict vitamin combination given to me by my pharmacist. (Calcium, magnesium,boron, B6, manganese, zinc, vitamin D and C. I am hoping this helps. Time will tell. I am trying hard to keep my posture straight.
    I am a teacher and have the summer to help myself heal, so in this respect I am lucky. I also live in a town where I can walk to stores, bank, etc. The only exercise I am doing is walking about 3 miles per day. I take off the sling for sitting activities as well as for sleeping. I sleep on my back with my arm in sling position and wake up the same, so I am not moving.Thanks for all the helpful info from everyone. It was at once reassuring and daunting to know all the healing and not healing possibilities. Good luck to everyone I’ll post again if I find my vitamin healing helps!I remain at this stage, optimistic.

  80. Jon

    Hey thanks for this everyone. I appreciate hearing all your stories! Funnily enough this is my second broken collarbone (I broke the left side when I was 12 playing soccer). I broke the right side on June 19th playing ultimate frisbee (now i’m 30). I guess I should be more carefull! Wishing you all the best, Jon

  81. Dan

    I broke my collar bone on the 11th of June, the day before my 8th grade graduation, by getting thrown up in a blanket and I landed right in it. It’s nearly been 3 weekssince I broke it. I don’t have to wear the sling anymore though. I can already lift my arm over my head and rotate my shoulder with very little pain. If I can do a pushup bu July 16th with no pain then I am healed and can go back to sports and such. I am apparently healing much faster than I expected. I think personally I’d be set to do my push up earlier. Any thoughts would be appreciated. But I’m very impatient and I’m getting through this just fine with the healing and everything. It’s really not that bad. Please respond. Thanks.

  82. Michael

    Hi all,
    Joined this club four days ago kitesurfing in Ireland. Went to ER and discussed options with ortho doc. He said 50% for and against surgery. Told him that I kite/wind surf and snowboard so I want my mobility back. He recommended surgery. Op the next day and home on day two with ‘hook plate’ in-situ.
    The sling is such a burden along with the accociated inability to do anything quickly.
    Beginning to fall into a pit of depression when I came upon this site. Thanks to you all for the humour and good advice, it has really picked me up. Will try and take it easy, do as I’m told, not dwell too much on the accident(just learn from it), and get better.

  83. Stupid Knievel

    Hi all! I hope everyone is ossifying nicely…
    I just had my 1 week checkup yesterday and all seems to be going well (especially after ditching my sling!) I talked to my dad on the phone the other day (he’s a retired orthopod), and he told me that the sling is just a pain management tool – at least with my particular type of break. (Mine is a clean break in the distal third, with most connective tissue still intact.) As soon as I took it off it felt better! I had been having REALLY bad cramping in by tricep and was beginning to have back spasms. No more cramping, and although my back is still spazzing out (oooOOOOUCH!!!), I find it much easier to maintain mobility in my shoulder joint (while still immobilizing the broken parts).
    I found out the hard way that I do still have to wear the sling at night, though. I woke up one night laying my head on my outstretched arm, which was above my head! When my shoulder popped as I put it back down… let’s just say I ran out of swear words and had to start making them up. (SWEET HOLY FLARGEN!!!)
    If you have a more simple, straightforward break like mine, talk to your doc about what you can do to maintain mobility (within the limits of pain), to avoid further damage (atrophy, freezing etc…). Avoiding the sling during the day may help.
    I also found out from Dear Old Dad that the buttheads at urgent care put the fig. 8 on all wrong. According to his instructions, the crosspiece should be placed down your back, in between the middle of your shoulder blades. This will place the front of the loops on the ends of your shoulders – this puts more leverage on your shoulders, pulling them back better. HOLY CRAP, did that feel better! The aforementioned buttheads had the front of the loops right on top of my clavicle!!! DAMN, OUCH!!! Make sure (if you are using a fig. 8) that your doc shows you EXACTLY how it’s supposed to fit.
    Long story short, I have gone from 10 Percocets a day down to 1-3, I’ve regained a lot of mobility, and I can sleep at night. My shoulder and back are usually tired and extremely sore by the end of the day, but that’s why God invented Oxycodone. I’m much more confident that I’m healing better, preventing frozen shoulder and I’m glad I’m not going to be addicted to pain killers when this is over! lol
    Good luck to all, and keep healing!

  84. Joseph Fitzpatrick

    Thanks Laura for the inspirational story,
    I’m currently typing this with my right hand because i snapped the end off my left clavicle yesterday playing footy lol. Jeh it pretty much hurts like hell eh but all i’m worried about is the possibility of it popping through my skin lol. Yeah I’m 16 so i’m assuming the healing process should be about 5 weeks, but its a strange break so it may not heal right at all :’l
    Anyway thanks for the article it was great and good luck to any other sufferers. πŸ˜‰

  85. Tyler

    i just broke mine skateboarding as well also in summer it finnaly been a week and i can pick up my shoulders to a little less than 90 degress. i’m 15 so hopefully it will heal faster. i just cant wait to skate.

  86. Cynthia

    I was told it was a clean break,so it might heal quicker and less painful?But i broke it 2 days ago,beginning of summer vacation,except the 3 regents i have.So,yesterday my mom had to call the school to inform them & they got me a scribe,to write for me on the tests.But, they’re not sure what to do with a scribe for my French regents,which has 2 writing pieces,100 words each.Telling someone what to write for English was extremely difficult,now,on the 24th it’ll be more of a pain.
    i’m just concerned about this wasting my whole summer away,and i would love to wash my hair somehow,by monday..for school:P
    And i loved the info that you put on here!
    now i want to hit up a library and grab some books.:)

  87. Cynthia

    I broke my right clavicle,my dominant hand.Hate when that happens:P And i was wondering how i’m supposed to at least clean my hair,and i’m extremely not fond of the figure 8 coming off & on,which the doc told me does no good anyways.

    Ah yes, all those things we normally do and take for granted become such chores when we can only use one hand. Sprinkled throughout the comments are ideas from people that have suffered as you are doing. Some quick suggestions are to have someone else help with the washing and/or learn the single hand washing technique.
    Also, it’s good to take off the figure-8 now and then. I would do so when showering. And your doc’s comment about the figure-8 is common. You can take a hand full of doctors and ask them about the figure-8 and they will each have their own opinion. Some pro, some con, and some indifferent. My opinion is that it helped for my recovery. And if it is used properly it helps to support and maintain posture. Both important while recovering.

  88. Stuipd Knievel

    Hi All,
    WOW, what a common injury! This thread is a great way to bide my time (and learn how to type left-handed), now that all I can do is sit around and try to heal all day.
    I was out biking on UW campus yesterday, you know, “just riding along”, when, “out of the blue” came a 3-4′ staircase ahead of me! I had just put new tires (Maxxis 2.5″ Hookworms) on my bike (’07 Kona Stinky); and was digging the new lack of rolling resistance (compared to my old DH tires). I ended up launching into a series of staircases way too fast for comfort.
    Landing the third drop, my front end got squirrely and I flew over my handlebar at a pretty good clip. The only things I recall hitting the ground were my head and shoulder. My head hit very hard – the right side of my helmet was crushed. At first, I thought that was what made the crunching sound. After getting up and assuring bystanders that I was OK, I started graying out.
    I called my girlfriend (luckily working only a few blocks away) and askked her to take me to urgent care. Fun drive. Madison’s streets look more like gravel pits than roads!
    Got to the clinic and had lots of fun x-rays taken. My favorite was when I got to hold hand weights and stand still for a long time… then pass out, head-first into the x-ray mschine! Good times, good times.
    X-rays showed broken distal clavicle, no joint dislocation and some minor ligament damage. My fig. 8 and sling seem to be holding things in place (with great pain). Oh well, lots of concentration on posture and a little percocet should have things re-aligned soon. I see an orthopod in ~a week, hopefully with good news!
    Thanks for all the great info/reading material, everybody! Keep healing!

  89. Nick

    I’m 14 and I broke the far end off mine so the AC joint is messed up. I just broke it a week ago and the doctor said that the piece I broke off will stay up on my shoulder and will just cling on uo there but it won’t cause any problems. the doctor on the night of my break said in the 27 years he has been working for Kaiser he has never seen a break like this!

  90. Edith

    I broke my right clavical and 5 ribs on April 15 in fall from a cantering horse. Was told to wear the figure 8 or arm sling mostly for comfort. Pain is more constant ache than excruiciating. Went from one week of prescription pain killers to advil only. Had x rays at two weeks and 6 weeks. I was told good news, bones haven’t moved; bad news no bone growth yet. That is making me crazy. I’m 61 and am concerned if it will ever grow back. I started PT and am not doing bad. Have decent range of motion. Moving arm straight to the left is the most difficult. I’ve been concerned if I do too much, but was told if I can (based on pain) it is OK to do. Had no strength initially, couldn’t even carry a grocery bag, but that is better, have been able dig and plant and weed this week. Pool is open now, so doing water exercises also. I don’t understand if bone isn’t growing, how I’m getting stronger. Had bone density test few years back and all was great, now wonder if it should be redone. Anyone older out there? I’m at 8 weeks this week. Was told initially it would be 12 weeks, but that was before no bone growth at 6 weeks; and they won’t x-ray again till 12 weeks. What helps the bone to grown?? Was told bone stimulator might help, but insurance won’t cover till 12 weeks. Also told that rod insertion I’ve read about won’t help bone growth and that I don’t need surgery. Was broken in two places with a chip or split in the middle. I have 8 grandkids and I pick them up with my other arm, but get concerned if I’m doing any damage as I sometimes feel a strain. Anyone with comments on older bones healing and time frame?

  91. harrison

    I was charged and heading for the track for a run and as usual i like to warm-up by riding my bike to the track..i decided to take another road that trails to a ravine and then gets back on my usual direction,well i didnt make it down the decline as i had hoped,i took it a little fast and hit rocks..i flew into the air and landed about 3 meters down the jagged hill.first landing on my left arm(broken!)and then on my left collar bone(broken!)my knees,my ankles,were hit hard but saved(thank god!!)i let out such a cry that people along the ravine walking their dogs or out for their mid-summer evening strolls came from all directions.An ambulance came and picked me up and brought me to emergency..i live in Athens Greece and its a long weekend here so most docs are on a mini vacation,the hospital was full of accident victims due to either motorcycles or automobiles..i will leave out the details of the horrors i witnessed,which made me feel guilty for my place in the ER corridor;i just remember the smell.I kept on thinking that it will all be over soon and my healing process will begin(very bad experience)im taking anti-inflamitory meds which dont help for the pain-im suffering an irritating sharp pain that gets numb and then kicks back in again.Im concious of my water intake and eating right-no coffee or alcohol,though the urge to drink is high im being good(strange)but i want to heal as fats as possible!reading a good amount of stories on this very informative website has given me encouragment on my next 6 weeks of character building. im 37 and in fairly good condition so i think i’ll be ready in 6 weeks.Unfortunatly im also a hairdresser and owner of my hair salon,so this bad but i got good supporters and my clients love me and im confident that they can wait..it happened yesterday

  92. james

    I am james and i am 10 i broke my left collar bone going down a hill i pulled my front brake after that i couldnt remember much a neighbour came out and asked where due live and up the road so her husbund ran up the hill to get my mum and dad they came down and then the woman called the ambulance they gave me gas and air but i didnt like it because i had pins and neddles but then i got to the hospital and they put me in a sling after that i had an x-ray they said i had fractured my collar bone in two places i could go home they gave me pain killers and said to come back in a week im on my second day now and ive still got terrible pain in my shoulder ive got a stronger sling with more support.

    Ouch! Sounds like a nasty crash. Luckily, you are young and should heal soon. Just be sure to listen to your doctor. Try not to move your arm and shoulder too much so that the bones have a chance to mend. Good luck and heal fast.

  93. Jamie Wall

    Hey thanks for the good stories i just broke my clavicle on the 8th in a motocross race accident that shot me at 30km/h into the ground left shoulder first i didn’t even realize it was broken until i jumped up from the ground and went to pick up my bike. it was alot harder then usual lol i didn’t get last either i got third last whoo lmao
    my question is what are some suggestions for the rubbing and chaffing from the sling and figure 8 brace?

    With the sling and figure-8 I had I found the rubbing was caused by two things:
    1. Not being adjusted properly (usually too tight)
    2. The cheap narrow straps they use.
    I solved the rubbing my having someone adjust the straps until it was snug but not too tight. I also found some spare foam padding and placed that between the strap and my shoulder. Duct tape the foam around the strap to hold it in place. A piece of foam pipe insulation also works well.

  94. wayne chappell

    i was nocked of my push bike on the 7th may by a car i broke my ankle, fractured 2 ribs and broke my clavicle i was in hospital for 10 days that was 6 weeks ago my ankle doesent realy hurt but my shoulder kills and being in a wheelchair dont help.hope this int going to go on for much longer ham bored out my head.cant do much for my self at the moment but its good to no were not alone.

  95. wollfie

    I just want to know the best sleeping position for a broken rib as I can not lie down without intense pain as such that I can not breathe and feel as if I am going to pass out. Sitting is not much better either. Not slept for two nights and my doctor has no advice, asshole.

    I’ve not had a broken rib myself, only the busted collar bone. Have your tried sleeping in a big recliner/easy chair? That’s what some folks have found helps them sleep better than lying flat in bed or seated straight up. If you don’t have a recliner you can fashion one out of a bunch of pillows on one end of a couch.

  96. Rosemary

    I feel alot better now after reading everybodys experiences. I was involved in a bad car accident May 3, 2008, which caused my collar bone to break. The ER docs told me it was no big deal (I was in crazy pain) and told me to keep the figure 8 brace on for 6 weeks. I’m going into my 5th week now and I am going to see my ortho. for the second time. I hope he gives me good news. Is it normal to feel really itchy in and around the area of the broken bone? I took off my figure 8 brace 1 week 1/2 ago because I honestly could not deal with it anymore, it was so uncomfortable and it was digging into my skin. I also took off the sling at the same time because I was starting to get frozen shoulder. Instead I opted for a full upper body brace, it is much more comfortable. It does the same thing the figure 8 brace does (has thick straps to keep your shoulders back) but it also gives you back and tummy support. Do people feel more pain if the bones are not healing or coming together? After two weeks my pain went away & I was able to lay down and sleep normally. Now I started feeling a little bit of pain on Sunday and have a meduim size lump on my shoulder is this normal?

  97. Nancy

    Thank you for your response so quickly. How, on your website, can I get through all the blogs more rapidly, in order to get to my responses?
    My doc is very laisse-faire, and I should probably go for 2nd opinion. It’s almost 4 wks now and I am so tired of being slingged up.
    Thank you so much for getting back to me.
    I do have to add: I have this tendency at night to somehow take my arm out of the sling. Last night I woke up with my elbows above my head and in pain. I’ll have to research this clavicle thing. Seriously, I’m happy to be alive and with my new dog.

  98. Nancy

    I am so glad I found this site. I was on meds for accute bronc and sinus. Didn’t know I was allergic until I was going down the stairs and blacked out. Took a big tumble, neighbors thought it was a herd of elephants. Fotunately I have a roomate that helped me. I figured I had simply dislocated my shoulder so I had her pull on my arm while I pushed back the shoulder. Probably not the best idea. (I have a really high tolerance to pain. As a kid I could get a cavity filled without the novacain.) Next thing I know I’m in shock, in an ambulance and in ER, still in shock. I have very low blood pressure. I was off work for one week, now back in limited duties. I’m wearing the sling. The brusing was incredible. My shoulder is 2″ shorter which is worrisome. My doctor doesn’t want to see me until after 6wks. He took a look at the Xrays and said I had broken “the big bone”. What does that mean?
    Anyway, I’m 58 and 5 days before this accident I got a new dog.
    Playing with her, exercising her, out of the question. I just hope she doesn’t atrophy like me.
    Any advice out there?

    I’m not sure which bone your doctor indicates you have broken. It’s possible it’s the clavicle. I recommend that you ask your doctor for more specific information and/or go get a second doctor’s opinion. Being a well informed patient is important.

  99. Patrick Winter

    Hi to all victims of collar bone injuries.
    Broke mine on Thursday when cycling home. Was on an off road section at the time, hit a bump and went flying. Landed on my shoulder and felt a sickening but not unfamiliar crunch as I broke my collar bone as a child playing rugby.
    Managed to get the remaining 5 miles home with difficulty and then taxied to A and E. Six hours later at 3am discharged from hopital with an adjustable sling and 2 different types of painkiller.
    Had 2 glasses of wine and then an uncomfortable sleep.
    Uncertain of the prognosis but am hoping for uncomplicated recovery. My main ‘sport’ is rock climbing so this will be compromised for ome time and I have had to cancel a holiday to the Dolomites. Getting used to doing as much as poss with my left arm.

  100. peter

    hi i am 43 went over handle bars on a dark 4.30am december morning broke my clavicle that was 17 moutths ago i am now waiting for an opp as i am still in a lot of pain cant wait for a good night sleep

  101. marian

    loved finding these stories and experiences! broke my clavicle, ribs, sternum, other wrist and hand after my young horse exploded a week ago. my clav required surgery and plates and cable to hold it together. im at home learning to shower, dress, type, etc with two useless hands. feel like one of those national geo great apes tapping out emails with a pencil. buying a wedge pillow helped a lot.

  102. Colleen Pope

    Hey Hannah, thanks for the well wishes. You’re making me feel a little better since I’ve only invested 9 months so far and you’re almost 2 years! I enjoyed your post….gave me a few laughs that only someone in our position can understand, being broken and female! (I’ve already made sure I have a strapless bras in my collection…LOL)
    I got a call from my doctor this past week and my surgery has been rescheduled from August 21st to June 5th, less than 3 weeks away. I’m pretty nervous about it. Will mess up my summer, no cycling, no motorcycling and definitely no dirt biking. But I will be glad to get it fixed. At least the weather will be warm enough to just wear tank tops and catch a few rays od sunshine in the backyard while I’m off work!
    My doctor mentioned the risk of nerve damage with this surgery which scares me. Hannah, you mentioned nerve damage in your shoulder…is that from the surgery or just from the injury itself? I’m worried about nerve damage affecting the use of my arm. Will it prevent you from doing anything? My doctor told me they know where all the nerves are, but he still had to let me know of the risk of damage. You mentioned a bone graft as well…did they take it from your hip? Sorry for all the questions….I may be 38, but I’ve never had surgery before and getting older is hard enough without these extra hurdles! πŸ™‚
    Talk to you all soon!

  103. Hannah

    Hi everyone, and Colleen Pope, I really feel for you, I do, good luck with your surgery. This site is fantastic, a real find for me, and I have been researching this kind of injury for nearly two years now, looking for information.
    My collarbone injury has been a nightmare, I am sure some of you have had similar experiences, I was 15 when I broke it, and therefore my course of healing may sound surprising, I am now 17 and it is an ongoing process.
    I am now post-op 12 days. I broke my left collarbone on May 29th 2006, along with my upper left arm, shoulder blade, 2 ribs and a toe. All I did was fall down my kitchen step, but fell hard, the most stupid accident of my life. Being in England, I am reliant on the NHS and slow, when describing them, is not the word.
    I, like you all found the pain excruciating and did faint, twice, quite funny in retrospect, I was told I had broken it badly. Two places and the part in the middle fell out, not so good, so I was given the collar and cuff sling, paracetamol and told to go home. I experienced the lovely and rather sexy yellow bruising many of you have also had, and it does go away quickly.
    Considering the sling I am currently wearing, I would recommend anyone in this position ask for a Lancaster sling which supports the arm, due to the damage done to my neck by the collar and cuff sling. Also, I would recommend if you have accompanying injuries to take some stronger pain killers, such as the ibuprofen and coedine, their strength allows for good rest.
    I went back to the hospital for x-rays every 4 and then 6 weeks, and it was not healing and the pain was not reducing, so they waited and waited, obviously cautious because of my age. I should have healed being so young, they didn’t want to do surgery on someone so young and also they were concerned I had not stopped growing.
    So, waited and waited until October ’06, and they said I had healed, despite the pain, great! So, I went into physiotherapy and hydrotherapy to try and get back my movement which was at 30% and to try and reset my shoulder blade.
    May I ask, has anyone else encountered issues with their shoulder blades moving to the wrong position, sticking out, a lot, and causing considerable pain?
    So, physiotherapy I did, but in January, with very little change to my movement ability, they said they didn’t think my shoulder had healed, so I went back to the doctor. He said it was healed, and I then embarked upon a series of tests to establish the cause of pain:
    – Nerve conduction studies to see whether there had been an injury to the brachial plexus – very funny test due to the electrical pulses, but no injury
    – CT scans which said my collarbone was broken
    – Nuclear bone scans in which they inject you with the radiation, which said the bone had healed
    So, after no conclusive decision over my collarbone, I was transferred to another doctor, who had more experience, another piece of advice, be persistent to get appointments with the correct doctor.
    In October ’07 I was told my collarbone was broken and like Colleen Pope I would need surgery with the metal plate and bone graft. Then I waited and waited.
    May 6th 2008 I had the surgery, only for them to find I have a healed collarbone, although they did clean up the area a little, and have been told I am susceptible to overlapping in the future. Only problem, huge scar, which I don’t mind, why is it that the doctors are more concerned about the scarring than the patients? And, the recovery is almost the same as if I had the metal plate, sling and all.
    Also, if the pain does not subside, and the physiotherapy does not succeed in stabilising and re-setting my shoulder and shoulder blade in particular then my doctor says we may need to look into setting my shoulder surgically. So, fingers crossed for the physiotherapists. I start physio tomorrow.
    In terms of nerve damage, has anyone else got considerable nerve damage on the back of their shoulder? And, does anyone have nerve damage around the surgery site from the collarbone surgery? I do suffer with this problem and I recognise there really isn’t a cure, but it is the most unusual sensation!
    I sympathise with what people have said about the boredom and contempt you develop for your sling. I am already experiencing that after 12 days, although I can promise it gets better, after having been stuck in one for 6 months! In concerns to your other shoulder, if you would like to maintain a reasonably normal appearance, do not carry heavy weights on the other shoulder for a couple of months to prevent sloping shoulders, which I now have! If possible, try and keep your neck mobile during the recovery too, I was advised not to and consequently suffer with shortened nerves and muscles in the left side of my neck, nothing horrific, but irritating nonetheless.
    I really do wish everyone the best of luck with their injuries. I once read that apparently injuries to the collarbone constitute every 1 in one thousand injuries, and of all of the breaks, between 0.2 and 1% of people continue to have problems and non-union, so the odds are very good for everyone.
    Some advice I have learned along the way:
    – for women, the “pit of despair” issue can be partially overcome with hair removal cream
    – getting dressed is a slow issue, and you have to learn with time
    – bras for women

  104. Astro

    Dear all,
    I can’t say how reassuring it was to read this blog and find others had the same insecurities and worries as me. As a dr, it was also interesting to see the variety of treatments around the world (Im in Australia). Here the figure of 8 is out, broad arm slings are in, calcium supplements aren’t recommended and there is a growing trend to operate for clavicle fractures (although the majority of orthopods still go for conservative treatment). Exceptions: those who don’t want a lump, those who have badly displaced and comminuted fractures, those with nerve or blood vessel damage, and those who have had non-union after failed sling therapy. Also interesting that the view that anti-inflammatory drugs may hinder the chance of union is still in the minority here, and bone stimulators are last resort with no proven benefit!
    Im one of the lucky ones who has healed (mostly) by the sling method. 32 yrs old, male, non-smoker, not as fit or active as most of the bloggers here! For those interested, a summary of my progress:
    Week 1 – bicycle accident on tram tracks. also fractured my head of radius (elbow). Luckily it was close to my home hospital so got fast treatment in the ED. Heaps of pain despite sling. Went to see a private orthopod the next day – looked at the xrays and said “if it was my clavicle, I wouldnt let anyone operate on it” – quoted me similar non-union figures if he operated vs not, plus other complications of wound/ bone infection, anaesthetic risks. Only quoted benefit of surgery was earlier return to work – 2 weeks vs. 2 months for sling
    Get a good quality sling. Makes all the difference for pain. Dont know if surgeon was more reluctant to operate bc I was a dr too
    The worst pain is only for about 5 days.. focus on this!
    You’ll need help dressing and showering for at least the first few days
    Week 2 – Can finally sleep through the night without waking up in pain. Sneezing, coughing, walking, changing position still pretty painful. Can finally dress and shower myself!
    Lots of baggy T-shirts/ jumpers – easiest to get in and out of.
    Get a long-handled scrubber to help reach your bad arm and behind in the shower
    Long walks were the only real exercise I could do without pain. Don’t push it!
    Week 3 – Very little progress. Slight improvement in pain with position/ sneezing. Could use my hand and forearm a bit (in the sling). Tiny amount of arm movement, but definitely not forward! Got lots of crunching and pain if I did this. This is the danger time for panic/ depression that things aren’t healing. I did notice however that now that the swelling has subsided I can feel a big lumpy bone callous starting to form at the fracture site – thank goodness! Is still tender to touch, but I notice when there’s a little movement of the outer fragment, the inner fragment moves with it instead of independantly – so I guess must be at least sticking together a little bit!
    Advice: Have faith, do hand/ forearm physio within your limits. No surgeon will operate on you now anyway, they want you to give the sling at least 2 months of a go
    Week 4 – Back at work with light duties. Slightly more movement. Still can’t bring my arm up anywhere near past my shoulder! But breakthrough near the end of week 4 though – was able to bring my arm up slightly without crunching – yay!
    Advice: Hardest thing to do now is restrain yourself from doing too much. Re-fractures are a real possibility if you fall or wrench your arm at this stage. Had a couple of close calls climbing into the shower and aggressively trying to dress myself
    Am now at week 5 and can type this (was only going to do it if I had 2 hands!). Good luck to everyone, the best you can do is keep yourself immobilised, eat and rest well, and be as patient as you can.

  105. Irina

    Oh I am so glad I am not alone~!At all. Misery loves company and knowing Im not the only clavicle cripple.Just another story.2008 has caught me in a sling and typing one handed.Iam 15 years old and on Jan 19 I broke my left clavicle being side swept by a moving car. The pain was excruciating as I ventured into the land of one arm showering,useing, and living.Everything had healed until April 25 when mother luck had me be karate chopped in the same place.Once again im in a sling trying to heal. I know the tricks of the trade but am fully depressed.I need to be more immobile and careful because surgery is a looming option.Ijust want to heal because its worse on my mother then me.Just another story as my arm numbs and bone tingles. Best of health to all.

  106. Kristen

    My fiancee just broke his collarbone horsing around with the guys this past Saturday… exactly 6 weeks before our wedding day! Your story, as well as our emergency room doctor’s estimate that it will take 2-3 weeks before the pain is completely gone and 6 weeks in total to fully recover, makes me feel relieved that he should, with rest of the area, be able to fully enjoy the wedding.
    Oh… the timing!

  107. Ace

    I broke my collarbone around five weeks ago as of last Wednesday. I’m 15, and I was playing softball for my high school varsity team…my slide into second base didn’t go too well…yeah, that was a lot of fun. I hated the pain medicine, though…it was my first broken bone, too, so I didn’t know what to expect. I was euphoric all the time, and still went to school the day after the incident. Everyone told me to go home. I did around noon. Fortunately, I was off the pain meds in a week.

  108. Colleen Pope

    Hello all, I’m back again.
    Had my 9 month checkup yesterday with the ortho…still no sign of healing and the doc can still feel the bone moving. I can actually move the bone myself. 3 months of vitamin D & calcium didn’t work. I go tomorrow to fill out the paperwork for surgery in August, earlier if he has a cancellation. Will involve cleaning up the area, taking a bone graft from my pelvis and securing it with plate and screws. Overnight in the hospital, 3 weeks in a sling and 3 months total recovery. Plate removal in 18 months to 2 years. Never had surgery before so I’m pretty nervous, but am looking forward to be fixed finally! Doc is really nice and seems more concerned than I am about leaving a minimal scar.
    Good luck to all out there. I will post more around surgery time.

  109. Marcello D

    Hi Vera, the fact that your clavicle feels straight laying down and not when you are up it’s perfectly normal (happens to me still after 5 weeks from the accident but not as much ). As for how your clavicle will look like it depends on where the site of the fracture is on the bone, but generally you will have a bump there.
    Hope you recover fast.

  110. Vera M

    I have a wedding coming up and Im realy worried about how my clavicle gona look. the wed is in about 4 months.
    On my first xray my bones were like 0.5″-1″ apart. Its been 2 weeks since i “last” broke it, when i lay down they feel streight or normal but once i get up my clavicle goes up and doesnt feel streight anymore… is that normal? Does eveyone experience this? and will laying down help it heal more streight?
    And if anyone can send me pictures of how it looks like after its healed would be very nice. I wana have at least some idea what im gona look like in a wedding dress. Thank you much to all.
    my email is pashas_love@yahoo.com

  111. Vera M

    Hey everyone, first of all its nice to know that im not the only one! YES I broke my left clavicle too, fell off a bike shoulder down and that was on my trip to Europe (that was my best vacation ever…not) doctors over there are definetly dumb they wanted to do a surgery and then put a cast on, I almost went for it, if not for my sweet boyfriend who said no i should wait till i come to America and see what these docs have to say. So two weeks later when i came back here suprisingly in my situation a surgery is definetly unnecessary… when i asked about a cast the nurse and the doctor gave me this look i still feel stupid 1 week later. So how did it feel? OMG like worst than anything i ever felt. I did brake my arm years ago but the pain was not even close to this. So right when i just broke my cousin takes me to some retired old guy who used to be a chiropractic, ok so the pain is so bad im like almost fainting and thats if you dont even try touching the bone, so then that old guy tried to push my bone back in I thought i was gone die literaly. Then he tells me its broken I should go to the hospital. In there they put on these FAT rings on my shoulder kinda like figure 8 thing but like 10 times more uncomfortable my arms were blue and swollen cause of no blood circulation, I’d pick up my arms a lil when they felt like they were dead and so the blood would flow in, very unpleasent and painfull too. And then i broke it 3 more times, well it started healing and id brake it off again, three times man that would make me so sad. So now its been almost 2 weeks where I didnt brake it anymore. I think its healing ok. I do try to move as lil as possible, the thought of braking it again is making me lay still for days. Putting on clothes is definetly a problem, but i did find that botton up shirts are way easier to deal with. So maybe another week in bed and im done?
    YES THIS IS NOT FUN! awfully painful and very uncomfortable to lay on your back at all times. BUT hey its better than having your neck or spine broken. right?
    I wish you all the least pain and a fast recovery.

  112. Evan

    Hey guys!
    I just broke my left clavicle this afternoon after being thrown shoulder first into the ground during Judo practice. At first it didn’t feel too bad but as time went on the more it hurt. A classmate wheelchaired me over to my University’s version of an ER and I had three hours of fun. The worst part so far was removing my uniform to x-ray the shoulder. Wow… the x-ray showed a spectacular separation of my collar bone in the vertical direction! I was told by a GP that it would reconnect with a curve in my bone but it would be as strong as ever. They did the whole vicodin, sling, and 8-brace thing then off to home I go! About to take my first anti-inflammatory ibuprofen (those are big pills!) pop some more vicodin and hit the hay. I’m getting pretty good at typing with just my right hand, and will have to get better for upcoming reports. Wish I could take some time off, but that will have to wait until after finals. Thanks for the pillow idea to help me sleep! I’m sure I’ll need it. Wish me luck and good luck to all of you!
    And so begins week 1!!!

  113. Zachary A.

    Well, “Spring Break 2008” for me ended up just as the name implies. On the night of 3/27/08, I struck a curb on my mountain bike, traveling at 26mph. Rider error(using very dim headlight) was the 100% avoidable cause of my most nastiest crash to date. I suffered a clean break of my left clavicle, at mid-shaft. Endorphins enabled me to ride the remaining 13 miles back home. The next morning, there was no mistaking I looked just like Quasimodo- after a night of hard drinking!!!
    After realising I am stuck without anything to do for at least 2-3 weeks…..I often logged 16-18 hour days of pure, restful sleep. I think- at age 44…..this really helped with pain reduction and feeling a more solidness in the break area, just after two weeks. BTW….apples are an excellent natural source of Boron, which aids in assimilation of calcium supplements.
    Hans, did you ever imagine this site you launched, would ever bring SO MANY people together? I also had my share of initial worries, but thanks to your site- I am now ready to re-enter the realm of ordinary(two-handed) life once again. Remember, bones do heal….for mine was a wake-up call for me to re-prioritize my real objectives, and snap out of a rut of complacency I didn’t realize I was heading towards. In life- EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON. At least I have a sexy new bump to prove it all now!!!

    I never thought broken collar bones would be so popular. Really glad this site has helped people with their recovery.

  114. Julie

    Getting an x-ray for what I thought was shoulder pain due to an old softball injury, I’ve just been told I have a fractured clavicle, but I haven’t had any kind of accident or trauma — just chronic shoulder pain for a couple of months (due, I thought, to that old softball injury). Anyone have ideas about how a clavicle can break without a person realizing it?
    I don’t see the orthopod for 10 days, and the sling causes more pain than just keeping my shoulder up on my own . . . .

    It’s hard to imagine a bone breaking without realizing something had happened. Maybe it was broken when you were very young and never healed.

  115. Todd

    There were still a lot of things I wanted to do before I turned 40 this summer…having a distal clavicle fracture of my left shoulder (my dominant side)was definitely not one of them.
    There was little displacement. A week after the fall my ortho had me doing pendulum movements with my arm. April 15 is the 3 week mark and I also get my 2nd set of x-rays done. The results from that will determine how soon my physio begins. I’m a little anxious about that. A big challenge for me is rest vs. mobilization – How much is too much?

    Hopefully your follow up x-rays have shown healing. How much is too much is a common but tricky question. One rule-of-thumb doctors often give is to use pain as your guide. If you are doing something that starts to hurt, stop doing it or back off the effort. But movement is a good thing for the joints to help prevent atrophy. The pendulum exercise is a good shoulder rehab. Good luck on your recovery.

  116. alan atkinson

    60 years old, mid-life crisis, Kawasaki zzr 600 sport bike accident, left clavical broken, into day 100 with non-union, using EBI bone stimulator for the next 60 days. still wear figure 8, still in pain taking oxyecotin, active exercise and work. any experiences with EBI unit?

    A midlife crisis at 60? Nice! :’) No experience myself using a bone stimulator. But others have reported success.

  117. Ben

    I am 15. I broke my left clavicle 2 days ago as I had a hard fall when I tripped over whilst running. I actually went home and slept on it. In the morning the pain was so unbearable that I went to hospital. My Spring break had only just begun, but now it’s as good as over πŸ™ I love the story and I feel for all you other victims out there! This site has had tremendous response and reading it added to my current agenda of watching films! When should I expect to be able to go out again?

    Lucky for you that you are young. Generally the younger you are the quicker you heal. But it’s impossible to say when you can go out again. That really can only be determined by your doctor. Each person’s injury is unique. Give yourself time to heal and listen to your doc. Hopefully you will be out sooner rather than later.

  118. Mark B

    Colleen, did your doc mention anything about trying a bone stimulator? I’ve heard mixed reviews (didn’t work for me), but if you have good health insurance, it may be worth a try. Maybe it will give the healing process a kick in the butt and get it going quicker. I think after my insurance paid it’s part, I was left with 200 bucks out-of-pocket for the bone stimulator. Even though it didn’t work for me, it was worth the try. Also, I’m not a good case study on the effectiveness of the bone stim because, as I may have mentioned previously (can’t remember), the location of this fracture was about 1cm from another fracture 8 months prior. I tend to think that, while we thought that previous fracture was healed (and it was visually by x-ray), it was still forming bone, and, thus, the fresh fracture probably never had a chance to really get the healing process going. That’s just my theory. I’m fortunate that, even though I still have a broken collarbone, I hardly ever have any pain anymore and there is nothing that it prevents me from doing on the bike. So, I’m in no hurry to have surgery at this point. I know I will likely want/need to have surgery in the future, but to do it now and blow my summer is not on the agenda.
    Good luck to you!

  119. zoltan

    I was pleased to be able to read all of your stories,and I to am one of the lucky people who has broken my right collar bone.I did mine out in the desert spectating a friend racing his quad.The nasty dessert cross wind sent me for a trip off the side of a razor back in the dunes.I,m in week 1 fending for myself and all this info is most helpful.I passed the magic number of 40 last year so Im expecting this to be quite a task to recover. Thank you all Zoltan

  120. Robert Kunicki

    I posted earlier about my kiteboarding accident and the ensuing operation to plate my clavicle. The doc scheduled physical therapy (another name for pain and torture) only 7 days after surgery. That evening I felt a lot of pain in the shoulder plus a clicking that kept getting worse. Back to the doc, who after examining the xrays said “I” overdid it and the plate has come loose on one side. Now it is a race to see if the bone heals before the plate moves farther. Back to surgery if that is the case. As it is, the plate is pushing the skin up a bit. I was instructed to limit movement so back into a sling for another 4 weeks.

  121. Steve Dintino

    I was horseback riding for the second time in my life. The horse started running uncontrollably. I bailed, and landed on my shoulder and hip. I am in Week 5 of my broken Clavicle. The doctor said I can stop wearing the brace and sling now. I am keeping the figure 8 brace on until the 6 week anniversery of my accident. My orhtopedic always seems to be in a rush when he sees me. I advise people to have all their questions written down before they visit the doctor for their checkups. My next visit is in two weeks, and I will be asking him about the rehab process. I look forward to being completely healed so I can play ice hockey again.

  122. Colleen Pope

    Hey Mark B,
    It sounds like you are 3 months ahead of me, but no further ahead of me as far as healing goes. My break was in August 2007 and there has been no sign of healing for me either. Some days it hurts a lot, but most days it’s just uncomfortable. I have to be careful how I use my arm, certain movements, especially sudden ones, can be painful. I’ve been diligently taking Vit D & Calcium 3X a day, but it doesn’t feel like it’s getting any better. My husband and friends are pressuring me to go get the surgery done now, but I’d like to wait until summer is over (and it hasn’t even begun yet). Since I’m not completely useless, I’d like to have a chance to be a little active in the summer before I have to recover from a surgery. I go back on May 7th for more x-rays and the doc says he’ll do the surgery if there is no more progress. He says this will involve taking bone from my pelvis to fix it. Kinda scared about the whole thing, but this has just been going on for too long now. I want to be back to normal. I can imagine how you are feeling after almost a year! Good luck!

  123. stevieboy

    hey guys, am from liverpool and made up i found this site. broke my left clav on thursday plying rugby. am at the start of the recovery and would appreciate the support. am pissed and on pain killers at the mo so frgive my typing. x

    Tough luck there. Sorry to hear about it. You’re not alone. There’s been a bunch of posts from other rugby players. Let yourself heal and you should be back on the field in no time. Now is the time to work the sympathy angle with the girls. Cheers!

  124. Kathy

    Hi all,
    Currently in day 3 of hell! Broke my clavical body surfing on the weekend, came down fast straight into a sand bar. Ouch! Thought it was just soft tissue damage till i nearly fainted from the pain getting up the next day. My sling is killing me, sucks that it sits right over the most painful part. All set and ready for a DVD and book day with a collection of painkillers and food at my side! So hard to hold it in a good position and not crouch but im doing my best!!

  125. MarkB

    Susan, I know this is a rather delayed response, but I thought I would reply just in case you check back and are still living with a broken collarbone. I used the bone stim for about 11 weeks total (with a few weeks break after the first 6 weeks). It didn’t help the bone heal. I’m coming up (in May) on one year since I broke my collarbone and the x-ray still shows a clear break, yet I do not have much discomfort unless I try to lift something or move my arm in a certain way. The doc that said he would just remove the bone now says he would just leave it alone unless it starts bothering me or limiting me. Well, it doesn’t bother me much now, but does limit me. I can’t backpack with a heavy pack, I can’t lift weights unless they are really light, I can’t do a full pushup, etc, etc. So, now I’m at a loss as to what to do. I don’t particularly want a piece of my collarbone removed. I guess I need to try to get another doctor’s opinion, but, man that is such a crap shoot. So, after almost a year, my problem isn’t solved yet and now I’m on the verge of needing to get new health insurance. Can you say “pre-existing condition”? That means no coverage. Great.

  126. Robert Kunicki

    I just joined the ranks of the broken collar bones a couple weeks ago. I was kiteboarding and during the launch the kite lifted me off the ground and then threw me hard onto my left shoulder. I drove myself to the er knowing something was definitely wrong with the shoulder. They did their normal stuff and sent me home with a recommendation to see a orthopedic surgeon. Three days later I was waking up in recovery after getting a plate and seven screws in my clavicle. That night had to be one of the worst nights ever. I would wake up every 10 minutes thinking it had been 4 hours and time for more pain medicine.
    The good news about having a plate is the bone will heal straight and recovery time is much less. two weeks after surgery I can lift my arm straight above my head and I have almost complete range of motion (with a little pain). Tomorrow is my first day of physical therapy. Hope to be kiting and golfing in the next 3-4 weeks.
    Always remember pain is temporary and bones will mend.

  127. Samantha

    Can you share your opinions on the best/most comfortable sling you’ve used?
    My poor boyfriend has separated his shoulder severly and fractured his scapula (it was quite a motorcycle wreck.) Although the injury is different from the collarbone, he also was sent home with the emergency room sling. It is biting into his opposite shoulder and his hand/arm slides back as he wears it.
    Any opinions would be welcomed.

    If you search online for slings you will find a wide variety of styles. There are some with wider straps which help with the biting issue. And some have an arm immobilizer that holds the arm against the body so it doesn’t move forward or backward.
    A simple and quick solution for the strap “biting” is to use a small towel as a pad between the strap and the shoulder. Wrap the towel around the strap. Secure the towel by wrapping with some duct tape or some other material.

  128. Brian Leach

    I have an undisplaced fracture of the right collarbone. This is my third week of suffering, however I feel my wife is suffering more being ever concerned over my wellbeing. At 66 years of age and 18 months into retirement I have, since retirement, joined the “stay stronger live longer” brigade by doing weight lifting at the local gym. This is to strengthen bones and prevent or reduce osteoporosis. When I started weight training I weighed 58 kilos and being 5 ft 11 inches I looked somewhat undernourished. This was due to a daily exercise program for the last 28 years of running (well running initially, jogging is a more apt term for today’s pace). Well weight training particularly upper body produced remarkable results and I have increased my weight to 68 kilos, which is mainly muscle gain. It was this dramatic body image change that caused me to become too intense with my weight training regime. Using heavier weights was the goal, which led to my fracture. I used a number of weight machines for 12 reps and 5 sets per gym visit. At the time I was using the chest press machine. I assume that the fracture was caused by some intitial damaged to the ligaments of the shoulder which caused the shoulder to become misaligned and put pressure on the clavicle causing the fracture. I only wished I stopped when I first felt discomfort in the shoulder. Although it is an undisplaced fracture I have quite a large swelling over the injured area and the clavicle does appear to be more pronounced than it was before. I am receiving physiotherapy, passing a pulsating electric current through the injured area and induction heat treatment. I am told this increases bone growth and speeds recovery. I have been given simple exercises to do, one of which is “climbing the wall” which entails placing your hands against the wall and using your fingers like a spider, crawl up the wall. I am able to fully extend my arm upwards, its comparatively easy going up but coming down really hurts. I tried jogging at the beginning of the third week but it’s too much jarring on the shoulder. I feel that attempt has put me back a little. Driving is OK although the seat belt (right hand drive car) pressed right on the injured area. My solution was to place a towel between the seat belt and shoulder, until the son-in-law showed me that modern cars have adjustable seat belt anchor points and adjusted it so that the seat belt cleared the injured area.
    I have read many of the preceding entries and shall continue until the end. I have already got the message that it takes time and that the healing process is dependent on age and fitness. One point in my favour one point against. Next week I having a bone density test because osteoporosis can affect men as well as women.

  129. Jeff

    Broke my right clavicle very near the shoulder socket on January 13, 2008, and also tore two ligaments that run from the clavicle to the shoulder blade. I had surgery 5 days later and the Dr. put an anchor in my clavicle, another in my shoulder blade, and heavy sutures between the two. This pinned the ligaments back in place and also realigned the clavicle. I am now just over 6 weeks from surgery and have had 4 physical therapy sessions. I have regained nearly all of my range of motion already with my hand going over my head with no problem, and will move on to weights once the Dr. confirms that the fracture is healed up strongly. I am 30 yrs old and just wanted to pass along these results to show that it will get better as I know how rough it was in the first few weeks.

  130. Sonya

    i broke my collarbone 4 days ago…a snow tubing accident. I consider myself a tough cookie…4 lung surgeries, 2 appendix surgeries, but this dang clavicle is making me feel like a total baby…the pain is unbearable…worse than childbirth!

  131. muriel shani

    Dear Writers in pain,
    I got out of a taxi at the airport in Poland to fly back home to Israel- didnt see a post, did a summersault and cant remember anything until my husband picked me up- after getting an injection from a Polish doctor, flew home and went to bed- about four hours later- i screamed in pain. Went to the hospital thinking i will just get a sling- before i knew it, blood tests, ecg and up to the ward- shattered the shoulder bone-
    next day operation- two hours.In the end one long screw and three small screws accross.I have been going to Physio for ther last week- very sore- still cant lift my arm over my head, but i work, and do everything myself-but its very sore……………………….when do i go back to normal-? Driving is out of the question- but never thought of the drink that one of the people wrote- forgot to tell you i am 65 (never too late to go on the booze)Please comment—–MURIEL

  132. Land Leal

    Hi folks.
    Bras”lia (Brazil) is a wonderful place for biking, but I was reckcless & broke my right collarbone. (Oh, if I had just placed my hands on the ground first!). I’m beginning my fourth week into a plaster-figure-8 splint. I’ll have an X-ray check by week’s end. It looks the ancient figure 8 (Egiptian, Greek, Roman?) technique is still the best. I’m healing fine, even lifting my right arm (carefully) above shoulder, though I’m 63. Good luck & hugs (oops! ouch!). I mean: virtual hugs.
    Land Leal

  133. Land Leal

    Hi folks.
    Bras”lia (Brazil) is a wonderful place for biking, but I was reckcless & broke my right collarbone. (Oh, if I had just placed my hands on the ground first!). I’m beginning my fourth week into a plaster-figure-8 splint. I’ll have an X-ray check by week’s end. It looks the ancient figure 8 (Egiptian, Greek, Roman?) technique is still the best. I’m healing fine, even lifting my right arm (carefully) above shoulder, though I’m 63. Good luck & hugs (oops! ouch!). I mean: virtual hugs.
    Land Leal

  134. Leslie Mc

    On Feb 15th I broke my Clavicle on vacation in Jamaica. I slipped on the tile outside of my room and my shoulder hit the threshold, and the rest of my side hit more tile. The hotel called a native Dr. , he lifted my arm, or tried to and told me it was broke. I had to wait until the next day to get an xray. We took a Taxi to 3 places to find the right place, all had signs on the door saying to go to a different site, since it was Sat. They took an xray with a 1970s machine and put in in a sling and told me to just relax and take the codine they gave me…. which made me ill. Remember I am on a holiday on the beach… so I used the source available to me…Rum and pineapple juice. I spent the next 7 days in bad pain and then there was the flight home (8 hours and 3 plane changes were tough) My husband was now not happy I took so much luggage, as he had to handle it alone. I am going to the Dr. today but have to go to ER.. My husband was wonderful, he had to put on all my clothes and even pull up my swim suit, as that was impossible for me. The cold water of the pool and ocean helped a ton. Thanks for all the info here. Will get back to this and see what happens to me. I take care of my 6 year old grand daughter every afternoon and am to work on monday…(only mornings thank goodness) I correct high school papers and am 55. and is hard to type with one hand…I am sure it will slow my work down, the kids will be happy….

  135. Shannon Cooley

    i’m a 17 year old guy, and while i was snowboarding, i broke my clavicle on the left side. The break went all the way through the bone, and so i’m left with 2 main pieces and some smaller chips. The two pieces are overlapping by about an inch. this is where things get interesting. i went to an orthopedic surgeon to see what he thought would be the best course of action, and he said that there was no need to pin the bones or do any type of setting of the bones, which was suprising to me. he said that the bones will heal together, overlapping, and the end of the clavicle will grow outwards to restore the symmetry in length, and that this was possible due to the severance of the artery in the bone. i told him that i was especially worried about motion of the shoulder and such because i play baseball, and he said there was no need to worry about that because i would regain full motion. now i’m no expert, but it seems to me that if the bones aren’t set, then there’s no way that they can grow back in a way that gives me full range of motion. how is this possible that i can get full motion back without the bones being set? and what does the artery have to do with the bone growth outward. i understand the artery’s importance in healing the fusing the bone pieces together, but how can it cause the bone to grow outward?

    It’s possible there was some misunderstanding between you and your doctor. You might want to talk again with your doctor to clarify these issues. For example, “severance of the artery” would be a traumatic injury that would require immediate medical care. I think what your doctor might have meant was that the blood vessels within the region of the broken ends will help to start the healing process that can lead to new bone. See the “Bone Healing” section of the Wikipedia article:
    Normally broken collar bones are not “set”. The broken ends are sometimes able to find each other and begin fusing. Material may fill in a gap and also pull the ends together. But extending the two pieces back outward isn’t something I have heard about. It would be interesting to hear more about that if that is in case something that can occur.
    The issue of range of motion (ROM) is more complicated. Even if the bones fuse back together so that the length is shorter than previously, you may still have full ROM. If the change in your shoulder geometry from the injury is extreme enough then there may be issues. And you must also be sure there are not additional injuries that are complicating ROM.
    I would also recommend getting a second doctor’s opinion. Maybe from a ortho doc that specializes in sports related injuries.

  136. Hugh Smyth

    Oh just wanted to add what a helpful website you have here. I thought that I was mutating when my shoulder started turning a hideous yellow/green colour, until I read on this website that it was normal, and some people had it covering most of their torso so I should count myself lucky! Would just like to add that my last comment above is from the start of Week 2, and that I am not in much pain even in the figure 8.
    Hope all you other one armed soldiers out there heal fast!

  137. Hugh Smyth

    Thanks for you reply. Was at an appointment in the fracture clinic today and the doctor’s said that they would put surgery aside for now and see how it heals on its own. They told me that 95% of breaks heal fine on their own, but that is even higher in young people. Now in a figure 8 bandage – no figure 8 braces in the fracture clinic so they made a makeshift one from sling bandage. Isn’t comfortable at all although I can now use my left arm to a certain extent which includes typing. Going back for a X-ray in 2 weeks – fingers crossed it is healing well and fast! Will keep posting updates on my situation.
    Thanks again for the reply!

  138. christa

    This web site has been my life line! Broke my collar bone skiing five weeks ago….what’s with the first day and broken bones? Have become an expert on sleeping upright and would like to share my secrets. Pillows, pillows and more pillows. Most importantly, two travel pillows in the shape of a “u”. One to help support your neck and the other to place under your elbow to keep your collar bone level. I’m going to have a hard time giving them up. Sweet dreams and speedy recoveries to all my fellow sufferer’s.
    To all the ladies out there, strapless bras are a lifesaver!

  139. cat

    Great story! I found your web site the day after i brike my collar bone in a race and it put a smile on my face. It has been 2 weeks and i can finally get a bra on and have been hitting the trainer. I hope to be racing in another 4 weeks….we will see.
    I thought i might add something to your site…newish research says that you should avoid anti inflamitories such as motrin and ibuprophin while healing a broken bone. I have to say that this really sucks because motrin was the best thing for my pain!!!
    I suppose I should also remind those eager to get back to the bike or any kind of excersize, that you should rest during that first week…especially if you sustained any kind of head injury.

  140. Hugh Smyth

    Hey everyone. Broke my left collar bone on Monday (11th). Was playing rugby at my school and after an amazing run (no really!) I was tackled and landed square on my left shoulder. CRACK!!! I knew straight away I had broken it, but when I told my rugby instructor he was stunned and confused that I wasn’t in alot of pain. So he sent me into the school to find a teacher (and continued with the rugby!), and they gave the exact same response.
    So they got the nurse (finally someone with a bit of common sense!) who put my arm in a triangle sling and gave me some pain-killers even though I wasn’t in much pain. Was taken to A&E where I had to wait for ages (on my own) to be seen to. Got an X-ray taken and then got a pinky-bandage sling and some weak pain-killers and was sent on my way. By now my mum had arrived to take me home.
    Taking off my jersey was quite a painful experience. It was probably the first time I had moved my arm since the tackle, and to make matters worse it was a long-sleeved jersey with elastic at the wrists. Wasted five minutes of my life!
    Then came the sleeping. The doctors in the A&E hadn’t gave me any advice on anything so I slept on my back with a pillow under my arm to raise it. Not the best night’s sleep ever but definetly not the worst. Actually would recommend it to those who find it hard sleeping while sitting up.
    Anyway since the hospital I was first in isn’t anywhere near where I live I got to take my X-rays home. I swear the bone pieces are about an inch apart! So when I went into my local hospital with the X-rays so I could book an appointment they instantly said the break was very serious and suggested that I could get surgery and have a plate put in. No word of any of this in the other hospital! They say it would heal faster this way and there would be no bump. Anyway enough story, question time now!
    Should I go for the surgery? I am only 16 and am not worried about a scar.
    Will a plate affect me in any way after the healing? They said it could be left in after the healing.
    How long will it take to heal without, and with the surgery?
    Since I have broken it already, will it be more prone to another breakage?
    I would appreciate it if you took the time to reply to this post, as it tooko me a long time to tpe this with only one hand!
    Thank you

    To go for surgery or not is a difficult decision. Recovery time is around 3 months. And there appears to be a better guarantee for recovery. With surgery there is always the risk of complications such as infection. Being young, 16, you have a far better chance of healing on your own than someone older. I suggest that you go for another doctor’s recommendation. Especially when considering surgery. The good news is that if you are generally healthy and young you will probably heal quick and as strong as ever no matter which route you take.

  141. Leo

    Hey guys & girls I broke my left collar bone on super bowl sunday..I am also a patriots fan so this was not a good day for me.Before my injury I was into lifting weights and playing sports.Will this effect my lifting when I am healed and when can I resume lifting? Thanks

    Only your doctor can give you a go ahead for starting to lift weights again. You may want to be careful about jumping back into exercises that strain your shoulder. Others have left comments here describing re-injuring their collar bone by starting weights too soon. If your collar bone heals correctly then it should be structurally strong enough to resume lifting.

  142. Dan

    Saw the bone doc yesterday. He still says that evidence has shown that figure 8s and back braces do not work. He also says that taking calcium will not help. He says it won’t hurt. But he said it won’t help, either. He said keep moving it and come back in 3 weeks. I told him his theories are contrary to about every other doctor in the free world. Should I go for a second opinion? This guy is supposed to be one of the best ortho docs in Brevard County.

    Yes, I would recommend a second opinion. The research the last I had heard was inconclusive regarding figure-8 braces. I haven’t heard of people using back braces for collar bone recovery.
    Also, moving your joints is important so that you don’t develop a frozen socket or elbow. Movement of the collar bone before it has started reconnecting may cause the healing to be hindered.

  143. owwww

    typing with my left hand is extremely awkward. Because yesterday was the absolute best day and probably the only day for sledding this winter my dad felt the need to go. It was my first ride down on my brand new inflatable “sno” tube and i was going so fast, my sled turned around so I could see my dad screaming and realized I was headed straight for the tree in the middle of the hill. I saw a kid run to the side from behind me and then I don’t remember exactly what happened but dad said I flew out of my tube, hit the tree and BOUNCED yes thats right, i bounced straight backwards off of the tree. Someone called the paramedics while someone else ran to their house up the hill to get blankets for me. I remember lying down of someone else’s sled and hearing people coming up with worst case scenarios. Dad said I might have a concussion and thats when people really started freaking out. A man was asking me all sorts of questions that I answered. Then the ambulance came and the paramedic asked me questions too. Next thing I know I was in an ambulance and then in the ER. They did all the ER stuff, got my X-Rays then later they told me I got the prize. A Z-Fracture. My collarbone had broken in two places. Right after that a kid came by in a cart with every kind of brace you can think of and more(lots of sledding accidents that day). When we were just about to leave I got up to go to the bathroom but I got all dizzy and almost fell down. A doctor asked me when I had last eaten. 10:00 am. It was 7:00 pm. So after 2 more hours of tests they decided i needed food. I got a sling and they told us that I needed surgery to put the bone back together. I have to do absolutely everything with my left hand and it is so annoying!

  144. travis

    I broke my clavicle a few years ago but it was only really bad for a week because I found a surgeon who screwed the two ends together with a long bolt then tied the pieces around the screw. Immediately after the surgery, I was able to put weight on it and within a week or so, I could ride my bike again. I would definitely advocate for the orthopedic value of metal screws – I feel like it made me much more functional much quicker and saved me the pain of rolling onto my side.

  145. Mike R

    Riding a dirt bike, I found myself flying through the air and landing on my right shoulder. It was actually the helmet the pushed through the clavicle as if broke in half. I was in shock at first, and simply walked about forty yards and asked my wife to help me get off the culpable helmet. She asked what happened and I told her I broke my collarbone. I didn’t feel any pain during the moment, but 4 miles of bumpy dirt road proved to be quite painful. (Not to mention the oncoming grief of the 14 miles to the hospital, where I moaned and groaned until I was sedated. Thanks strong pain killer. I was sent home with hydrocodone and 30 Valium. I do not remember 3 days but my wife said I was a real ass. I was put in the figure 8 brace. My boss said, “When my cousin broke his collar bone , he was in a cast from the waist up”. When was that I asked, “1974” he replied, as I thought well, this is 2008 hello! BTW they no longer stick thermometers up your butt either, but whatever. I just smiled and left. Being excessive compulsive has it’s rewards as much as it trouble for said condition. I can’t sit still. I hate sleeping with broken clavicle. I have finished Dean Koontz “Brother Odd” as well as “Life Expectancy”.
    Thanks for listening to my whining. Hope you all get better, as I plan to.

  146. Mike R

    Riding a dirt bike, I found myself flying through the air and landing on my right shoulder. It was actually the helmet the pushed through the clavicle as if broke in half. I was in shock at first, and simply walked about forty yards and asked my wife to help me get off the culpable helmet. She asked what happened and I told her I broke my collarbone. I didn’t feel any pain during the moment, but 4 miles of bumpy dirt road proved to be quite painful. (Not to mention the oncoming grief of the 14 miles to the hospital, where I moaned and groaned until I was sedated. Thanks strong pain killer. I was sent home with hydrocodone and 30 Valium. I do not remember 3 days but my wife said I was a real ass. I was put in the figure 8 brace. My boss said, “When my cousin broke his collar bone , he was in a cast from the waist up”. When was that I asked, “1974” he replied, as I thought well, this is 2008 hello! BTW they no longer stick thermometers up your butt either, but whatever. I just smiled and left. Being excessive compulsive has it’s rewards as much as it trouble for said condition. I can’t sit still. I hate sleeping with broken clavicle. I have finished Dean Koontz “Brother Odd” as well as “Life Expectancy”.
    Thanks for listening to my whining. Hope you all get better, as I plan to.

  147. Dan

    Thanks to all of you for sharing your experiences. I have enjoyed the e-comraderie.
    I ride 120 miles a week on a road bike, but I broke my right clavicle playing tennis, of all things. Chasing down a ball at the net and tripped over my own toes. I thought I would over dramatize and tuck my shoulder and roll thru it. I hit the court like a 50-lb sack of flour. I knew I had either dislocated my shoulder or broke my collarbone. It was the first game of the final match for the doubles championship. Must be a male thing, cause I thought I could shake it off and serve again. Bad mistake! When I reached up to hit the ball it hurt so bad I dropped the racquet. They put some ice on me and asked if I wanted an ambulance. I opted for a ride in a friends car to the emergency room (ambulances are expensive, I think). I am 50 and had never had a broken bone, but I heard they “ache”. Yes they do.
    They managed to get my shirt off and I did not want to try to put it back on. The cold felt good. As much as I tried to fight it, I must have been in shock cause it was all I could do to give them my information at the counter. They asked what my pain level was on a scale from 1 to 10. I felt like saying 10, but said 6. Turns out that was about right. They put me in a sling with a wrap around my chest. The clavicle was clearly broken and offset (not aligned). They gave me a prescription for hydrocodone, but it was about 4 hours before I could get to a pharmacy. (Yes, it still ached.) I only needed the hydrocodone for the first day, then I went on Advil only when I needed it (mostly to sleep).
    Sleeping on my back sucks.
    I saw the bone doctor (actually the nurse practitioner) 2 days later and she said yes I broke it. Didn’t say to do much but keep it in a sling, but take it out and move it once in a while. She said they found that figure 8s and back braces did not really work. I asked if I could go back to work. She said I wouldn’t be able to do more than 5 or 6 hours without getting fatigued from the other muscles picking up the slack. She said to come back in three weeks.
    Week 1 – Got bronchitis. Felt like pneumonia. Stayed flat on my back and watched a lot of tv and slept. Had a pretty nice bruise by now.
    Week 2 – Yes, it takes at least twice as long to do everything with one arm – showering, getting dressed, cooking, folding laundry! I was starting to feel a little better and could move my arm as long as I did not try to lift it above my shoulder.
    Week 3 – I think I tried to do too much too soon. It hurt more now than in week 2. Went back to the sling. Saw the bone doc (nurse practitioner) at the end of week 3. They x-ray looked like the ends were farther apart than the first x-ray. Maybe 1/4 inch. She said it was not uncommon for it not to show bone growth at week 3. She told me to move it around, even above my shoulder if I could. She said this would help the bones align??? By this point I am thinking she is a quack. She said come back at 6 weeks for another x-ray.
    Week 4 – It really isn’t hurting that bad. Once in a while I will move and get a stinging pain or hear some popping. I can drive with 2 hand and even fold some laundry. I even did 15 miles on the bike with only mild discomfort. I was scared too death. I stayed a block away from everything. Even squirrels terrified me. Jogged a mile by the end of the week without too much discomfort. But I am questioning the NPs advice and called the center and insisted on speaking with the bone doc directly and find out just what I am and am not supposed to be doing. So far, he doesn’t even know who I am. That’s about to change. I do not like the possibility of surgery. This philosophy on the figure 8 and brace seems contrary to everything everyone else is doing.
    I sure miss riding the bike and can’t wait for this to be over. It’s like a bad dream or something.

  148. Richard

    I have now fractured both clavicles, the latest one happened 2.5 weeks ago. It happened playing Rugby, at first I thought it was just some damage in the AC joint because when I fractured my first clavicle it was extremely painfull. ( it broke in 2 places and I have a nice bump to show for it)
    After getting X-rays the next day, I was told that I had fractured my clavicle right at the end near the AC joint. Apparently this kind of break can be more complicated because of the shoulder joint being so close. It is far less painfull, but very frustrating as it is my right clavicle this time, not to meantion the sling sits on my ‘bump’ which is very uncomfortable.
    I have another doctors appointment on the 25th, I will find out then if I need an operation or it will be healed… all or nothing I suppose.
    I plan on going back to the gym today to start doing some cycling, in a vain attempt to build some fitness.
    When can I start running? the doctor I spoke to said that I could use a treadmill, but was quite vague.
    I am doing a half marathon in a month and a half so I need to get running asap… anyone have any advice?

    I think your doctor is worried about the chance of you falling when running and re-injuring the shoulder. My doc didn’t want me on a regular bike because of that reason. It can take just a little force or movement to set back your recovery. The treadmill should be fine for your training until your shoulder has healed more. I know it’s no fun being stuck on a trainer/treadmill. But it’s far better letting yourself heal rather than pushing it and risking re-injury.

  149. Ron Rowell

    About 4 years ago a doctor took about 3/8 inch off the end of my Rt. Clavical bone. I had a rotor cuff repair on same shoulder with a screw put in so they could reattach the rotor cuff tenden.
    What I have sence is a lot of dicompfort it this shoulder as to when it is swinging or I tryed in the pool to swim even today, and this shoulder fells like its (bone against Bone) all the time.
    Is ther anyone that could repair the end of Clavical bone to stop this discomfort?????
    If so tell me a name and I will get with them as it is NO FUN daily with what I go through.

  150. Colleen Pope

    Hello again all!
    Well, I made another visit to my ortho yesterday, 6 months after my accident and he still sees “no significant bone growth”. He gave me 2 options….trying heavy doses of calcium (500mg 3xday) with Vitamin D (1000iu 3xday) for the next 3 months or surgery right now if I wanted. I opted to go the vitamin route. I go back on May 7th for more x-rays and if he doesn’t see much improvement, I’ll be booked for surgery. He can still feel the bone moving when he rotates my arm around and it still protrudes a lot. Still painful to move certain ways, but I am pretty functional at least!
    Will let you know how the vitamins work.
    Good luck to all!

  151. john veautour

    Hi again, thanks Hans for responding. It’s been three weeks since the evil knievel stunt (RIP) and it was time to visit the ortho. I got a new xray which showed actual new bone growth. This gives me many different feelings,compassion and guilt for the other folks I have read about that are not seeing the same results. I also feel happy and fortunate that things are improving as rapidly as they are. My strength and range of motion improve everyday. I guess every person and every injury is different,but rapid recovery is possible even in your 40’s. I’m going out on the bike this weekend. I will stay on the bunny trails to minimize jarring and impact. My doctor said that using my arm is just fine as long as it doesnt cause pain. On a different note Christine I noticed that we crashed on the same day so keep me posted on how you are doing. Get back on the horse (cliche) Good luck to all!!

  152. Doris Sheridan

    Well, everyone here seems younger than I am, but just incase I can get some info, I’ll see what happens.
    I’m 65 female, very healthy and active… However in the last three months, I have broken my right clavicle 3 time in different places, at different times. Only the first time I was carrying a HEAVY flower pot inside when I felt the pain. The other two times, I was not doing anything. I’ve had bone density, bone scan (former cancer patient) done with results looking ok. Bone density was a bit off, but not into osterporosis… Anyone who might have a suggestion, would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

  153. j

    Hey guys, I’ve had fun reading your stories and comments. I just wanted to add my 2 cents. I have a degree in sports medicine, and so have had quite a bit of experience with injuries like these. But after reading a few posts where people are asking about severe muscle cramping, etc. I’m feeling I need to share some info.
    So to all of you out there who are having sharp, debilitating pain and cramping down your arm–especially if there’s tingling, numbness, or inability to use your hand–please go see your doctor asap for further treatment.
    One of the risks associated with clavicular fractures is nerve and blood vessel damage and/or involvement. Depending on which portion of the clavicle you fractured and which structures it may be pressing on or compromising, you may have a much more serious condition. For instance, if your clavicle, in its new position in your shoulder, was pressing on the main nerve for your arm (the brachial plexus), you may be experiencing severe muscle cramping and tingling. If you were to have numbness or inability to use your hand, then I would say it’s probably a medical urgency/emergency (as in go to the e.r. or urgent care).
    So sorry to freak any of you out, but just wanted to place that caution out there for any of you experiencing unusual symptoms. There’s the possibility that cramping is just your body doing its natural process of “splinting” the shoulder (which can be painful) but there’s also the chance that you may have complications.
    Quick healing to you all!

  154. Steven Ryan

    On New Years Eve i was riding back from one of my big hill rides when the cyclists’ nightmare happened,a car door opened in front of me.No warning just CRASH!!!I landed on my right shoulder & i could feel the bones break in my ribs 4th & 5th right side & right collarbone.Into week 4,feeling much better,can move right arm a fair bit but not game to push it to much.Ribs have healed,which makes breathing alot easier & back to the specialist next week.My break was treated with a sling as it was a clean break & should heal naturally.I am a 48yo male & very active & fit,which i am told it is helping my recovery,but as a surfer,runner,cyclist,skier etc…it is not a happy time.Hopefully can be back a work in about 2 weeks albeit light duties but to everyone each day you do get better.And by the way,take out insurance on your bike.I did not & am out of pocket $4000 as my bike is a write off.

    Ouch! Btw – Here in California, the car owner is liable for those damages. I’ve known some folks here that have been doored and each time the driver’s insurance covered the bike replacement cost.

  155. Christine

    WOW! It’s great to hear all the different experiences. I broke my colar bone in two places 9 days ago. I fell off my horse while we were running barrels. My horse finished the course without me! LOL! I wish he had ran through the timers though so I could see what my time would have been if I had stayed on! LOL! Unfortunately I also had a laceration on the back of my head which they stapled together. I am so grateful for pain meds!!! Being a girl, I can so relate to the “pit of despair”. It is driving me nuts! And of course, forget the bra!!! Besides the pain, the hairy armpit and not being able to wear a bra is the worst!! Thanks for sharing all your stories!!

  156. john veautour

    I am a 44 year old cabinetmaker. After reading hundreds of enlightning blogs, I figured it was my turn. Mountain bike on bmx jump didn’t turn out as planned. I went to the ER and saw the nurse (no doctors for a mere broken clavicle)she said something about a figure 8 but brought me a sling. When I put the sling on it felt like my arm was still in the grinder. I asked to try the figure 8 and as soon as I put it on there was instant relief from the pain. It was uncomfortable but it gave support to the area. It seemed to take all the weight off my arms. It has been a week and I feel good about the progress so far. I saw the physician’s asst. (still no doc)yesterday and was suprised at the range of motion and lack of pain. I am cautiously optomistic after reading many stories of a rebreak in the early stages. I use my arm for almost everything. I am trying not to do overhead lifting or anything heavy. I feel something around the end of the break that is stiffer than normal flesh. I think this is a positive sign – has anyone else experienced this after one week? The bone doesn’t move as much as it did a few days ago.
    The info gathered here has been very useful. Thank you all.

    It’s seems way too soon (1 week) for you to be experiencing and feeling any bone growth. I recommend being careful about moving the shoulder and collar bone. It’s easy to start feeling better than re-injure it. Give yourself some time. And the best way to know if the bones are actually healing is by talking with your doctor and getting an x-ray.

  157. Michael

    I would take it easy for 2-3 weeks. I started with long walks at about 3.5 weeks, but everyone is different. Is your own doctor an orthopedic surgeon? I would definitely see a specialist about the tingling and talk to them about the different supports and the issues you are having with them.. as well as your desire to stay active while recovering.

  158. C. Campbell

    Last Sunday I completed my 3rd downhill ski lesson. I’m a 53 year old female who always wanted to learn to snow ski. This year I bought all the best equipment, signed up for lessons, and began the “let it snow” chant. After the lesson I set off to practice. Lost control on a turn and landed directly on my shoulder breaking my clavical. The radiologist at the emergency room told me the bones overlapped about an inch. The doctor there told me to wear a “t-shapped” sling for 4 weeks and it will heal naturally. When I got back home I went to see my own doctor and he said I could take off the t-sling and just put my arm in an arm sling. Doing that put my arm muscles into bad spasm, so I went back to the t-sling that pulls my shoulders back. It’s day 3 and as long as I am careful, I can move my arm a little and pick up light weight things in my gimp hand. One problem I’m having is numbness in a couple fingers in my bad hand. Does anyone know what might be causing this? Also, I usually work out in the gym 3+ days a week, is it too soon to at least do a cardio workout on the bike or tredmill?

  159. Michael

    3 weeks ago, I was on my regular Saturday morning group ride when chaos erupted. A rider slightly in front and to the left of me went down, and I ran full-speed-ahead into her bike (~25 mph). Flipped over my handlebars and landed on the back-side of my right shoulder. I got up, dusted myself off, felt my shoulder, and there was the tell-tale sign of a broken clavicle. Quick trip to the ER, and the x-rays revealed a break close to the shoulder. They gave me a simple sling for my arm, and off I went home with some pain meds.
    Week 1: Went to an orthopedic surgeon who told me to continue resting. Told me not to take NSAIDs (advil, etc), swelling is your friend.. and kept me in the sling. Lots of pain, spent most of the time on my back, on the couch getting really good at xbox. Life pretty much sucked.
    Week 2: Towards the end of week 2 I went back to the ortho for more x-rays.. seems his advice of staying off the anti-inflammatories worked, the bones have come into much better alignment.. was it the swelling that pushed things into place? Things are looking up for me, ortho tells me that given how the bones have aligned, surgery would be of little benefit. It is still too early for any indication of bone growth. Life still pretty much sucked.
    Week 3: Things continue to get better. Now at the end of week 3 I find I can stay out of the sling while around the house, but dare not venture outside without it. I’m getting some movement back in the shoulder. The clavicle seems to be getting nice and solid, prior to week 3 I could press on the long piece and it would move. I am also experiencing some strange problems with my traps feeling tight and aggravated. I’m hoping to have my bike back for the shop soon, the fork was destroyed in my crash.. I think I’ll be on the trainer sometime mid week 4. I’m also starting physical therapy in a couple days. Next ortho apt is in 2 weeks. Life is getting better. I feel some kind of recovery every day now.
    Some FYI stuff about me and my recovery:
    – haven’t taken any pain meds, at all
    – 1000mg calcium supplements daily + multi-vitamin
    – 32 year old make, in excellent shape, no history of health problems, 145 lbs at 5’11”
    – no alcohol since the crash
    – limit myself to one caffeinated beverage a day
    – did not use a figure 8 brace, only a one-arm sling

  160. James Unsworth

    Just snapped mine snowboarding. The power of whiskey works well indeed! Did it at the top of a glacier then boarded down. Just walk into the hospital “what can we do for you sir?”, “pretty sure I’ve snapped my collar” HA , French bugger had 2 cut me out of my rugby top. Bet he loved that!

  161. Jeff

    i broke my right clavicle yesterday while snowboarding. It was kind of dumb of me to go up on a day when the snow was crappy and it was the only time that i ever went snowboarding alone which was also stupid of me but live and learn i guess. It really sucks because i am right handed and i never really do anything with my left hand. I am thankful for my sisters who live up here and are willing to help me with everything.

  162. Kathy

    I broke my right clavicle in 3 places on 12/1. I did it grapling 4 hours into my test for Krav Maga. I immediately knew it was broken when I heard it snap. X-rays at the ER confirmed. There’s a mid-section verticle break but not all the way through the bone – kind of hanging on by a thread. I have two horizontal breaks on each side of the verticle break. Left the ER with percocet, a sling and swath.
    Went to the ortho on 12/4 and he told me I need to wear the sling and swath for 6-8 weeks; I’m going back on 12/26 for x-rays. After day one of taking percocet, i decided i didn’t want the drugs. Would rather deal with the pain instead of nausea. I’ve been doing wrist and elbow exercises to keep them loose as well as pendulum exercises. Started those the day after breaking it.
    I’m hoping to someday go back to boxing, grapling and krav, but realistically does anyone know if I’ll be able to do that? My ortho says it will happen but that’s all he said. When will I be able to wear something that pulls over my head?
    I’ve been eating well – lots of yogurt, milk, kale, spinach, broccoli, protein and calcium supplements. Everything seems painstakingly slow with this type of break. I can’t wait to sleep, dress, work out and function like a healthy person.

  163. Jerry in Mid-Michigan

    I did not read too many comments but just want to add that I have had my 2nd surgery on my left clavicle since 9-25-07. I must have over did it cause the plate was broken pretty badly the dr said when he installed the new one…at least I got to go deer hunting. Does anybody know if the calcium vitamins really work? I can move my left arm real easy and I assume it is because of the plate and extra bone from my hip the surgeon put in me…. signed gimpy in michigan.

  164. Joel

    For the third time in my life, I managed to break a collarbone. The first two times occurred playing sports when I was younger (5th grade and early college) and the most recent occurred on Sept 20th following a mountain bike accident (I’m now 44). My how the healing process has been different this time!
    I just got back from a doctor’s appointment more than 11 weeks later and the doctor isn’t sure whether it’s healing. Very frustrating. So, now he wants me to try an electro-stimulating device. Six weeks from now, he’ll reevaluate.
    I miss riding my bikes. Sigh.

  165. Len

    I cycle a lot and 10 hours ago managed a fall which broke my left collarbone in two places. Never had a broken bone before and it feels very STRANGE. Impressive X-ray. Thanks Laura, great article & great responses, wonderful advice much better than any clinical description. I’ve bookmarked this as there’s lots to read & I’m about to have lots of time ;P Yes, just realising how ‘two armed’ everything is – need to check moving left arm for a thousand basic tasks. I’ll probably sacrifice some old t-shirts over the next few weeks … just removing them with scissors. I do NOT plan to get back on a bicycle for about 6 weeks.

  166. Bi

    I broke my right collar bone Oct.28th, due to a bike accident. At my last appointment with my orthopedic surgeon, he mentioned having me try a Noninvasive electrical bone growth stimulator “of course pending approval of my insurance?” It hasn’t quite been 4 weeks but I’m guessing its due to my age, I’m 41, but I’m in shape and only weight 100 pounds. Has anyone out there tried using this device?

    A few folks have left comments about using the device and they have been positive. It’s not often covered by insurance so that might be why not many get a chance to use one.

  167. Susan

    I read your post about the doctor who wanted to remove part of the distal clavicle that was broken. I had a doctor who said she would consider that as well, since there were far less complications from that approach rather than the plating. In fact, because of the location of the distal break, it is hard to plate as there is nothing but the shoulder joint to attach to. Anyway, i am at 12 weeks now, using a bone stim and trying acupuncture, and hoping/dreading the next xray in 1 week. So i wondered what you decided to do about the operation to remove the part of the clavicle that was broken off. Thanks.

  168. Stuart Barnes

    Hey, thanks for the good luck message Colleen and sorry to hear about your break Belinda.
    Went back to hospital today as thought I was going to have another x-ray. Was only in there five minutes which involved the Consultant having a look at the shoulder and basically confirming what I already know that the break is near the shoulder end of the collar bone. He did recommend surgery in these types of cases but I’d sooner give it 4 weeks to try and allow the bone to heal naturally. Also I’m fairly young (26) so I guess that’s on my side and with any surgery theres often side effects.
    On the plus side the pain has lapsed from what it was. A few days back it felt like something tightening around the collar bone which I guess, from what I’ve read on the internet, is prob the scar tissue binding around it.
    Anyway, at least it only really hurts when I walk with it. Just gets me down after a while that I can’t do the normal things I like doing.

  169. Belinda

    Hello and Happy Thankgiving! My clavicle was broken 11/7/07 when I fell out of bed. I was rushed to hospital and no one else was in ER so they gave me a shot and took Xrays and said my collarbone was broken and they do not do anything for a broken collarbone. I was shocked to think I had to be in this pain for no telling how long. The orthopedic surgeon I saw 3 days later said the same thing, he put my arm in a better sling and gave me medication for the pain and said he’d see me in 4 weeks unless I had problems. I went back in two weeks cause it hurt to breathe, he took new xrays which did not show any improvement or healing. He asked me to see my family dr to rule out lung infection, and come back in two weeks, if no improvement & there is still lots of pain, he will operate. He said sometimes you are just trading a lump for a scar. He also said they used to use pins but the pins can loosen and cause more problems floating around(not his exact words, but you get the drift). He said the plate has been used recently, but usually for those who do physical labor, heavy lifting. I asked if my grandkids counted. I am worried since I am older, 58, so it will take a while to heal with or without an operation. I am sleeping sitting up still, and the bruising is awful-black, blue, green and purple on the right side from my neck to below my rib cage all the way to my side. The bone is overlapping at the break in the xrays, hence the big lump. I was glad to see this website, it gives me ideas on what to expect. Thanks!

  170. Colleen Pope

    Well Stuart, I hope you have more luck healing than I’ve had.
    Today at 4pm marks the 14 week anniversary of my break, not that I’m keeping track. I went back to the specialist on Oct 31st to have more x-rays, but he still doesn’t see any “significant healing”. So we will wait another 3 months in hopes that it will still heal on it’s own. He says it’s probably scar tissue that is holding everything together in there. The pain is much less (thankfully)and my range of motion is coming back very gradually, but it still hurts to move certain ways, I can’t lift anything too heavy and I can only lie on that side for short periods. Feels like it’s never going to end. In the beginning my doctor advised me to use my arm as much as it felt comfortable so it didn’t become completely useless. I REALLY believe that age is a factor in healing time….hopefully you are a lot younger than my 37 years. Good luck to you (and everyone else out there). Keep us posted!
    And Hans…..I haven’t said this before, but thanks for the great website!

  171. Stuart Barnes

    Been reading some of the above messages and they’re really helpful. Have broken my collarbone on Thursday after a motorbike accident. Was only about 50 metres from house and skidded on ice.
    The shoulder hurts like hell at the moment. Sometimes its pretty unbearable and reeally wears me down after a while. Hospital was good but didn’t really give me much advice re resting the shoulder. They’ve given me a basic figure of 8 sling but no advice about how long to rest. Heard good and bad things about this type of sling as some say it makes you lean forward too much which isnt good for the new bond. Going back Friday so will ask then. General rule seems to be a few weeks for the initial joining of the bone. Hospital also thought at first it may need surgery as the break is near the end but fortunately the Consultant thought this not necessary. Still can’t believe how painful a simple break can be!

  172. Sydney Patricio

    Your lucky…I Shattered my clavicle in a few pieces…Call it Extreme tree hugging((went of course while mountain biking)) Anyhow i managed to walk out and have my friend take me to the emergency room. Had an X-ray and of course its shattered the only thing that could have been worse was to break the skin. Anyhow had a plate and 6 screws put in….Did the recovery just as Doc ordered and three months later i was told that everything was wonderful and i could lead a normal life….Sounds great huh??
    It didn’t happen that way i went along and did what i normally do Mountain trails 3 times a week and home renovations. Anyhow while swinging a 2 pound hammer at a stubborn wall i started to feel a burning pain in my shoulder. And then i noticed a nice swell to my skin around the incision that was there.. went to the Emergency room and had an X-Ray. Well it looked like the screws came loose and the bone was displaced. My Doctor((Same one that said its all good))could only say..”Hmmmm…It looks like it hasn’t heeled..” Needless to say i was more than pissed…Then his only comment was “Well i guess we have to go back in.” Well i am now in a sling with two scars now. One on my hip where they grafted some bone from and the scar on my shoulder with a longer plate and a grafted piece of pelvic bone and 8 screws.. Just waiting now to hear everything is better now.

  173. liz

    Hey all, my kudos to you for surviving these things! Busted my L clavicle in a freak accident…nice, big, wide, break. You know when the ER guys keep bringing people in to look at you, it’s a nifty one! The ER doc asked me my pain level…0 being none and 10 being childbirth…I spent 29 hours in natural labor w/ my 1st baby and 12 for my 2nd and have a high tolerance for pain…I said, “You don’t have it on your scale”. Almost an open break (through the skin). Had surgery, which made a night and day difference for pain and mobility!! Sling for 5 weeks, but I could actually survive being the 1-winged wonder post-op. I could exert some force with the good arm, an impossibilty pre-op. Heck, I could breathe post-op without burning pain!!! Once I got out of the sling, I dubbed my arm “The Hollywood Arm”…because it looked good but it didn’t really do anything. My doc gave me pretty hefty restrictions, 2 lb weight limit for lifting on the affected side until 10 weeks post-op. Hang in there and keep your bones together! Also, get good protein in addition to the calcium and young people usually heal in half the time as an old bird like me! liz

  174. Denise

    Hi everyone. I broke my left collarbone in an auto accident on 10/11. I still have a nagging pain, but I’m dealing with it. What were some of the restrictions that your doctors gave you? Mine only said not to do any heavy lifting – I guess I was still in a daze to ask about specific other things. What about driving? How soon were you able to drive?

    My doctor wanted my shoulder immobilized so that I wouldn’t move the collar bone(s) and thus allow them fuse back together. One of the reasons I wore a figure-8 brace. But he did want me to keep moving my shoulder and elbow sockets so that I wouldn’t lose any range-of-motion. And I had no driving restrictions.
    If you look through the comments you will find others have also provided feedback to the questions you have asked.

  175. Granto

    I just broke mine on thursday, im just wondering where can i get calcium and boron, and since im only 15 how long should it take to heal, im desperate to get back on my bike plus its the worst pain ive ever experienced.
    feedback greatly appreciated

    You can purchase Calcium and Boron as supplements at your local pharmacy. But you should check with your doctor and parents before taking any supplements. What might be helpful for an adult might not be for a child. For example, if you look here:
    They note that “Children (younger than 18 years) There is not enough scientific data to recommend the safe use of boron in children“.
    As for how long it will take for you to heal, that is not possible to answer over a forum. Only a doctor that examines you can give you the best answer. Each person’s injury is unique. Some heal fast (a month) and some take a very long time.

  176. don

    Just checking in – I am two days shy of four weeks. xrays last week showwd a fuzzy spot where two pieces touch – doc said thats new bone developing.
    It is not too bad – just don’t do certain stuff, avoid moving in certain patterns. One tip though – in my case the breaks (three of them) are all out at the end, where there are a lot of ligaments attached. If I don’t use the sling, which I hate and don’t HAVE to use, just walking around I naturally swing my arm and the grinding pieces make the shoulder throb by the end of the day. I found I was just wanting to collapse with an ice pack.
    I’ve learned it is better to baby it when you can so you feel better for when you can’t.
    I also have cramps and spasms in surrounding muscles from holding it awkwardly, I guess. I’ve gotten two massages – they help a lot. Just make sure you have a skilled therapist and don’t let them overdo it.

  177. AJ

    Ha. Its nice to see this website. I broke my clavicle playing frisbee of all sports. I have to explain that it was ultimate frisbee to everyone but still…broke it playing frisbee. I just had surgery earlier this week because the bones we overlapping by a bit (and apparently I had fragments of my clavicle floating around in my shoulder that my doctor wanted to remove). And although everyone I have run into told me or tries to tell me how much it should hurt, it really hasn’t, other than sleeping, which sucks. Sitting upright and trying to fall asleep (what the doctor and nurse recommended) is not easy.
    For those wondering, I was told by my orthopedic surgeon that one of the reasons they don’t usually do surgery is because there are some fairly large nerve clusters in that area, and they are easy to accidentally disrupt, leaving you with a numb feeling there for the rest of your life. I am lucky enough to be a teacher, so I will get to back to work next week (I actually worked the week in between when I broke it and when I had surgery because the pain was not bad at all).
    Best of luck to you all.

  178. Kathryn

    “Pit of despair! Oh man I know that one. This was great though, thank you. My clavicle was my first break (fell off a horse whilst doing some showjumping) and I’ve been a little worried about it.
    Its also nice to feel a little camaraderie – having been given the name “Little Cripple” at school, whilst it is an affectionate one, everyone does tiptoe around you and regularly ask if your better yet (yes, bone heals in 9 days…)so reality is good!

  179. Trevor

    Hi again Colleen
    The hospital discharged me 2 weeks ago and put me in the hands of my GP (local family doctor). As I think I’ve said before, my situation is slightly unusual because I have residual left side paralysis from a previous RTA and only have limited use on the injured side. I’m sure that that was part of the reason the consultant never went for surgery straight away, as suggested by the registrar who examined me first, along with the tenting skin being in good condition and the absence of any pain from the break.
    At that hospital appointment 2 weeks ago I had fresh x-rays taken and they didn’t look greatly different from the displaced break shown on the first one (although they did pick up the 3 broken ribs I didn’t know that I had). The consultant said that I didn’t need to go back to see him but I could call the hospital or speak to my GP if I have future problems. Basically that leaves me without programmed specialist follow-up or future x-rays to see if that really is the correct strategy to follow? I’ll also have no idea whether I have bone union? It was suggested that I could start to use my arm normally and consider a return to work. However, recovery hasn’t been that smooth and I saw my GP for the first time on Friday. He suggested a further 4-6 weeks off work and some physiotherapy at the hospital ( I’m waiting for them to contact me). Due to the arm ache and burning sensation in the hand I am on painkillers for the first time since the break. I would have thought that that’s the wrong way to be going, but that may end up being correct, I don’t know?
    The one thing that does confuse me is why they don’t just fix these type of breaks immediately as they would for any other fracture that is badly aligned and requires pinning or plating or whatever? Collar bones seem to be something for surgeons to stay away from for some reason? Surely for the likes of you and I, the best strategy would be to fix it? Also, why do the bones seem to require a bone graft when usually other bones are usually fixed without, aren’t they?
    Anyway, that’s my depressed Tuesday rant, hope everyone else is well and feeling slightly more positive than me. Hope you get sorted as you would like a Colleen and you’re back to good health asap.

  180. shawn pyer

    I just wanted to say thanks to everyone. I am a 25 year old soldier in the Army National Guard, who also works in an Emergency room at Yale New Haven Hospital. 3 weeks ago i just ended a 16 hour over night shift in the ER and left for 5 days off on my motorcycle. 15 minutes down the road some lady cuts me off in a roadrage fit and breakchecks me. I ended being very lucky and laying the bike down @ 45 mph of the left side. After standing up and noticing car were swerving around me I threw myself over the guardrail to avoid getting hit on the highway. After a few phone calls later to the place i just left to let them know i was prob coing back as a trama the pain in my shoulder kicked in. The EMS guys (who know me) used my own trama shears on me and cut all my clothes off (casue of all the blood from the road rash. CAT scans, XRAYs and few other unmentinoals…(if you ever got into a car accident you all know what is called the “hospital handshack”)Bottom line…… VEEEERRRRRYYYYY lucky….Got a nice chunk taken out of my right clavical right in the middle,a bunch of road rash to my face,hands and knee (and yes i was wearing a helmet)and rock lodged in my face they had to cut out. after a week of sitting i couldent take it anymore and came back to work with a DR note of light duty. The pain is still killing me Fresh road rash in a hospital never is good so i mostly just sit and monitor cardiac patiets till im healed. For those in week 1, sleeping is the worse. Sleep in a recliner if you can with a pillow under your arm. This will avoid you rolling over on your busted side. Ice Packs for an hour every 4 hours did the trick for me. I stopped taking the pain meds after day 3 and just used motrin.Only becasue the Oxys gunked uped my bowls and i started getting scared when i dident poop for 4 days. Its a slow process and i hate it. The worse for me is the depression. I am a very active guy, a member of my local fire dept,work in a level 1 trama center in a inner city, and a officer in a medical company for the army. The worse thing for me is the sitting around. I cant seem to get my mind to focus on important stuff. I just keep thinking about my accident.Did anyone else have this problem? Also mostly the pain in my in my back seems to be muscle but in my upperback area. Any hints? casue my girlfriend is getting sick of giving me back rubs

  181. Colleen Pope

    Hey Trevor, I’m 9 weeks in now and as I mentioned to you before, I have a similar break. My initial x-ray report stated, “Fractured middle third left clavicle with 1.5 superior elevation & 3cm overlap of the proximal fragment” I also have a fragment in between which the doctor is hoping will help with the healing. But like you, I am concerned about the tenting, it seems a little too extreme. The doctor wants to let it heal on it’s own. I go back in 2 weeks to get x-rays again. I haven’t experienced any senitivity in my hand, but I do get the awful ache. The worst part for me is the fatique in my shoulder and upper arm and I am still limited in my movements because of pain.
    When do you go back to the doctor?

  182. Trevor

    Hi all
    I’ve a displaced break (7 weeks and tenting close to the shoulder) that is being allowed to recover on its own. I’m not sure if that is best strategy but that’s what’s happening?
    The worst part at the moment is the ache at night (elbow to hand) and sensitivity in some of my hand. My little finger does really burn to the touch at times
    Anyone else had similar?
    Cambs UK

    Hey Trevor. I remember that tingling and burning feeling. I was told it was a nerve being impinged and can occur while the shoulder reshapes and heals. But, if the pain became severe and/or didn’t go away then I should contact my doctor.
    The ache was also something I went through. A hot shower or soak and some massage would help that. Especially before going to bed.
    – Hans

  183. MarkB

    On May 12 (21 weeks ago) I broke my left collarbone in a crash during a bike (bicycle) race. It is a distal fracture, no more than about 1 inch in from the A/C joint, and with slight displacement. I also broke several ribs on the same side, including posterior (back) ribs number 2 and 3 (upper back). The ribs are doing fine, but an X-ray today showed the collarbone is still non-union (just over 5 months). The X-rays did not show much, if any, change from the last set taken over two months ago. The doctor said it’s not likely that it will form a union and said if he were to do surgery that he would just go in and remove the piece of the bone between the A/C joint and the break location. He said he wouldn’t actually be repairing anything, just removing that part of the collarbone. From a common sense perspective, this makes absolutely no sense to me whatsoever. Anyone ever heard of this? I told him that I wouldn’t even consider surgery until I tried bone stim first, so, as long as my insurance company covers it, that’s the next move. He didn’t even mention screws and plates. Just take the bone out!
    I am a bike racer and I neglected stressing to the doc (new doctor) that I want to continue racing and doing other athletic activities ASAP, including lifting weights. Right now, I can’t do much heavy lifting with the left arm, especially if it involves pushing. I can’t even push a 45lb barbell up off my chest.
    Another tidbit of information…I broke the same collarbone in almost the exact same spot one year before this break. It healed really well, in about 6 weeks. That break was a little cleaner and with no displacement. I’m wondering if this could be the reason for the slow healing this time and maybe there is still a chance that I could get union, especially with bone stim. Hans, any thoughts on this? Do you think 5 months too late for bone stim to have any positive benefit? Sorry, I know you’re not a doctor, but appreciate other’s perspectives. Sometimes I think the collective minds of those that have experienced this stuff is more valuable than the advice of the doctors! No offense to any doctors here, but I’ve had my share of bad ones.
    Lastly, I’m 44 and from Denver, Colorado. If anyone can recommend a good ortho here, let me know! It sounds like I may be needing to get a second opinion if the bone stim is no-go or doesn’t work.
    Thanks for the great site, Hans!

  184. Shan yang

    Hey i am 15 and i broke my collarbone close to 2 weeks ago. During gymnastic i went to do a move a fell on the mattress on an outstretched arm. My right arm him my right collarbone. When i arrived at the hospital the doctor told me that this type of fracture do not require surgery. He just gave me a few painkillers and said i could go. I was given a sling and wondering if a sling or a figure 8 brace is better. Right now i am trying to stretch my shoulder backwards to maintain a good posture so that the collarbone will heal better. Can anybody tell if that is a good or bad thing? Isn’t there suppose to be a therapy to train the range of motion? My next appointment is on 16 October…is it too late? I am a very active person and a break dancer…i need fully range of motion of my shoulder to do certain moves like powermoves. Can anybody please tell me what i should do!

  185. Trevor

    Hi Elsa
    “Basically it seems like the decision is down to esthetics – bump or scar”
    I think there’s also the consideration that the operation (and bone graft if needed) might not be troublefree? I have a bone tenting on the shoulder which isn’t very nice but I’m not sure that I have the stomach for what is basically cosmetic surgery unless I have physical problems. That’s the choice isn’t it?
    Cambs UK

  186. CT

    I understand your concern. I broke mine in Feb 2006. I proabably didn’t have full (100%) mobility for a good 4 months at least; maybe closer to six. Even at 3 months the x-rays did not show much. But fear not, x-rays can be deceiving. Even though you can’t see much of any healing, it is still taking place. My doc informed me that good, solid, callous (sp?) bone takes a while to show up on x-ray.
    Forget the six-week healing time that most websites and doctors say at the time of your break. That is rarely the case.

  187. Colleen Pope

    Hi Elsa,
    I first posted on this website on Sep 4th. It’s beenalmost 8 weeks since my break now and fortunately I am feeling better, but not completely. I have been for 3 sets of x-rays so far and they all look the same, still broken and one on top of the other. My specialist is advising strongly against surgery, partly because of the big ugly scar and some people have problems with the plate and they’d probably have to take bone from my pelvic area. I still have a bump where the end of the bone is “tenting” against my skin. I am still wearing my figure-8 brace and will be for another 2 weeks. I take it off in the evenings and while sleeping and I don’t put it back on until after my shower in the morning. I still have limited mobility in my left arm…the bones still feel really unstable like they’re going to snap and there is also pain!!! I find that my shoulder gets really tired when I use my left arm without the brace on. I am actually more concerned with getting full mobility back in my arm than how a bump or scar will look. Good luck with your dilemma. Keep us posted.

  188. Elsa

    I’m so glad I came across this website today! Its reassuring to hear that there are others that have gone through the same thing. My collar bone broke a couple of weeks ago while I was playing ultimate frisbee. My bone broke in two sections and is basically forming back like a Z shape. Ride to the hospital was not so fun but ER was pretty quick and the ER doctor was kind enough to offer some nice painkillers BEFORE they put the figure 8 brace on! I’m surprised with how fast the pain subsided, but still battling with many of the simple daily functions like showering and dressing… so sad how useless my left hand is!!
    My biggest dilemma now is whether I should proceed with surgery or not because it is forming into a “z” shape. The orth. surgeon is encouraging no surgery because it’ll leave a nasty 3″-4″ scar. He’s advised that if I don’t have surgery, I will still be back to full mobility and can do everything I did in the past including sports. The only downside is there’ll be a big ugly bump in a “z” shape. Basically it seems like the decision is down to esthetics – bump or scar. While neither will look pretty, my greatest concern is whether the bone will be more susceptible to breaking if it grows back in a “z” shape? Anyone else have their bone grow back like this? Any pointers on which approach to go with? Besides, is the surgery scar really that bad?

  189. Trevor

    Hi all (5 weeks in)
    Been to see the consultant today and the good news is that he I don’t require surgery. The bone still looks well broken on the x-ray although not quite as bad as it first did. It’s still tenting the skin but isn’t sore to touch and he said the skin is in good condition. Poor condition skin would probably needed sugery. Fortunately I’ve not han any pain from the break. I was told to lose the sling and start to use my arm normally. I’ve had a sore chest since I fell of my bike and the three broken ribs were only spotted today? I’ve been given two more weeks off work to get myself mobile – hopefully then a return to work.
    Cambs UK

  190. Don

    So I did my left clavicle four days ago. Shattered it. Broken into four parts. Also cracked scapula.
    The ‘road rash’ and bruises on the right side, pulled groin and wrenched knee are equally as annoying as the immobilized left arm, though. Makes trying to baby the shoulder REALLY tricky!
    The ER doc was convinced they’d have to do surgery – put pins and plates and stuff. The ortho doc said no though! As long as the pieces are aligned reasonably and in the general vicinity of each other, they just let it all grow back together.
    I feel like a stem cell experiment!
    I wish I had video. This has to have been my most spectacular cycling crash yet, and I’ve had some doozies!
    ps: I have a cracked helmet (and intact head) as a memento.
    Note: the ER put me in a figure-8 brace. It is supposed to keep the bone aligned and immobilized. The ortho doc said get rid of it. For my break it would not help, and they are questionable value in all cases, according to him. I have blisters on arm and torso from wearing the thing two days. So beware if they want you to use that.

    Yes, the jury is still undecided on the usefulness of the figure-8 brace. But I used one and it helped me stabilize my shoulder. I truly believe it helped me to heal faster.
    Now you indicate having blisters from wearing yours. That’s an obvious sign of a brace that is not being used correctly. There are some rather cheap versions out there that don’t fit well and have terrible padding. Combine those issues with wearing it wrong and/or too tight and you have problems.
    In my opinion, if the figure-8 brace is worn correctly and stabilizes your shoulder then it’s going to help your shoulder heal. And if it maintains a better posture and alignment while your bones are healing then shouldn’t they then fuse back together in a better position? Watch how your shoulder and the broken side wants to droop and hunch forward. If that causes the broken ends of the collar bone to approach at a larger angle and they then fuse at that angle you have now changed the geometry of your shoulder.
    The only negative others have posted about wearing a figure-8 is discomfort. And that has typically been solved by learning how to correctly wear the brace or finding one that has a better fit.
    You might want to get a second doctor’s opinion regarding the brace. And while doing so get advice on your shoulder. Oh, and if your doctor makes a blanket statement like “For my break it would not help”, question it! Ask “why wouldn’t it help?” And “what makes my break unique that a brace wouldn’t help?”.

  191. CT

    Hi Steven,
    I actually had that surgery with Dr. Basamania in NC the day you posted your message (9/5). So now I’m about 3 weeks post op. The surgery went great. I had a malunion that I was not satisfied with both discomfort-wise and vanity-wise. They knocked me out and took about an hour to do it (no bone grafting or anything). I stayed in the hospital for about 6-7 hours after then split.
    I recommend this to anyone contemplating surgery. They usually take the pin out after about 12 weeks. As opposed to 2 years with plate and screws, and scar is very minimal.

  192. Carl

    I’m so glad I found this site! I fractured my Clavicle on a hard fall while mountain biking at Keystone, CO. Was fine for the first day, but oh boy did the pain kick in for the rest of the first week. I remember lying in bed at night needing to use the bathroom, but too scared to try get out of bed because of the blinding pain for a few minutes whenever I moved my shoulder, even the simple act of getting out of bed.
    Had the same bruising, I figured internal bleeding? Am hoping that I didn’t do any other damage such as a torn rotator cuff. I’ll make an appoinment with an ortho about 3-4 weeks in, since my fracture is not displaced there doesn’t seem much point in visiting a specialist right away before having some time to heal.

  193. Trevor

    Hi All
    I’m a month in now. I have a displaced break nearish to the shoulder joint with the bone tenting on top of my shoulder. It isn’t painful although it can feel a little tight and strange at times. It is troublesome at night and I haven’t attempted to lay on that side. The muscles and ligaments still feel sore from my fall I had although they are improving. My collar bone is not going to go back into place on its own and I don’t particularly like it as it is. I see my consultant in a week’s time after x-ray so will know a little more then. I only have limited movement and strength in the affected side anyway so hopefully I wouldn’t require major metalwork if it needed fixing surgically?
    Cambs UK

    I don’t know if the amount of “metalwork” changes in that case. I would think that the amount would only vary depending on the break itself. Your consultant should be able to give you the answer.

  194. Colleen Pope

    Well, I’m 5 weeks in now and I went to see a specialist yesterday. X-rays show not much healing but the doctor is optomistic that it will heal on it’s own. I hope he’s right. It’s still pretty sore and I’m still wearing the figure 8 brace and have to keep wearing it for the next 4 weeks. Doctor says I can take it off to sleep now which I did for the first time last night. It was soooo nice to take it off for a while and I even left it off to have a shower (instead of a bath) this morning. I go back in 6 weeks to see how I’m progressing. The doctor says we should avoid surgery if at all possible. Although there isn’t much healing showing up yet, he has see patients take up to 3 months before the healing starts. In my case, I have a bone fragment in between the ends which should help connect the bones back together. I’m told only 1% of cases end up with a non-union and need surgery. Hopefully I am in the 99% group.

  195. Colin

    Hi guys, I broke my collarbone playing football in gym. I went to go for a jumpball, I caught the ball and fell, rolled, SNAP. And here I am. It’s been six days now and it’s been the most iratating, uncomfortable, and draining week I’ve ever experienced.
    Granted, I am only 16, I havent experienced much. I’m a very active person, so this is a really bad injury for someone like me.
    I’ve been given a figure 8 and sling. I was starting to feel better, and I woke up this morning. Me being the biggest idiot ever, I used my right arm to suppourt my body while turning off my alarm clock. OUCH. I had to leave school early. I’m just hoping I’m one of the blessed and I heal early and well and I can resume my otherwise amazing life.
    I want my life back.

  196. Ngairo

    Going in to week 5 after a collision with another player while playing rugby. Needless to say I came off second best but he apparently hurt his knee which is what connected with my shoulder. Man… getting up off the ground was a fright as I leaned on my hurt arm to get up and realised that putting weight on it had pushed the bone out of alignment…snap, crackle, pop and I was back on the ground again. Long story short, doctors confirmed a broken right collar bone, I was in bed that night and all of next day. The break was relatively pain free but the swelling and bruising that followed was pretty tough to get through.
    In week two I was getting cramped muscles around my right shoulder blade and that made it hard to breath or get comfortable for a couple of days so in week three I ditched the sling and started extending my arm as it was cramping also. This helped with some of the muscle stiffness/cramps in my back and chest but I suggest a warm to hot shower when ever you can manage it…heat really helps with getting blood circulating through those injured areas…just don’t over do it…any pain felt during gentle exercise should be backed away from in this time.
    Got a lot of ROM back but will try the finger crawl up the wall. Ortho reckons to give it 8 weeks then he’ll make a call on surgery or if it’s all good then let it heal naturally. Still feel a tightness at the front of the shoulder which I am hoping is muscular rather than structural and the jaundice look is still around the injured area…anyway, glad to share…great site. Good luck out there with the getting better…

  197. Kate's mom

    Check back to my postings Sept.2006 My daughter Kate broke her collar bone on the soccer field. 34 days later she was out playing in the state playoffs. She was a little tentative at first, but as a 3 sport athlete…when basketball hit the HS calendar she played as if nothing had happened in soccer…complete with spills on the floor.
    We are on to her Jr year in HS … third yr of varsity soccer and she plays as if the collar bone was never an issue. Good luck to you and your son–let him play if he is up to it.
    Kate’s mom

  198. Jim

    A quick update to 3/9/8 posting last week.
    My son Nate played soccer on Sunday. He was fine. He was careful not to have any hard shoulder challenges. He scored our only goal and then scored in the penalty shootout and we won. So everyone is glad he played.
    Our next game isn’t for 10 days at which point it will have been almost seven weeks, so he should be safe to play pretty well full out. From everything I have read, at his age he should be at 95% bone strength.
    Thanks for your feedback all. Great blog Hans. Break a leg, all.

  199. Colleen Pope

    In talking with many people I know that have broken their collar bone, they have all said that they still have a bump where the break was. When I was concerned that I still had a bump after a few weeks, they all said “don’t worry about it”. Apparantly, I needed to worry about it because the bone is not healing properly, it’s way high, hence the bump. I would definitely get it checked out for your own peace of mind.

  200. Jennie

    Here’s an interesting story I have a definite broken clavicle bone but don’t remember breaking it. Well thats not completely true I was in a car accident over 6 years ago which all I thought happened to me was just some bumps and bruises. However, I saw a family doctor who suggested that it was a delayed response ????? Does that make any sense to any one else? So one morning in October of last year I woke up felt my collar bone and there it was a pushed out bump. Let me tell you I was freaked out. I am currently trying to make an appointment with a Ortho doctor to maybe figure out this mystery. In your research have you found that this is a bump that I will have to live with for the rest of my life?

    It’s rather odd that a collar bone bump would appear so long after the accident. And it’s the first time here anyone has mentioned that happening. It’s good that you are seeing a doc about the bump. Let us know what the Ortho tells you.

    As for living with a collar bone bump, the good news is that the bump tends to decrease over time. Some folks lose the bump while others retain a slight bump. But it all depends on your own body. And having a bump isn’t so bad. It really makes for great stories when hanging around the pool.

  201. Colleen Pope

    Hey Casandra, I think men’s everyday necessities differ a lot from women’s! I do have to admit that my everyday necessities have become every-other-day necessities (like bathing/shaving) because it’s just too much of an ordeal. I’m looking forward to getting out of the tub and back into the shower. lol
    If they immobilize me….I’ll make them do it over my bra….I’m 37 too!!! Good tip about cocktails and painkillers….there’s nothing like washing down a couple of percs with a beer to wash away the pain and get a half-decent night’s sleep. Take care.

  202. Casandra

    I am so happy to have found this site. I broke my right clavicle 5 months ago today. It was the first day of spring break and I was feeling strong and healthy. That lasted until I rode my bike around a corner to fast, hit a guardrail, and did a header over the handle bars. The first orthopedic I went to put me in a really uncomfortable sling and told me I would need to wear it for 6 weeks. He spent a total of 3 minutes with me. After 4 weeks I was finally able to get into the otho that I wanted to go to. He told me I should have had surgery immediately after the accident – but now it was too late. When I saw him again the next month and I still had pain and had not even started to heal, he booked me for surgery.
    Surgery went well. I got a titanium plate and 8 screws put into my clavicle. When I had my follow up visit a week later – still taking lots of pain meds – I did not really understand him when he told me I needed to wear my sling for a while every day, but could use my arm for day to day necessities. I think my everyday necessities were a little different from what he had in mind and 4 weeks to the day of my surgery four of the screws ripped out of my bone and the plate started coming up through the top of my sholder. I barged into his office crying in pain and was taken immediately back to surgery. I am now 8 weeks since my second surgery and still wearing an “immobilizer” around my waist that secures my arm and wrist to the side of my body. For the first 6 weeks I was not allowed to take it off at all – thank god for tube tops that I could pull up underneath the immobilizer. I am now back to wearing real shirts (and a bra) as I can remove my immobilizer 2x a day. I have started back to work on a limited basis. I work with behavior disorder kids, so I am needed to keep my distance from most of them. I also have a bone growth stimulator that I wear 6 hours a day as my bones are not growing / healing. (My doctor also neglected to tell me not to drink after my first surgery, so I spent my summer vacation in a nice haze of pain pills and cocktails.) At 37 I am being told that I am at the upper eschlon of healing time. But I am tired of waiting!!! It is nice to commisterate with others. Good luck, speedy recovery, and oh yeah, curtail the cocktails for now.

  203. Colleen Pope

    Hey Trevor, I hear you about the ache, sometimes it’s unbearable. I dread night time, since I seem to toss & turn all night but am unable to toss & turn very far and not without groaning every time either. I avoided laying on my back the first couple of weeks because it was too painful to get up even with help. I found that my lower abdomen muscles were getting a good workout because they were doing most of the work.
    I am quite lucky that my worst accidents were on my dirt bike and not on the street (I also have a Honda 599 which I think is called the Hornet in your area of the world.)
    Good news for me, my doctor just called and they are trying to schedule me in to see an orthopedic specialist as early as next week. Keep posting how you’re doing….people who haven’t had this injury don’t always understand and some of the ones who have, it was too long ago for them to remember exactly how much this sucks!!!

  204. Trevor

    Hi again Colleen
    Due to the residual paralysis I have on that side It’s always difficult to get a clear view. My break has not really been painful and the consultant pressed the tenting bone last week and it was just like he was pushing a sponge that bounced back up, very strange and painless. I have limited movement under normal circumstances and although I can take my arm out of the sling for washing and dressing I’m very wary of moving it. Trying to hold my dropped shoulder up does make it ache. The worst bit for me is that if I try to lay on my unaffected side in bed then it’s too painful on the broken side. Also, I think I’ve strained my chest ligaments and it really hurts when raising myself from flat on the bed. Apart from all that I’m fine (he said jokingly!)
    I’m a big bike fan myself, mainly speedway, but I’m at one with all bike riders. I also know about biker pain after nearly killing myself on a road bike.
    I hope you lose that pain and get sorted out!

  205. Steven

    Well I was sure mine would have healed by now, but No.
    It is now week 11 and the Doc said it is time to try surgery, so Next week I go in. I am going to have The Modified Hagie pin procedure That A DR. from Duke medical center in North Carolina came up with. It looks minuminly invasive and they say recovery is quicker. I have not been able to work at all through this because I am a Heavy Equipment Tech. That has really hurt since I am the main income in the house. and any disability you can get takes months to start.
    I have noticed that over the past couple weeks I can do more, but he still thinks for me surgery is best. I can not sit and wait any longer, I have to get back to work.
    Wish me luck, and I will let you know how this Modified pin procedure works.

  206. Colleen Pope

    Hi Trevor, sounds like we have a similar situation except that it sounds like you’re not having any pain from it anymore, is that right? How much range do you have with your arm and is it always in your sling?
    I wouldn’t be as concerned about my situation if it still didn’t hurt so much….and I do have a high tolerance for pain I think! Being a dirt rider, it is necessary. lol

  207. Trevor

    I don’t think that you’re being impatient Colleen, that’s just human nature in my book. I have a break which is tenting on my shoulder and surgery is the most likely outcome for my untrained eye. My next appointment is not until the end of Sept and then I’ll have to wait for surgery, if that’s the way the consultant decides upon, and then go through a healing process – it’s all rather depressing isn’t it?
    Cambridgeshire UK.

  208. Colleen Pope

    Hey, this is my first time on this website…it’s awesome, just discovered it today. Glad I’m not alone in the quest for healing! πŸ™‚
    I am a 37 year old female who managed to break her left collar bone on August 12th, doing what I love…dirt bike riding.
    My husband had just picked up a brand new Honda CRF450X and wanted to give it a spin. Given the dry, dusty and extremely hot conditions, I wasn’t too keen on going that day, but decided to go for a quick spin. Always one to be safety concious, I wear full protection riding, especially after breaking 2 ribs in my lower back less than a year ago. But all of the safety gear couldn’t help me when I was tossed at high speed to the ground. We were about 2 minutes from the cottage after only a 35km ride. I hit my head on the ground (wearing a helmet of course) so hard that my vision blurred in my left eye for a while. My left shoulder hit pretty hard too and resulted in my collar bone poking out pretty good against my skin. After I managed to get my vision cleared I hopped back on my bike to try to ride the short distance back, but there was too much pain in my left shoulder, so my husband rode back to get our friends to bring the car to get me and he took my dirt bike back. One of my biggest concerns (apart from the head hitting and the protruding bone in my chest) was that I hadn’t had a shower since Friday morning. And you can imagine with all of the dust I rode through while sweating, I was caked with dirt! My girlfriend was kind enough to give me a sponge bath before we proceeded to the hospital. When I went to the hospital, they gave me a figure 8 brace to wear. Apparantly this is the way to go instead of a sling because it wasn’t a clean break and there was fragments. They gave me an Rx for percs and instructions to leave the brace on and go see my own doctor. The problem I had with the figure 8, was that it was cutting off the circulation in my left arm. I’d wake up in the morning (from my upright sleeping position) and couldn’t find the knuckles on my left hand and twisting my arm made my skin hurt. This couldn’t be good. When I saw my doctor, she told me to loosen the brace at night and tighten it during the day, which seemed to work out fine. I had a follow up appointment with her last Thursday (2-1/2 weeks after my accident) and she seemed optomistic that the bone didn’t seem to be tenting as much and I’d have to wear the *$@%^# brace for up to 6 weeks. Up until that morning I was optomistic as well, I went back to work the day before feeling pretty good, except for the unrelenting ache in my whole shoulder. But upon awaking from a restless night, I found much more pain in the bones themselves, almost as if they maybe had started mending and then broke again. My doctor sent me for x-rays and I was unprepared for the results. Anytime I have x-rays done, I always try to get the technician to give me information, but they never do. This time, I didn’t even need to ask, he started asking me if I went to the hospital, which one, did they x-ray me and what did they do for me. This is when I started to get concerned. He asked me to come and look at my x-ray after I got dressed. To my amazement, the bones weren’t even connected…not even close. The bone that is still tenting, is sitting above the other bone and overlapped. By the time my doctor sees my x-rays this week, I will be almost 4 weeks into this and no better off than when it first happened. I’m still taking baths instead of showers. My husband takes my brace off briefly so I can wash my upper body as best I can. I can manage to get T-shirts on, but need help getting them off…tank tops have been the easiest to deal with. After some of the stories I’ve read on this website, people waiting up to 3 months for the bones to heal themselves and then finally having to have surgery just to go through a whole new healing process. This scares me. I am tired of sleeping on my right side with 2 pillows under my head and 1 under my left arm to keep it up. I’m tired of wearing the figure 8 with jackets to hide it in 30 celcius weather (living just north of Toronto, Canada and our summer isn’t over yet!). I want someone to just cut me open and fix it so I can get on with healing and get past this. The only thing this brace seems to be doing is restricting my movement so I don’t do any more damage inside. I definitely don’t feel comfortable without the brace on because I do still feel broken, but I hate the damn thing!
    Am I being too impatient waiting for this thing to heal or am I right to think that if it hasn’t started to mend itself by now, it never will?
    How much damage can be done inside if these bones remain unattached?
    Any comments would be appreciated.

  209. Frank

    I have a very hard time believing that anyone in the healthcare field would approve of your son playing soccer so soon. In most cases people normaly survive this break without very serious complications ex; compound fractures(bone comes up through skin) distubances with nerves and a very large artery, take a look at the big picture Jim, it’s only a soccer tournament, your son has a long promising athletic life ahead of him.So why risk a refracture which potentially can be much more serious next time? it’s only one opinion here, but if he was my son, he wouldn’t be playing…..frank

  210. Jen

    Yes, the fig-8 replaces the sling. It does allow you to use both hands, and I find it to be far more comfortable than the sling ever was. How much you can use your arm and hand is really relative…depends on your bruising, injury, etc. I had significant bruising because I was going so fast at impact, so I have a lot of muscle soreness. And, of course, the idea is to keep the injured area immobilized, so you don’t want to go using that arm/hand too much even when it is freed up.
    I hope you keep healing well!

  211. Jim

    Hi All:
    Would love some advice. My 14 year old son, Nate, broke his collarbone playing ice hockey four weeks ago. He had a central fracture with the tips touching. Incredible pain until the morphine kicked in at which point he became Mr. Happy. He is the strongest player on our soccer team, and we have our semi-finals coming up this weekend, which will be at the five week mark. He has been out of the sling for two weeks, has no pain and is fully mobile. He started fooling around with his hockey stick last weekend.
    The question I have is regarding the relative risk. I am his Dad and his soccer coach. He is the strongest player on the team. He has healed really fast, and at 14 will be at the fastest healing of his life.
    This seems a bit early. Does anyone have any comments on how likely it is that he has actually built up enough strength in the fusion to be safe? How much risk is there if he breaks it again at the same point?
    Any advice appreciated. I am really perplexed as to whether this is just too early.

  212. Leslie A

    This is a HUGE comfort to me. I was just searching the internet for info and found this. I don’t know what you call it (a blog is one person’s diary, right?) but this is awesome!
    My story – 59 year old bike enthusiast (close to 2,000 miles per year). Spinal fusion 5 years ago for scoliosis so pain and restricted activity are no strangers to me.
    Broken left clavical from a fall on Sept 1st. Beginning of group ride. When I got up, I felt the pain immediately on top of the left shoulder. Never felt that kind of pain so soon. So, I knew it wasn’t just soft tissue.
    I’m a dental hygienist so I have some knowledge of medicine and find orthopedics fascinating. Walked my bike back to the start (no, my beautiful custom Seven was not damaged). Fortunately, someone helped me by putting the bike in my car and I drove myself to the ER (10 minutes away). Did I mention I drive a stick shift?!
    Now day 2. I found last night that the pain increases while in the suppine position. Also, the ice helps attenuate the pain even after hour #48.
    Yup, gorgeous weather here in CT. Best of the season. Dry, warm and sunny. Makes it all so much worse.
    I am particularly interested in everyone’s recovery story.
    I have a spinner bike downstairs so it is no problem to use it w/ one hand/arm support.
    Love the tip on getting your own tee shirt on! Luckily my husband is home this week.
    Intrigued by the Figure 8 Brace. DOES THIS REPLACE THE SLING??? So does it allow you to use the arm and to what degree?
    Again, thanks to the originator and other writers.
    United we stand, together we….uh oh – didn’t mean that one!
    Leslie A

  213. MaryAnn

    Well it is just a few days short of 3 weeks from breaking my right collar bone while falling carrying an infant. I HATE this **** figure-8 thingy!!!! At my 2 week checkup I had myself convinced that I would hear wonderful news like no more figure-8! Instead I heard that the original X-RAY taken at the ER was one of the worst clavical breaks my Doc has every seen! Apparently it’s not only broken & overlapping, but also I have several shattered bone pieces in there as well πŸ™ Doc did say that she was shocked to see me in such great shape & not a ton of pain after seeing my Xray, but that I will probably be in this horrible fig-8 for another 4 to 6 weeks!!!!! I stopped taking the vicidin & ibuprofin after the first week. Has anyone else had the feeling of popcorn popping in there back shoulder & then after a week or so the feeling of bugs running all around inside your shoulder & up & down your arm at odd intervals & a burning sensation a lot? I can actually see the skin twitching & a bubbling kind of motion in my arm at times too.Thankyou in advance for any replies:) MaryAnn

  214. Trevor

    Thanks for the reply Elly. I think he would have gone down the surgery route but because I was not keen and have not got full movement in that shoulder anyway, I think he was prepared to wait. All I was given for support was a velcro fastening arm sling. I don’t think that the NHS is big on flashy supports? I don’t know how a non-union affects the shoulder in the long run but the x-ray did show a distance between fractures & that displacement may be a big problem, together with the tented skin? I’ll just have to play it by ear for a while I assume.
    I know I shouldn’t be perhaps, but I’m always trusting that consultants know what they are doing and I feel out of my depth to question them!

  215. Elly

    Hi Trevor,
    If the doctor said surgery was not needed, then you probably wouldn’t need pins or plates. However, you can always get a second opinion.
    Just keep in mind that in most cases clavicle fractures heal on their own but you still need a figure-8 support (in my case it was a universal support which immobilized the shoulder, kept the elbow next to my body and fixed my wrist to the front of a kind of belt enfording my waist).
    Good luck and quick healing!

  216. Trevor

    Hi All
    I fell off my pushbike on Aug 23 and broke my left clavicle. The bone is tenting (not breaking) the skin and it doesn’t look great. I went to clinic yesterday and the registrar said surgery would be needed. The consultant was called and he suggested waiting a month to see what happens. I am not in pain and only have limited use in that arm & hand anyway due to residual paralysis from head injuries received in a previous motorcycle RTA. The consultant said that I didn’t meet the criteria for urgent surgery so thought it best to wait. I’m not sure how it will go but think that if I want pre-injury appearance, movement & strength then I’ll have to have it pinned or whatever they do these days?
    Cambridgeshire, UK

  217. John Vander Wyden

    I broke my clavicle and 8 ribs front and back on my right side.
    This was on July 12th, 50 days ago. I am feeling great compared to how I felt right after the accident. The clavicle and 2 of the ribs still bother me. I have a disk that the imaging facility gave me with my X-Rays and MRI images. I am now waiting for the orthopedic doctor to tell me if my body is laying down a fibrous bridge and healing. My X-rays really scared me when I first saw them because the two peices of the clavicle seem so far apart, sort of hanging over each other. The doctor allayed my fears and explained how that was common. The injury itself is very common in cycling and motor cross.
    How is your shoulder coming along, and long term effects. It’s been a while now hasnt it?

  218. Jen

    Bummer! The front-closing brace arrived, and it’s not going to work. The straps are stiff and cannot possibly be worn comfortably under one’s arms; you’d have to hold them straight out, like a stick person. It also creates downward pressure on the clavicle, which obvoiusly is not a good thing. It comes with a very thick, rounded foam insert that is supposed to go between your shoulder blades, which makes sitting back in a chair or lying down impossible. It is removable, but then the support doesn’t work correctly. All in all, poor design for our needs. I would not recommend it.
    Guess it’s back to the figure-8 for support, but remaining dependent on my friends’ help. πŸ™

    Thanks for posting your review. Maybe I should add a review section for shoulder supports? Or maybe it’s time for someone to invent a comfortable and usable shoulder support!

    Glad you got good news, Frank!

  219. kharen hill

    just a couple of comments…I have been sleeping in a “zero gravity” (outside chair from Costco or canadian tire) chair that swings flat and also upright. You can’t roll over and hurt your shoulder. Also the codine they gave me at emergency made me dizzy, nautious so I stopped taking it. The doctors didn’t mention that could be a side effect.
    I don’t know why any-one would be trying to madly exercise in the first couple of weeks. I am at day 8 and my briuses are not completely heled and neither are my other aches and pains, so I think it is better to give your body a break and try and let it heal without pushing it?

  220. Frank

    Hey Jen….How’s that clavicle healing? Congradulations on finding a front fastening figure 8 brace, I could have used one, and it’s good that the people reading this forum know there out there…Things are healing well here, in fact I seen another Doctor and he assured me that my clavicle is healing, without having to look at an xray…I’ve been getting positive vibes about laying on my left side…so I did..and that was fine, never hurt!! I won’t sleep on it though, I’ll wait another couple of weeks for that…good to hear you have that poison ivy thing overwith, like you needed that on top of everything!!….take care…and good healing to all……

  221. Allison - Jersey, Channel Islands

    Hi there, this site has been really informative and helpful. I broke my collar bone some 13 weeks ago. I have had two lots of x-rays which apparently reveal that the break has resulted in the bones crossing over and I have a rather large lump. The consultant told me that the x-rays reveal that there has been no change in the bones since the fracture in May. I am due to have more x-rays in October. I have a virtually full range of movement. I’m not particularly worried about the bump though and the pain had subsided considerably. However, two days ago the pain returned and I developed tingling in my hand and a loss of strength in my fingers resulting in me not being able to successfully use a spray can or write properly….i know that when i first went to hospital I was asked if I had pins & needles which I did not and i am somewhat alarmed that this has developed over 3 months later…has anybody else experienced similar? I am a 43 year old female..

    What you describe might be caused by a nerve being impinged. I would recommend that you follow up with your doctor and describe your new condition.

  222. Jen

    Thanks for the tip on side sleeping. I was worried that the weight shift would move my left shoulder down in a bad way since the bone is definitely not bridged yet, but I’ll give it a try.
    I’m not too worried about how I look, so the bruising, etc. isn’t too big a deal. The poison ivy was the gross part, and that has finally just about healed, thank goodness! It’s a little weird to get stared at whenever I go out, but kind of funny, too.

    Speaking of the evil poison oak, I have a few pages of info with my experiences with that nasty plant:


    I hope I found just what I need: a front-closing brace. I ordered it tonight, and really, really hope that I can take it on and off myself while still getting enough support. I’m having a hard time not being able to adjust it at night, etc. when a friend is not around to help me, and I don’t want to keep depending on them for the next 6 weeks (even though they are wonderful about it)!
    Have any of you ever used this product?
    I hope you continue to heal well, Frank!

  223. Frank

    As I read your story Jen, I found alot of simularities to mine, even my ortho broke his collar bone. I came on to update my progress which started on june 23rd, my last posting was August 11th, but just to comment on a couple of things you talked about Jen, the figure of 8, the jury’s out on that one, I personally liked it and thought it was doing me some good, but being single I had to trash it. Hopefully when NASA is done with the space station, they can help engineer one that fastens at the front…The bruising, expect that to be hanging around for a while, I’m at 8 weeks and it’s finally left me, yes it can be hard on ya if your attached to physical appearance. My left wing looked like it belonged to” Mongomery Burns” (the simpsons….google him, you said you don’t watch any TV) my delts, bicep and tricep basically disappeared and the pain was awful. But I can say that it’s all much better now, until I look at an xray of course. On the 20th I went for my 8 week xray….no change, same picture as before. It’s funny how you can feel so well, confident, and strong and then look at a picture and feel so deflated. But it was only a brief moment, it’s only 8 weeks to early to see new bone and theres definately some bone knitting happening despite what the x ray shows, my own intellegence is telling me that things are healing fine, and thats what I’m going by, not an xray. My ortho wants me back in 6 weeks and gives me a 50/50 chance of having union, I had him place his fingers over the fracture site to feel the strength in it (which doesn’t back up the xray) but he fails to comment, he says I’m tough!!.I do like the guy though he is a good ortho/surgeon,and he’s not pushing me for a plate, in fact he say’s, thats all going to depend on me, how I’m feeling and whether I want it. I joke with him and tell him I feel great when I’m not looking at xrays..for those of you at this stage, I don’t want to sound cynical, but there are some differing opinons out there about the reliability of xrays to show new growth. if you can find it some where in this forum, there was a guy by the name of Jeff Brook read his story and follow ups, its awhile ago, but interesting. He like myself was having xrays show up negative on healing. But like me, he was very active and was concerned of his life ahead without a healed clavicle. His surgeon told him that although the xrays and ct scans show new bone, it doesn’t always mean theres none there, he told jeff that he once opened a guy up under the same circumstances as his, only to find bone!!! and I believe it, thats probably a stat thats not recorded or ever talked about. Having said that, there are cases for surgery, and plenty of success stories there as well….Iguess the only thing that bites for me now is that I still can’t begin to strength train, despite that I’m feeling darn good, I can lift 30 pounds with the left no problem, but some of the differnt ranges and arm positions still hurt (without weight)…back to you Jen, if your able to sleep on your right side that might help the strap burn on back..lol..I was suprised to read you were out at a concert after a week with no pain, Iwas still doing perkies at that point, I was getting out, but a little wired up.You’ll have your ups and downs, but it sounds like your healing faster than i was..and I hope things continue to go well for you, take care and fast healing to all….frank

  224. Jen

    Hello all!
    Wow, reading these stories has done me a world of good. I broke my left clavicle on Aug 12 coming down a speedy downhill on my trusty Cannondale F600 and skidding out on some loose dirt on the tight curve at the bottom. I landed directly on my left shoulder, bounced over once on my head (thank you, helmet!) and have some impressive road rash on my left shoulder blade that is just starting to heal.
    The only person in my group with any first aid training was, well, me! (My buddy’s girlfriend is a doctor; I said, “Do you know what to do?” She said, “No.”) Somehow I remained completely calm and gave directions until the emergency team showed up to drive me out on an ATV. I thought I could walk out, but shock was setting in and I couldn’t walk more than 2 steps without almost passing out. I remember telling my friends, “Lay me down. Now elevate my feet. Someone give me water.” I will eventually forgive my friend who, meaning to help, poured purple Gatorade in my eyes while trying for my mouth. Thank goodness for the training I received on my NOLS Outdoor Educator course in WY this June! The only critical mistake I made was lying down in a patch of poison ivy. So road rash on the left shoulder blade, oozing sores on the right blade–it’s quite sexy, really.
    The emergency team was quite enthusiastic, but a little Keystone Cops scene played out: the oxygen mask was partly over my eyes, so I had a wind blowing directly onto my eyes until I got them to move it down over my nose/face; the women taking my vitals kept unpacking a bag and bumping me really hard every time she did so; they poked me four times in four places in my right arm(and each one is now a purple bruised knot) in order to start a morphine IV, which they eventually had to do in my left arm which I was clutching to my chest for dear life. “You want me to straighten it?” was all I could say in disbelief, but straighten I did; needed the morphine just for that; the man leaning over me in the ATV was sweating copiously onto my face, so I had his sweat stinging my eyes; they couldn’t get the stretcher to lock in place in the ambulance and began slamming it hard until I yelled, “I’m on this thing!” to which they replied, “Sh*t! We forgot!”.
    After all that, the ER folks gave me more good drugs, took some x-rays and sent me home with a sling that was made for Andre the Giant (I am 5′ 7″ and 130) and a script for Percocet. I’d asked for Vicodin, but they talked me into Percs which made me puke. After two days with that nuisance, the Ortho I saw was incredibly helpful–my condolances to all of you who had to deal w/ Ortho’s with poor or indifferent bedside manner. He’d had a broken collarbone himself and said that while current research says the sling is the way to go, the figure-8 is what worked for him. He rigged me up and sent me home with Vicodin. Aahhh! Now I could sleep and find some comfort.
    So here I am, 8 days into recovery, and was surprised to find myself in good enough shape to go to a Crowded House concert a couple of days ago, and on a date yesterday. I am not taking anything for pain. The only trouble I have is with the lump the straps the figure-8 makes right on my spine when I sleep; it’s gettng a bit sore. Any tips for that? I’m also having those fiery pains and numbness many of you have described, depending on my arm position. I know it’s nerve-related, and I’m hoping it goes away soon as things continue to heal. I just got the neon-yellow bruising creeping down my torso thing some of you have had, and that is further helping the sexy look. πŸ™‚
    This has been an exercise in patience and dependence. For example, it iss challenging to feel both grateful to and irritated with my ex-boyfriend who helped me shower that first night to get the dirt out of my back. He was incredibly helpful, but keeps calling to see if I need another shower. Uh, no.
    Like many of you, I’m used to being incredibly active (rock climber, mtn biker, whitewater kayaker), so this is tough. I’ve gotten incredibly adept at being one-handed, even typing, and I’m grateful that it’s summer so I can slip into strappy tank tops with ease after I pull them up over my hips. It’s also been raining for almost a week, so I don’t feel I’m missing too much!
    Today was kind of a low day emotionally. I am bored, tired of needing help with the brace, not being able to do certain things for myself. I’m not a tv watcher, but my friends set me up with a set and a dvd player, so I’ve watched a ton of movies. It helps, but the charm is fading. Reading, doing some work (which is mostly by email, fortunately), helps and friends visit, but yeah–there are times I struggle. I try to remind myself that at least I am alive, and I could have injured far more severely, so I’m lucky. It helps (as does the occasional single malt scotch…!).
    I am glad there’s such a cool, prestigious club of which I am now a member, and I thank you for your stories. You’ve cheered me up on a gloomy evening. It’s also good to have a realistic picture of the time I will take to heal, being 36. I’m resting mostly to work with my body instead of against it, and we’ll see how long I take… Thanks, everyone!
    Missing my bike (she rolled away without a scratch, at least),

  225. MaryAnn

    Well I must say my broken collar bone story is rather unique when compared to the others I’ve read here! I am not a youngster by any stretch of the means & I would TOTALLY not consider myself an athlete, unless of course having five children – ranging in age of 27, 25(today), 14, 7,& 4 qualify me! LOL I am a 48 year old, 1st time grandma πŸ™‚ Yes, my lovely 27 year old daughter gave birth to my very first grandchild 6 weeks ago. And that is how I broke my collar bone!! I was simply walking down the street with my daughter as I carried my wonderful new grandbaby in my loving arms with loads of graceful pride. OK maybe not so graceful – I somehow managed to twist myself up and land smack on my back, banging my, ankle, knee, & head on the way down to the hard pavement. My only thoughts were making sure the baby did not get hurt, so I clutched him close to my breasts and threw myself backwards when I realized I had lost my balance. Happy to report the baby came out without anything more than a supersized squeeze from Grandma! One moment I was feeling like a vibrant young mother of a 4 year old & the next I was an old wounded Grandma sprawled out on the pavement! My dauhgter grabbed her baby from my chest & loosened grip from the impacked & gasped with relief that he was OK. I myself caught my breath & thanked God for his safe landing. Then I proceeded to sit up & attempt my stance to the erect world. The minute I rose to my feet I felt the creepy snap-crackle-pops and could not understand how I may have managed to break my right arm! But it sure felt like I had. We continued on our way only to make it a few more steps before I told my daughter something wasn’t quite right & I thought I needed medical attention. She agreed with a horrified gasp when I exposed the huge bump protruding from my right collar bone. (I am also right handed) This was 9:00PM on Tuesday, (my wedding anniversary was the next day) I was back home from the ER and sitting on my potty, pucking my gutts out onto the floor by 4:00AM I am in a T-back shoulder brace & an arm sling. My advice here is EAT something with each dose of the ibeprofin. Thank God for Vicidin & a great hubby & a couple of great kids to wait on me cause I am feeling rather useless & helpless!!!! And that is my story & I am sticking to it!

  226. Anna

    Margaux —
    I was so sorry to read of your plight. Since your injury happened on the job, can’t your employer help out at all? I’m not a lawyer, but I would imagine that even if someone was just visiting the work place and was injured there would be some liability involved.
    Best wishes,

  227. nikki

    i am so glad i found this site it has been great to know im not the only like this i am on my 7week of a broken collar bone i was out for the first time in months and when i fell i was in a club and they were haveing a foam party and yes i fell in it i didnt know i had broke my collar to i had to go to hosiptal were i got an xray i still cant lift my arm up above my head i got my xray last week and no healing but the doc told me it can take up to 3months to fully heal so here is hopeing

  228. Elly

    Thanks Frank!
    I guess I just needed someone to tell me s/he felt just as bad at some point. This is because I thought I would be as good as new once I had the pins out. Then I decided the clavicle might break again if I did anything drastic…
    Actually, my doctor told me to move the arm without raising it up over my head, or at least that’s what he demonstrated I should not do. I am thinking of trying finger walking up the wall, though, and listening to my body. πŸ˜‰
    Maybe I should also pester the doctor some more when I go to have the two stitches taken out.

  229. Frank

    I just googled….”shoulder rehab” and theres plenty of good information and shoulder exercises there.My range of motion was very limited as well and when I went for my 4 week follow up my ortho had me raise it up over my head which I never thought it would do, and I never would have attempted that on my own without his consent or him standing rate there watching me.If i were you at this point I would ask your doctor to be a little more specific on what exercises to do. Maybe he did tell you to start raising your arm above your head, and if thats the case, start finger walking up the wall, you have to put up with alot of discomfort in the beginning Elly, but it gets alot better, listen to your own body intellegence as well, when you feel you should stop exercising and rest it..Then obey that feeling.

  230. Elly

    Hello to all members of the Broken Clavicle Club! Many thanks to Hans for founding it!
    This site was a mine of information and reassurance that I was not alone and if others could do, then I could do it, too. πŸ™‚
    And here is my small contribution:
    It all began on June 24, 2007. I wish it had been triggered by a mountain bike, football or any other kind of exciting activity.
    However, on the above date, I was simply watering the garden when I slipped, fell with my right hand stretched and ended up with a distal clavicle fracture close to the acromioclavicular joint.
    Faced with the choice of wearing a figure-8 brace which, I was told, will only show non-union in 20 days or having two pins inserted which will speed up the healing process, I went for the surgery. The next day I was scheduled, had general anesthesia and woke up with some extra metal inside me.
    The following weeks are familiar to everyone on this site so I won’t delve into them. What I hadn’t realized at the time was that the pins, which were curved at the end, could rotate inside me. At the end of the second week, one of the pins performed exactly that, slowly but thoroughly. This meant excruciating pain and heavy doses of ibuprofen. The other pin also found a new place and almost pierced the skin, but luckily it did not rotate.
    At the end of the 6th week, the orthopedist extracted the pins with local anesthesia and told me to begin moving my arm and shoulder without lifting anything heavy and without making sudden movements.
    The problem is that after being immobilized for 6 weeks

  231. Nadav

    Hey how you guys doin’? well, I ain’t doing good. I broke my collarbone 1.5 years ago while playing basketball in school, I was 15.5 years of age, Now I just celebrated my 17th birthday.
    I live in Israel so if my english is lacking then i’m sorry :/
    I broke my left collarbone when a player collided directly into my clavicle, I head my collarbone snap into half, Well, something snapped into half, didn’t know what exactly…
    My mom picked me up and took me to the hospital, I don’t remember doing xrays, I just remember that the doctor brutally took my shirt off and glanced at my bone and confirmed that it was indeed a collarbone fracture, the bone snapped into half.
    I remember not seeing the collarbone, it wasn’t visible.. like I didn’t have a collarbone, what does it mean? I had a massive dislocation of the bone?
    anyway, as of today the bones are overlapping by 2 cms and my left collarbone is visibly shoter than the right side, My dominant side is right by the way.
    I didn’t do physiotherapy, because I was insructed by the doctor.
    Today, I really care about my cosmetics, Is there an option that my chest muscle has changed because of the shortenning of the clavical? it is different than the right side.
    I’m leanning towards surgery, but the doctors I went to don’t wanna operate, and if one does agree, is it different from the stage when the bones hasn’t fused yet? will I have to make a bone graft? and will my collarbone be the same as my right side? I mean cosmetical.
    and will the shave my bone just like the right side? because the left collarbone is thicker and doesn’t have an anatomcial look,it’s straight.
    Last question, is it a complciated surgery? because the bones are already fused…
    thanks for any help, Nadav.

  232. Frank

    My membership into the very large “fractured clavicle” club began on June 23rd, 7 weeks ago tonight, like many of the other stories it happened on a mountain bike, racing downhill with a friend who tried to pass me and nudged my handle bars..all I remember from that point is my head collecting gravel through the vents on my helmet,. and the weight of the world resting on my left shoulder..It’s a good thing it was a cold evening and I was wearing a thick fleece cause the rash would have been to the bone!! I’ve waited this long to write only because it would be more value to others reading who have just recently hurt themselves..This may look long but I can assure you it will put your mind at ease..the first set of x-rays showed a single clean break 3 quarters of the way down my collar bone towards my shoulder I also fractured 2 ribs and puntured my left lung which didnt require any surgery. I noticed while looking at my x-ray (and this has importance later on) that the clavicle at the fracture site was slightly overlapped with very little displacement. The shoulder joint looked fine,but it was obvious in the days that followed, that it suffered a very bad sprain. Home I went wired on morphine and a perscription for percaset, thank god for that!! The first 4 weeks had it’s ups and downs, I managed to get the left arm far enough away from my body to get a bar of soap under it while in the shower.I watched 4 seasons of the Saprano,s and did plenty of web brousing. An overwhelming amount of information that I read on the internet was VERY positive, all the well respected sports injury and medical institutions around North America were in agreement that non union was rare and corrective surgery was reserved for the few who suffered serious complications ex: compound fractures”thats when the bone penetrates through the skin; fracture sites around the base of the neck which could interfere with a large artery and nerves; and severe dislocations which is characterized by extreme tenting of the skin. This site was very positive and supportive as well, but I became aware of the needless worry and anxiety that many suffered from the “worst case senerios” given by there doctors. Iam in no way trying to undermine doctors and surgeons here, and for the unfortunate few thank god we have them, but the rest of my story will get you thinking in a positive way,which is most important with any type of recovery.
    I have to be honest and say that for a short while I became concerned about the implications of non union, but I would run my fingers over the fracture site and I could feel one end of the collarbone, and rate underneath it (with no space between) was the other piece which came from my shoulder. At 4 and a half weeks it was not tender or painfull to touch,but if I performed any movement with my arm that put stress at the fracture site I felt a pinch ( the shockers comming read on) Off I go for my 4 week follow up, an xray is taken and then the wait for the ortho surgeon and I’m feeling pretty confident here, in he walks and I say..feels like I have some union happening here, and he says what are ya from another planet no-body heals that quick (fair comment) then he says I’ll show you your xray shortly, let me see how much arm movement you have, which wasn’t much and he wasn’t happy with that(much better now though!) then I looked at the x ray and I couldn’t believe my eyes, the fracture looked displaced by at least a half inch.Definately not what I was feeling. Then he says I was hoping to see signs of healing happening between the bones,so I want you to come back in 4 weeks and if thers still no sign we’ll have to start thinking of putting a plate in there..Yikes!!
    There I go back home worried and doubting my own intellegence of whats really happening in my body..First I want to say, before I had that x-ray I repeatedly moved that arm and shoulder around while feeling the overlapped clavicle and the 2 bones NEVER moved apart from one another, I felt those bones often and they were never apart,not after week 3 anyway. My important point is, be very carefull what you read into x rays,they don’t always give an accurate picture especially when it comes to displacement, your displacement could be much smaller then it appears, you don’t have to have overlap for healing, it bridges well even with large gaps, and something else, I’m attaching a web page (in case you haven’t seen it) that explains the bone healing process..theres 2 types of union first is clinical which depending on your age can take 4-6 weeks, its discribed as a fibrous callous that first forms between your bones, this formation can pass undetected by x-rays. then theres radiograph union, that is the stage in which the bone begins to calcify, and again this stage can also take 4-6 weeks depending on age. That means it can take anywhere from 8-12 weeks before you see any new bone on x-rays, and seeing that I’m 43 I should be at the higher end..I f your worried about union..look at your road rash, is it healing? In my opinion when your road rash is scarred over (no more scabs) you have clinical union inside, and don’t be disappointed if your x rays show no new bone growth. I just wish all doctors can get on the same page with this.My next appointment is in a week and I’ll give ya’s a report. Ican tell you for sure that if I dont see any new calcium I won’t panic cause it will only be 8 and a half weeks,other than that I’m starting to feel just great, big improvements after week 4,physio is going well, don’t worry you’ll get your arm moving again. Happy healing and I hope you found this comforting…..Frank

  233. Margaux

    Hello anyone who can help!
    I work for a very small but extremely promising company that (sigh) has no health insurance policy. One of my co-workers accidentally knocked me down while on the job, and because of how I fell….my clavical broke near the top of my left shoulder.(im a contracted employee so no insurance will cover)
    I had to go to the doc in Akron ohio so Im pretty sure they are not the authority on collar bone breakage. Only thing is that I just graduated from college and have no health insurance (nor family(foster child)/relatives/kind un-homeless neighbors) to speak of. they put me in a sling but i think that I need a brace that pulls my shoulder/clavical back into place like the figure-8 braces I have been told about.
    Im so confused and I cant afford to go to an ortho doc. I am dying to run/workout because its my refuge, but I have no idea how far I can push this without permanent injury. I am so tired of camping out in the university library in order to use the computers…. please help!
    any suggestions? Im broke. Im begging. Im desperate. Im
    out of options as well as left arms. my boss (and my only source of income)will not accept “excuses”….
    thank you!

  234. Tom

    Hello Hans
    I have been fascinated by the stories and tips on your site.
    I came off my motorbike on a sharp left hand bend at 7.15 pm on Tuesday, 31 July (probably caused by a patch of diesel fuel). One second I was on, next I was sliding across the road. I was only two miles away from home, having spent a great afternoon biking in the glorious Peak District.
    Severe pain in left shoulder and inability to get up told me I had probably broken my collar bone.
    Am very lucky to be alive since a car was coming the other way, fortunately being driven sensibly. The young woman driver called an ambulance and then my wife. My leathers saved my skin and my crash helmet saved my life.
    At very busy hospital the doctor confirmed that I had a multiple fracture and a nurse put my arm in a simple sling and sent me home at 11 pm with appointment for fractures clinic two days later on August 2. I was in a lot of pain and I could feel bones moving around – I tried to sleep in an armchair with a worried wife on settee opposite.
    However, I read on the ‘net that most fractures heal normally with sling, and so the following day (Wednesday) I honoured my promise to video my grandaughter’s birthday party. Pain continued to get worse…
    On Thursday morning – after hardly any sleep – I realized why when I saw the X-Ray in the fractures clinic: my collar bone was broken in three places with a two – three inch floating piece in the middle. No wonder I had felt it moving about!
    The surgeon told me that he normally only saw this sort of injury in 35 year olds (I am 62). Not sure how to interpret this…
    However, he suggested that since I was obviously active (I go to the gym three times a week) he would fix it together with a titanium plate, hopefully the following day (Friday, August 3).
    Incidentally he told me that this had to be done within 7 – 10 days of the break – I have not seen any other reference to this time restriction on your site.
    Arriving at hospital next morning (in even more pain) I was delighted to hear that he had scheduled me as the first operation of the day. When I came to, now wearing a proper sling, I felt comfortable for the first time since the accident but was very grateful later that day for the repeated doses of morphine to deal with the pain – worst in the middle of the night – but recovered well enough to be discharged after one night in hospital.
    A physiotherapist gave me exercises: pendulum swings of the shoulder, wrist rotations, bicep curls and shoulder shrugs!!!
    I am delighted to say that the pain has gradually subsided and I have now stopped taking pain killers during the day. Am scheduled to see the surgeon again next week.
    My biggest problem now is reduced mobility and sleeping propped up on pillows.
    As everyone on your site has said the simplest things become difficult or impossible: I can manage dressing, washing with a flannel and shaving, and am keeping the very moist area under left armpit under control with anti-bacterial gel. However, I am finding it nearly impossible to put my socks on!
    Am also under a lot of pressure to give up motorcycling and my bike: a BMW R100RS which is now waiting to have the damage repaired. This is despite the fact that this is my only accident in the twenty years since I returned to motorcycling…
    I do feel bad, however, since one of my daughters, who is over eight months pregnant, told me she thought she was going into labour when she saw me lying at the side of the road with my face as white as a sheet. Apparently the young lady who called my wife said “I am very sorry to have to inform you that your husband…” Result: a very worried wife, two distressed daughters, son-in-law and daughter’s boyfriend all rushed out to scene of accident!
    Please keep up the good work on your site – it really helps to read about other people’s experiences with this painful injury.

  235. makena

    Update from makena: I finally got a second opinion. My first ortho guy said, “oh, it just takes time to heal, be patient” This is after I looked at the same x-ray he did and don’t see my bones “fusing” at all. They were overlapping but not healing together. He said, it just takes time.
    I went to another doctor after waiting 8 weeks with the first dr. the new guy’s first look at the x-ray, he said, “your bones aren’t fusing. we call that “non-union”. You need surgery.”
    Just had surgery last tuesday, july 31. I now have a straight bone with a bone graft in the middle. a seven inch rod and 7 screws in it. alot of pain still, but that was aggravated by the fact that by waiting 8 weeks, scar tissue had formed and they had to scrape that out.
    My advice, if you don’t like what you’re hearing or seeing, get a second opinion, sooner!

  236. Raz

    Hans this is a great site for those of us dealing with our clavicle injuries. I found your site a few weeks ago and read your story, and returned today and read Laura’s, as well as a few of the other postings on the site. Some entertaining stories and I find encouragment with the reading.
    I broke my clavicle and a rib while cornering one of the switchbacks on Squaw Pass in Colorado on June 24th. I think that I hit some gravel and then lost control, though I really only remember the sound of the wheels coming out from under me and the next thing a stopping motorist asking if I was okay? Well, at first I thought I was ok and that I would be finishing my ride but I couldn’t really move much…really had the wind knocked out of me! Eventually I did get up and a lady that had stopped, who is a nurse, immediately told me that I had a broken clavicle. She and her husband were kind enough to load my bike in their truck and drive me to an Urgent Care in Evergreen. The urgent care xrayd and treated the break and road rash….probably a 3-4 hr visit. I have followed up with my family physician as well as an orthopedic. Both say I will get back to normal…although I’ve been pretty frustrated with my range of motion. I guess at 46 I’m not going to bounce back like a 25-year old!
    Well, here is the weird part; just over 1-week ago I was taken to the ER and admitted to the hospital for a Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA). Until last week I had never heard of a TIA, which the doctor explained to be a mini-stroke. First, i can’t believe anything like this would happen to me…I’ve been very fit and active my entire life! The docs put me through more tests than I like to admit with all my results being normal. With the exception of two things, the MRI showed I also have a broken rib (from the bike accident, which none of the other doctors I had seen managed to tell me about); the echocardiogram showed a PFO (small hole in my heart). The PFO has been with me all of my life and I understand that about 20-25% of the population has this condition. However, the TIA scared the crap out of me!The doctors don’t seem to think that the TIA had anything to do with the bike accident, but in my opinion it’s just too much of a coincidence. My cholestrol levels are good, blood pressure normally around 118/70…never a health concern in my life. Now I crash my bike and have a TIA a month later! My thoughts are that maybe I had a small blood clot from the crash that made it’s way to my brain through the PVO and shut some things down for a while (I felt back to normal within about 60-90 minutes). I’ll be seeing neurologists whenever I can find one that can get me in. I suppose if the docs felt it was all that serious I would be seeing a neorologist at the ER.
    Sorry for the long post, I’ve been pretty consummed with this. I have a wife and 2 small kids that are as freaked out by this as I am. Hoping for some answers!

  237. bill (from b4)

    Hi i posted an article about a month ago, im almost at week six and feeling prety good. To the article above, the world is a two handed world. Unless you use one arm ur whole life, you wont be used to it. Anyway i had a couple questions, im not in great shape becuz of all this rest but i dont wanna start doing weights becuz i dont know if my bone is really healed or just mended. My mom said she would take me for an x-ray at the walk in clinic but they take about 1-2 weeks and get sent to my family doctor. Im 16, how long do guys my age usually wait b4 doing weights or sit-ups, runnning? Does it really take 3 months minimum b4 ur bones as strong as b4? I just dont wanna be the person who rebreaks their collarbone. I would appreciate the advice becuz no other site has a good forum like this one.

  238. Charles

    Wow…welcome to my life. You ought to try this: ball your dominant hand in a fist and wrap it with sports tape. Live like that for a week. Buttons, tight pants, etc., all of that works fine. Bras? Pssh…I can undo a girl’s bra quicker than she can herself using two fingers. Buttons four or five. Use your pinky, ring, and thumb to hold the hole side and the two remaining fingers to pull on the button of your pants. Once aligned, reposition your thumb so that you are pinching together both sides of the waistband. The rest is easy. Tying shoes is a breeze, too. I also play tennis and guitar. I’m sorry to say, but that article is quite laughable. A two-handed world? Yeah, right.

  239. dave

    my hobbies are triathlon and golf.
    its impossible to compare injuries.
    this is what i know.
    doctors say my break is “acute” with some
    i crashed onto my left side (to avoid a dog)
    while cycling at 15-mph.
    a blow to my elbow broke the clavicle.
    i passed-out for 20-seconds.
    i am depressed::
    honestly, what should i expect about
    making “normal/hard” golf swings again?
    what about the “free-style” swimming motion?
    am i screwed?
    honestly, is triathlon over for me?
    after 5 days i have very little motion,
    and can lift only very light objects, in
    the shoulder that is “not” broken.
    btw: i don’t remember the accident, however the dog is in
    good health. i must have missed the dog, elsewise it would
    be a dead dog.
    aren’t there leash laws????

  240. Frank

    I want to thank you for all the useful information on the sight. I,ll be disclosing my story and helpful hint,s in time. But for know I have a question that I hope you can answer. How did Laura Erker,s story ever finish? My injury and progress was almost a mirror image of hers, and her last report was heading out the door for x rays at 8 wks and then nothing after that? Did she find union?
    regards Frank

    Good question! I’ll see if I can get some info from her.

  241. Anthony

    Great news today!! I’ve been for my week 9 x-ray and the consultant said that the bone had ‘fully united’. What a relief. I know I’ve still got to be very careful not to do too much too soon and put myself back to square 1, but it’s so nice to get some positive news. Maybe now that will increase my positive thoughts and speed my full recovery. Hans, thanks for running this site and giving people who are completely fed up somewhere to air there frustrations and hopefully help towards the healing process

  242. AB

    I first hurt mine in August of 2005 during Football practice, and I still played on it not knowing until I got X-Rays after the season in November and got the results back in December before Christmas.And till this day it still hurts and my bone sticks out. To make things worst I have my senior season coming up.

  243. James

    My adventure which broke my right clavicle at age 46
    To Much Fun In The Sun.
    The day is Sunday May 27th I awoke to a message on my answering machine from my best friend inviting me and my other half to a cookout. I called and confirmed we would both be there and sure enough we showed up.
    We arrived around 1pm and joined the party. During the cookout I had nine beers and made sure I ate well.
    We played bat mitten and before we knew it the sun was setting and so we went inside to play darts. My other half wanted to head home around ten pm and so I got her in the car and brought her home “once there I asked if she would mind if I went back to the cookout for a couple of hours and she said sure if you want to. Well rather than
    Take the car back since it was such a nice night I grabbed my motorcycle helmet and took my Honda Nighthawk instead. I stayed a few hours and had a few more beers. I asked my friend Chris (who was also there)
    If he wanted a ride home and he said sure so off we went. I dropped him off (about four miles from my place) and headed home. I was about seventy yards from my place at a stop sign when I blacked out. I did not feel intoxicated or dizzy. I did not see this coming at all. I do not even recall getting up let alone slamming the pavement. I recall swearing at the bike and seeing two guys walking up the side street and yelling for help. They up righted the bike quickly and I rode it home. Once home I could tell I had hurt
    my right shoulder. I went inside after parking the bike and then went in the bathroom to see the shoulder in the mirror and I could see the bone sticking up. I asked my other half if she wanted to go to the hospital to have a blood test her doctor requested and she of course replied are you nuts in ONE AM in the morning. I said well you mind as well since I have to go and she asked why so I showed he the bone. She went nuts. She was going to call 911 and I said no lets get in the car I will drive “‘since she can not drive. Once in the car I went into shock and we made our way back inside and she called 911. She told 911 I fell off my bike so the cops also showed up. Needless to say I lied and told them I was moving the bike in its parking space and going to cover it up for two days of rain coming. They tried to get my other half to confess I was riding and she kept her smarts and said I was home all night. Then they went to look at the bike. Since the bike got very little damage they figured it only fell over and left.
    Off to the hospital via ambulance.
    Once there I knew I had to state the same as told to the police. The hospital staff did not draw blood and only took x-rays and eventually told me I broke my collar bone and put me in a figure eight brace and a sling and gave me a prescription for oxycodone/apap
    After fours hours it was time to hail a cab and head home.
    I was quick to contact a bone specialist who also turns out to be a surgeon. His name is Ken. Ken points out I got a very bad break that may heal on its own in six months “however he can operate and pull the bone back into place with an L shape piece of metal and a few screws. He says doing so should bring the healing time down to five or six weeks. So I agree.
    Surgery day arrives June 12th
    I come out of the Anastasia only to learn the operation that was supposed to take about one hour took over two hours and that rather than the L shaped metal I got a full length of the collar bone metal and seven screws. Ken said the bone splintered. For some reason he did not see this on the x-rays.
    Regardless I found that it was after the surgery that the real pain was to show its true face. Because they waited so long all the muscles and tendants shrunk and were re stretched. Now I was given more of the same pain pills and told to wear a new sling.
    Here it is week 5 and I was told not to wear the sling anymore at home and to wear it only at work. I was also given two exercises to help loosen the shoulder. What I found was that once the sling was off I had absolutely no use of my right arm. I found myself angry and decided since I was on a three day weekend I would work the arm until I got some use back. I can now open doors and drive with the arm but I can not raise the arm up over my head and if I extend the arm I can not get it up to my chin level. The surgeon says I will need therapy so I question now how painful is this therapy and about how long is it?.
    The surgeon says thin people like me complain about the metal and in six months he can remove it. I question what will happen to the arm at that point. Do I go through most of the pain again?
    Im six foot five and used to weigh 160 but since this happened weigh 141 I don’t think I can afford to loose any more weight.
    I have not touched alcohol for fives weeks now and sure wont ever dehydrate myself like that ever again.
    Drinking three or four beers every night and more on weekends made my bones soft. So im told.
    I thank the doctors for telling me every time a person drinks alcohol and then urinates they loose calcium.
    I wonder how many people know this.
    Signed: Thankful to be alive.

  244. Anthony

    Well where do i start? As i have previously posted on this site I broke my left collar bone on 19th May so I am now in week 9. I really thought I was getting somewhere after my week 6 x-ray showed my bone to be healing ‘nicely’. I went with my in-laws on a canaling holiday last week and using ‘pain’ as a guide I started trying to gently excercise my shoulder. Yet again this was a big mistake as by the time I felt any pain it was too late and I have put my recovery back by a minimum 2 weeks!
    The advice given on this site about pain being a guide does not seem to be correct in my case and I’m getting more and more depressed the longer it goes on! I’m wishing now that I had asked for the operation to have been done at week 3 so at least I could be further down the line to recovery now. I did not break the bone all the way through and was therefore not expecting it to take all this time. I’ve been trying so hard to do NOTHING, but it’s not easy!
    I’m still wondering if a figure 8 brace would keep it more stable? Should I still consider having the op? Is 9+ weeks normal?
    It’s now my busiest time at work, harvest and I,m the only employee who knows how to work a paticular piece of grain machinery, so on top of the frustration of not getting better I feel I’m relly letting my work place down, which is making me feel worse. If the mind is positive then I feel it is easier for the body to heal.
    Any advice would be helpful to try increase my positive mind

    I don’t know if a figure-8 brace will be of use at this point in time. You mention trying not to do anything but finding it hard. Yes, that drove me crazy. So I performed activities in which I didn’t use my shoulder. For example, riding my stationary bike. Rowing was not something I would have considered because of the strain and motion it would apply to my shoulder. You mention feeling you have set yourself back in healing because of the rowing. Was that because of strain on your muscles? It took a lot longer for my muscles to recover from my break than the bone. They would still spasm every so often months later. Massages made the world of difference.

    Having a partial break I would hope and think that you would heal quicker. I haven’t heard of anyone on this site that has had the operation with only a partial break. Your previous examine indicated your bone was healing nicely. That’s a good sign and you are hopefully very close to being recovered. I recommend that you talk with your doctor about your concerns. And speak to your doctor and/or a physical therapist for recovery exercises instead of going at it alone. They will get you going in the right track and you will be healthy again in no time.

  245. Jimmy

    Im in week 1 after breaking my right collar bone playing rugby. i’ve hardley had any pain at all. the doctors said it was quite a bad break but there is only a small bump under my skin. the new season starts on 8th of september, i don’t think i’ll be fit to take full contact by then but it’s really frustrating me already!! any advice on how to speed up the healing process??
    West Yorkshire,

    There’s some good advice on healing spread throughout the comments. Eat right, take supplements, and let yourself heal. Yes, it’s frustrating but pushing it too soon and re-injuring yourself will be much more so.

  246. Michael

    I broke my right clavicle June 5 while playing basketball. I think I was intentionally tripped, but who knows. I’m in week 5 1/2 and went to see my doctor at Kaiser today. The bones are not fusing and are actually farther apart! Now I’m being referred to an orthopedic doctor/surgeon. I’ve never had surgery & am really nervous. I also have to go back to work for “light duty”. Any wise words or advice would be appreciated!

    My advice would be to let yourself heal. Don’t try to jump in too soon and over use your shoulder. Use pain as your indicator. Pain is your body telling something is wrong. Oh, and listen to your doctor.

  247. Feeling Dumb Still

    Well, it’s me again (two posts up). I’m booked in for surgery tomorrow morning (plate+screws). The GP took one look at the xrays and sent me straight back to the Hospital’s fracture clinic. I had my appointment this morning and after looking at some fresh xrays they had me admitted for surgery this afternoon!
    A car accident trauma caused my surgery to be postponed till tomorrow, but I’m still somewhat amazed at the efficiency of the system (I’m in Australia). It sounds like some of you have waited weeks before you even get an xray!
    So I might be setting off alarms on the way through airports from now on.. they said the plate stays in unless it iritates me.
    -Dumb Still

  248. angel

    I broke my right clavicle on may 14th when i was riding my road bycicle. So, I’m on week 7, i went to the x ray one week ago and i have a displecement about 1 inche and separate about a 1/4 i don

  249. Feeling Dumb

    I broke my right clavicle on Saturday night – June 30. So, I’m on day #2. While I do consider myself a cyclist, I’m not what you’d call athletic. And in fact, my injury was sustained under the most .. well .. “un-athletic” circumstances – beer drinking. Part way through a reasonably long drinking session (consisting of many 7% Polish beers), I apparently made the decision to ride my bike down a steep flight of about 12 stairs. As my associates and I were out and about, on the town, my choice of cycle was a 22″ French girls’ bike with back-pedal brakes, no functioning front brakes and about 20psi in each tube. I’m a 28 year old man. I’m right handed. Sigh.
    So, it’s all a blur really, but I hit the concrete pretty hard, directly on the tip of my shoulder I’d say. I knew something was ‘wrong’. I put my hand on my collar bone and moved my arm around at the shoulder – crunchy yuckiness was felt and heard. I made sure I shared the experience by asking a friend to “feel this!”
    Off in a taxi to emergency, leaving my steed behind with my associates (hasn’t been seen since – thanks guys!). Sobered up pretty quickly, and not in any pain (clearly I had self-anaesthetised!).
    An on-the-spot x-ray proved the theory — the report says (amongst other things): “visible tent in R clavice > no n/v compromise even after sling” and “Xray – fracture of lateral end of clavice with displacement around 2cm”. I have to go back and pick up the xray tomorrow (Tues) then see my GP.
    I’m in one of those slings with the straps that go aroung your waist and one around the other (good) shoulder. It seems OK. I’m not in a lot of pain – I’ve only taken some Ibuprofen and that was mainly for the (undoubtedly beer-induced) headache.
    I’m going to see a physio as soon as practical as I want to make sure I do all the right things. I suppose if the GP thinks I should see an ortho, he’ll refer me (I will ask specifically though).
    This took a while to type. Almost as much fun as wiping my bum left handed. I probably deserve everything I get. I should be thankful I didn’t make it into the Darwin Awards.
    So here’s to all the lurking readers of this page who didn’t break themselves whilst in the throws of some admirable, healthy pursuit. You’re not alone in stupidity!

  250. bill

    Hi im a 16 year old boy who broke his collar bone while biking downhill. I was holding my A and W rootbeer when i turned and flew over my bars at high speed. sadly i din’t manage to save my pop and felt alo of pain. this occured june 22nd, the doctor at the ER gave me x-rays and determined it was broken nearest to my shoulder. she prescribeb me some 600mg ibeuprofines tablets and gave a sling. I was then on my way. i had 3 exams this week at school and 6 days into the injury and im feeling better. I get headaches when i stay awake for more then 7 hours. i would like to know if thasts normal. my doctor also said that i should take off my sling in three daYS. The doctor at the clinic i visited said 3 weeks but i dont know who i should listen to. i do alot of sports,v ball b ball track, wrestling etc and dont wanna lose mobility in my keft shoulder. my collar bone also aims higher then my right one and the part of my collar bone nearest my shoulder is not visible. could it be caved in. after 6 days the pain is tolerable i just had those questions because i wanna be safe. i wanna thank laura for creating this site and hope you’ll have fast recorvery’s.

    I wouldn’t think that getting headaches from staying awake for more than 7 hours is normal. It might or might not be related to your collar bone break. It’s something you should talk with a doctor about.

    The sling is used to help immobilize your shoulder. While your body is working to fuse the broken bones it’s important to keep the break as immobile as possible. But one problem with immobilizing the arm is that the joints don’t get used. This can lead to other problems such as a frozen shoulder. When joints are used their range of motion begins to be reduced. Therefore, docs want people to use their joints (shoulder, elbow) as soon as possible so that this problem doesn’t occur. Always use pain as an indicator as to how far and how much to move your arm. If it hurts then it’s probably too much. I can’t suggest when you should stop wearing your sling. It’s normally best to follow the advice of your doctor. Talk with your doctor and express your concern about when to stop wearing the sling.


  251. Lisa

    Probably the most useful, “what to expect” broken clavicle info I’ve been able to find (including what I’ve been able to extract from my daughter’s indifferent orthopedist). She took an elbow in an extremely heated, double-overtime basketball game, fell hard, and suffered a clean break- right side. She’s only 14, and I keep hearing that the healing will be “better”, given her young age (still not menstruating). She’s very thin/slight of build– and wants to be back on the court by October/November (broke clavicle on Memorial Day). Hopefully, after reading these accounts, that may not be too much for which to ask. Thanks for sharing.

  252. Anthony Howitt

    Hi fellow suferers. I broke my left collar bone close to the shoulder on May 19th taking a stupendous catch at cricket (so they tell me!). The first 2 weeks were agony and by the third I was feeling more confident and less pain so started doing more, BIG MISTAKE! I went for my second x-ray at week 3 and had a real kick in the teeth when the doc said it was worse than when i first did it. All I was told on both occasions was ‘collar & cuff, see you in 3 weeks’. I’d never heard of a figure of 8 brace before reading this site. Is it too late to wear a figure of 8 now, I’m at the end of week 5? Would you suggest I take some cacium tablets? I’m worried about even going anywhere in a car in case the vibration annoys the healing process! Should I be able to move my arm know to gently excercise it?

  253. Jo

    Mine was a fall 9 months ago. My first ortho guy was very conservative – put me in a figure eight and then told me everything was fine. new city, new ortho guy and I get to see the latest x-ray – it looks exactly the same. I am now 3 weeks away from a plate and bone graft for a non-union of a clavicle fracture. How is the recovery after this?

  254. shell

    Hi everyone. Feb’07 snowmobile accident put me at emergency with broken clavical. After a 8″ plate and screws, on my way to recovery….well at least I thought. after 12 weeks, plate broke! back in for surgery! this time bone graft from leg, another plate and screws, and wire. Just on 4th week, it aches a lot, and is a real pain. I sure hope this works!I wonder does anyone know, should it be immobilzed a lot….My first accident, and broken bone. My break had a 1 1/2 gap

  255. makena

    this place is heaven for accurate info on this subject…as i sit here typing with one finger!
    i broke my left clavicle 5 days ago. pain is manageable now, i wear my sling 24/7, but i still feel clicking and popping at the break site (not painful)
    what is this about? should i go back to dr to check it out? thanks!!!!

    I’ve been told that clicking and popping can be caused by rotator cuff tears or AC separations. You might want to talk with your doctor about the sounds. You might have another shoulder injury along with your broken clavicle.

  256. kmax

    Wow, yeah I’m in week three of the process right now but I just figured it out a few days ago. I’m going to have to go see an orthopedic surgeon this week and they’ll probably have to rebreak it and reset it before putting me in a sling. Not looking forward to this. Hopefully I’ll manage to deal with the healing process without going insane, though after reading this I have my doubts.

  257. Alex

    Hey Gang,
    I broke my collarbone about four weeks ago in a freestyle bmx accident. Was approaching a ramp, hit a slick spot on the warehouse floor, and washed both wheels out, taking an impact on the left shoulder. I immediately knew something was broken due to the grinding, pain and drooping shoulder.
    Head to the emergency room, x-rayed, cleanly broken clavicle. I’m feeling a lot better at this point, had a follow-up appointment last week and the doc says he is starting to see some bone growth, and has told me to come out of the sling while I’m sitting around, with another follow-up at the end of june. He also said the sling has aggravated some carpal tunnel in my left wrist, which is causing some numbness and pain in my hand.
    My question for everyone else is this…very occasionally, I feel what feels like “movement” in my shoulder..it’s very slight and not painful. I’m assuming that at 4 weeks, I’ve got a bridge formed, so I’m guessing I’m feeling that bridge move slightly when I move in a way that ‘stresses’ the break.
    Did anyone else have this feeling at my stage of healing? I’m 34 and afraid that a non-union is going to keep me off my bike.

    My collar bone felt fairly solid by 4 weeks. There was occasional popping, very slight, that was attributed to the muscles and ligaments being tight and moving.

    If you are unsure of the state of your break then I would recommend you talk with your doctor and maybe get another x-ray. You doctor will give you the most accurate information as to the state of your recovery.

  258. nick

    How long can I expect before I can get back to playing football. I broke my right clavicle. Want healing real fast. Any suggestions to speed up recovery.

    Nobody but a doc that examines you will be able to give you a reliable estimate on healing time.

    As for recovery suggestions, search through the comments on this page and some of the other broken clavicle pages (links near top of this page). You will find lots of information that should help you.

  259. Lucy

    Hi fellow broken clavicle people. I was wondering if anyone had any advice for me, after a nasty run in with a cow 6 months ago I am still in pain round the shoulder area and have limited mobility. Is this normal? I had a terrible psychio so now got a new one but having problems lifting, at footie, tug of war etc so now been told to rest up! ITS So ANNONYING!!! New physio has flagged up the fact that the collar bone maybe dislocated. I was never x rayed again after being at A and E so is it possible that the bone has healed incorrectly and may need to be reset?

    Recovery can take a while. You might have more injuries than just your broken collar bone. A shoulder separation or other shoulder injury is a common partner to a collar bone break and might be the source of the pain. I would recommend that you have a visit with an orthopedic doctor.

    – Hans

  260. Mustafa

    This is the best web resource I’ve found yet concerning clavicle fractures. I broke mine in a cycling accident four days ago and even the thought of getting back on a bike brings tears to my eyes. My fracture was accompanied by a mild concussion and a class 1 separated shoulder (and nothing more serious, thank goodness). Any thoughts on how the separation might affect recovery times, etc? Also, when does the pain begin to subside?

    I don’t know if the separation will affect your collar bone recovery. I’ve been told a separation is a worse injury though. Be sure to follow up with physical therapy.

    The pain level for me was manageable after two weeks. But it depends on your injuries and your tolerance to pain.

    – Hans

  261. Marcin Piskozub

    Dave – thank you for your help. I will talk to my Doc about a possible surgery although all of the doctors that I spoke to dont recommend that I go through such surgery. Personally – I dont want to do a surgery, but if I loose the mobility that I had I would not feel like myself – I dont want to give up on all the great fun stuff that I did.
    I will post something later when I find out about the best possibility to fix my collar bone.
    BTW the Doc took off my figure 8 brace and put on a different kind of orthopedic brace that sort of looks like a backpack – it pulls my shoulders back but doesnt support the arm in the armpit area. Has anyone had such brace?
    The reason for doing this was because my arm was getting very swollen and heavy – now its better but I feel like I dont have enought support for my collar bone and that something may shift. It has only been a week now since the accident.
    Dave I feel the pain too and strangely I sort of lost my movement in the left arm as if it is shut down…

  262. Dave

    To Marcin above: No the bone will not go back to the original length. The only way for it to be full length again is to have it plated. Also plating it will help it heal faster and a lot stronger then having it overlapped. And if the plate is bothering you you can have it removed 6-8months after but its a matter of personal preference if its bothering you. Also if the bone is overlapped there will be some loss in your range-of-motion, thats the main reason I had surgery.
    So my story.
    About 3 weeks ago now I was learning how to ride the motorcycle I had spent the past 3months rebuilding. The rear tire locked, bike slid sideways, and flipped over. I was going about 30mph when I hit the ground. Stupidly I only have a t-shirt, jeans and sneakers on so I had road rash on my right shoulder that broke the collar bone, back, and head.
    I don’t remember the hitting the ground part but I crawled to the curb and called my roommate and had him pick me up. One of my shoes was about 30ft away, still cant figure that one out. Went to the ER thinking I just dislocated it and (I was told later) I kept asking the same questions over and over in the car, mainly for them to call one of my friends, who rides, and tell him what happened! At the ER they X-rayed it and no one in the hospital had seen one broken that badly! WOOT! I made it count! They cleaned me up and gave me dilaudid to kill the pain and told me to go to a orthopedic surgeon.
    I made it to one a few days later, after living on the vicodin that barely took the edge off the pain, and he said there was 2.5cm of overlap and the bones were about 1/2″ apart and really surgery was the only way I wouldn’t have problems later with sports and stuff (I’m 20yo).
    I had surgery about a week and a half ago now and have the arm in a sling. They put a 7″ titanium plate and 7 screws to hold it together. The surgeon said one of the pieces of bone was also split in half so it took almost twice as long to fix it. I have a constant, every 4 hours, dose of dilaudid and that takes enough of the pain away that I have been able to go back to school this week, dress myself, and try to get back to normal.
    I am going back in a week or so to have x-rays and a check-up and I figure it should be a lot better by then.
    Also I have to say I’m really surprised how many of the stories I read people just took ibp and maybe vicodin. I couldn’t stand up or sit down by myself before I was on vicodin and I switched to dilaudid so I could go out and not be in incredible pain if it moved at all. Maybe I’m a wuss? haha Oh and my ER nurses were amazing! I’m glad I didn’t have some like the other stories. I was trying to hug them all after they gave me the dilaudid!
    Good luck with everyones recovery!

  263. Marcin Piskozub

    Fellow collar bone breakers!
    Well, I have joined the club on the April 21 `07! I was going down this pretty steep hill on my mountain bike about 25 km from where I live. The hill is pretty technical but I cleared it ok and then crusing at 30-40 mph on the *flat* section something sent me up – I was airborn – I guess not so visible bump in the field, I corrected my bike and landed ok, but as soon as I landed I was airborn again (another bigger bump). I tried correcting the bike not to land on my front wheel but it was too late. Somehow my mind switched off when trying to land – maybe my mind panicked… Next thing I know I was laying on the ground in pain and later on when trying to get on the bike a grinding sound told me my clavicle was snapped. Very painful – the pain was getting worse with time.
    When I got to the emergency room the doc. put the figure 8 brace on me and some bandages on my hurt left side.
    Dr. said that it would take 4 weeks to heal. My question is; since the collar bone will be shorter due to the overlap needed to connect the broken ends of the bone – will the bone elongate with time or do I need to do a surgery right now to keep the same lenght of the bone? I do a lot of other sports and i`m afraid that the shorter collar bone will not allow me to perform them the same way as I used to… or not at all.
    Anyone knowing the subject or having gone through such surgery please post here or email me. It seems logical that the second way of connecting together a broken collar bone with metal plate and screws will not be as strong as the overlapped bone w/o the surgery – so why some people do it?
    It would also be good if some people would comment how they feel now after healing up and if they have complete range of motion and strenght in that area.

  264. Dermid

    Some great clavicle adventures here especially considering most of us are typing with one hand. It’s a testament to the human need to share that this site has been around for over 3 years. Who woul’de thought, Laura, that your personal account would incite clavicle comparisons and sharing to this degree. I broke mine yesterday: bike, London, huge pot-hole. The rest is history. Thanks to you all for your perspectives: it will make healing that bit more easy.

  265. Kathy

    Hi. My 13 year old son Matt broke his collar bone 3 weeks ago. It is quite badly displaced, with the neck end clearly visible under the skin. The bike, which he was riding up a 45 degree home made ramp is of course, fine! (And he has got the accident on video!)At A and E he got a calico sling, paracetamol, nurofen and codeine. Spent a couple of agonising days, then went to the fracture clinic where he was given a much more supportive sling which velco-ed round his neck and waist. This provided instant pain relief. Coupled with the consultant telling him his feelings of sickness and giddiness were caused by the codeine, he chose to take no further pain relief – since then he has taken no pills!
    After 10 days or so he saw a physio who was very concerned about the displacement and the lack of movement he could achieve and referred us back to the consultant, who had originally said he did not need to come back. I spoke to the consultant on the phone, who said he might well need to have it plated sooner rather than later and made an appointment to do more X-rays in a week. There then followed a very anxious week – we have a holiday booked and would far rather be in Tenerife than hospital visiting! However, in the last week or so, he has regained 90% of his shoulder function and some of the strength. The consultant said the X-ray showed no obvious change, but function and strength are most important, especially as Matt is not concerned about what the collar bone will look like. So, as his movement is now so good, no further treatment needed, no sling, just don’t lift and don’t do anything ‘silly’. (Most of his favourite pastimes count as ‘silly’ – that could be a bit tricky).
    So, if you are in the first couple of weeks and everything seems really terrible, don’t despair, it is possible to make really quick headway after the first two weeks of keeping as still as possible!

  266. Colleen M.

    Well I’ve been lucky so far… horses and skiing are definitely my passions, I was in Argentina (live in London/California)and got bucked off in the middle of absolute nowhere, breaking my right collar bone.
    After chilling out in Argie for 4 weeks (at least I was in the sun) I had the nightmare of traveling back to the UK which meant horse, 4×4, bus and plane which took 3 days (yeah I know, I really was in the middle of nowhere), not something I would recommend when your on your own and have a broken bone.
    This site is great, so thanks to all who have contributed. I am now on week 5 and went to see the specialist yesterday, still not reconnected but doing well… not well enough in my book.
    I have great movement now and so thought the bone had reconnected, I was gutted but at least I can pretty much do everything myself, unlike the 1st two weeks, however I have terrible aching in my back, shoulder and arm.. how long does this last???
    I find the sling and figure 8 both cause worse aching so have taken them off, my specialist said “listen to yourself” if it hurts “stop”. The only relief from the aching is to lie down, can anyone give any advice on this aching it’s driving me mad!!!
    I promise I am resting but how much longer??
    Speedy recovery to all.

    Yes the aches and pains can take a while. Part of the problem is created by your muscles supporting the injured area. You might not be aware of this. Over time the muscles fatigue and you become sore and ache. I would recommend a light massage and/or heat applied to the shoulder, neck, and back. A warm bath to soak the muscles and let them relax is also good.


  267. KC

    Fellow Collarbone Snappers:
    I went out West (Alta, UT) for the first time this past weekend to ski in fresh powder with some college friends. Instead I experienced no powder and a broken left clavicle … Ouch! I was so bummed that after it happened (it was on Day 1) I tried to convince myself I was ok; my friends even tried to convince me to ski a few more runs (“bro, you would know if it was broken, you’re fine!”). But common sense (I’m 39) got the better of me and I ski’d right down to the clinic where I learned of my broken clavicle. They hooked me up with a sling, a clavicle strap (fig 8 w back support), and some much needed meds! I spent the rest of the weekend eating, drinking and — thank God for March Madness! — watching basketball. Skiers are a compassionate bunch — I rarely paid for any of my drinks!
    As soon as I got back home I went to a local ortho, who ended up being a know-it-all jerk who said I should try another sport like ping pong (I decided not to tell him he was 50lbs. overweight!). He said I broke the bone in two places but will not require surgery. He did recommend the clavicle strap – that standing upright is very important for the healing process. And it will take up to 8 weeks to heal — not fun with two boys at home (2 years and 2 months)! Since this is my second go-round with a broken clavicle (broke it 8 years ago doing what else — skiing!) I have a some experience, so to all my fellow clavicle snappers I suggest to stay positive and take it one day at a time. It always could have been worse.
    Oh, and I’ve already gotten the OK from my wife to return to the scene of the crime and Ski Utah next year … I cannot wait!
    Collarbone Snapper

  268. Randy P

    March 12, 2007
    Another one bites the dust! Ok, my friends all tell me I’m not a kid anymore but at 49 I still feel 29. Well, let’s say I did until I was out riding in the desert on my Honda XR-650R on February 23, a little over three weeks ago. I went over the bars and landed on the back of my head (helmet attached)and my right shoulder. My collar bone was clearly fractured and was sticking up against my skin.
    With no insurance I opted to have some friends research a bit before running to the emergency room. General consensus seemed to be there is no real rush or anything that really needed to be done immediately except address the pain and try to keep the bone in place. Well, I downed a lot of Ibuprofen between that Fri. and Tue when I saw the Ortho. A friend loaned me a regular sling and tried to buy me a 8-sling but couldn’t find one anywhere. I had to sleep sitting up, I couldn’t begin to lay down, the bone was moving around a lot and it scared the crap out of me when it would poke up against the skin or pop back in and out of the opposing side of the fracture and I thought I’d pass out from the pain when it did.
    On Monday I went to get X-rays at an imaging center. With no insurance, I was extremely nervous about needing surgery. Well, the young lady walked out of the developing room and slid the x-rays up on the light. A little under her breath she said, “crap, that thing is shattered!”. Uhggg! All my hopes were just shattered as well. I asked her if it was really that bad and if she thought I’d need surgery. She looked over her shoulder and said, “Oh I’m sorry, I really can’t comment on the x-rays, you’ll need to talk to your Dr. about them” Oh, thanks!!! So off we go feeling a little bit less optimistic to say the least. After a very long night of trying to sleep sitting up!
    Tuesday at 4:30 pm I saw the Dr. The pain was bad, I was crouched over trying to keep the bone in place as I walked into the examination room. The Ortho Dr. walks in, throws the x-rays up on the light for 5 seconds and says, “Oh that doesn’t look too bad” Calls for the nurse to bring in a figure 8, he puts it on me, says don’t take it off for a month and come back then with new X-ray. Then asks, “anything else I can do for you?” Wow, I was so shocked! He didn’t even examine me. Nothing! The visit actually was over in 3-4 minutes and a minute of that he was chit-chatting with my lady friend about her German accent. I was like, Ah! Well could you give me something for the pain? His reply was, “Oh sure, isn’t that what people actually come to Drs. for?” Wow, I was so shocked! I couldn’t believe my ears. He gave me a prescription, and out I went, no instructions on what to do, what not to do, Nothing!
    After I had some time to get over the shock, think and do some investigation I called the Drs. office that Thursday with a couple of my most pressing questions. They wanted me to make another appointment to answer a couple questions, but later agreed to have the Dr. call me that afternoon. Well it’s Monday and I haven’t heard a thing. Does anyone know a good Ortho anywhere near Lake Havasu City, Arizona?
    Here’s my question:
    Will the bone just fuse one day? That boggles me. One day it’s flopping around the next day it’s not? I mean the bone is loose right now (24 days), but I have a lot less pain and when the bone is matched up to where I think it fits together there is no real gap. So do I try to hold it there this early in the game? It usually sticks overnight but always breaks loose after I’m up about 15-30 minutes. I’ve tried staying as still as I can for about 36 hours but I live alone and I just cant stay that still. Gotta eat, drink, and!.Is it just to early to grab. I haven’t really heard anyone talk about this.
    Anyway, I made myself resourcefully on the internet with all this time on my hands. I have found some interesting information that I hope will be helpful to the rest of you.
    1.) Do not use anti-inflammatory over the counter painkillers for pain from fractured bones There is much research that shows (NSAIDs) impede healing of bones, drugs such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen.
    2.) If you smoke, quit! Smokers heal about up to60% slower than nonsmokers and in some cases never heal properly at all.
    3.) Nutrition plays a big par in the healing process. Along with calcium the are other important enzymes vitamins and minerals the help the tissue and bones
    I’ll keep you updated.

  269. Dillon

    I broke my collar bone about 2 years in a football acadent and about a day ago i was in the shower and never noticed before (exept the pain i was having but i thought that was just a side effect)but there was a part in the break where it seams to me like it isnt in the right spot. i dont know much but if i have to go for surgery could someone write and say what i should do because it’s not very painfull but its like the thorn in my paw that is more of an annoyance than a problem so whoever has any ideas on what i should do could you tell me thanx

  270. Anna

    Thank you for your kind reply and advice, Hans! Until Tim broke his second collarbone, the only person we knew who had broken both collarbones in succession broke the first one when a bull fell on him at a rodeo.
    I’ve been looking on-line at the newest hockey shoulder pads, and many of the better ones now specifically mention clavicle protection. I wonder why it took so long — I really don’t remember seeing that feature before! Tim definitely will be working on conditioning, too.
    Thanks again!
    Best wishes,

  271. Anna

    Hello, everyone —
    This is my second round of regular visits to this wonderful website! I’ve been lucky not to have first-hand experience with broken bones so far, so the accounts of your clavicle experiences have been a great source of information to our family. Thank you!
    On December 1, our 13-year-old son was at a birthday party and broke his left clavicle in two places when he was bounced from a trampoline shoulder-first into one of the poles holding the protective netting. So much for protection (and parental supervision on the part of the party hosts)! My husband and our 6-year-old daughter were parked in front of the house, waiting to pick him up after the party, when the EMS fire truck and ambulance arrived. It was dramatic and upsetting (as well as infuriating because he was in such a senseless situation). Our son was in agony and was given three doses of morphine through his IV as well as Lortab before we left the ER. He missed a couple of days of school, six weeks of gym classes, nine weeks of ice hockey, and a session of indoor soccer. He finally was cleared to return to hockey and other contact sports on January 31. He was very excited about playing in his first game since the end of November!
    On February 3, he played so well that he didn’t even look like he had missed any time. The rest of the team was excited that he was back, and everyone played his best. He made it through the first period, and in the first minute of the second period, he was passing the puck when he was checked into the boards. When he hit the boards, his RIGHT collarbone broke. He had another ambulance ride to the ER for more X-rays and morphine and had to have his hockey jersey and his Clint Mathis MetroStars soccer T-shirt cut off of him (my husband and I took his equipment off because the nurses didn’t want to hurt him further by moving him around too much). He is facing another uncomfortable few weeks, the end of hockey and indoor soccer for this season, and we have a VERY unhappy boy on our hands. We were amazed at how easily this collarbone broke, since our son has checked and has been checked hundreds of times — without serious injury. It probably was just one of those freaky things. Nobody really seemed to think that it was a calcium deficiency, but we are giving him even more calcium-rich foods than usual as well as 400mg calcium citrate/400IU vitamin D (recommended by the ER doctor) twice a day. The orthopedist took X-rays on the first and second visits this time. The first X-rays (February 6) showed that the right clavicle was cracked through at an angle at the end closer to the neck, but the ends of the bone were still adjacent. The doctor said that the healing process should be a bit faster this time. The second set (February 19) showed that the clavicle had broken all the way through and that one end of the bone is resting on top of the other. The doctor said that the second injury would probably take about as long to heal as the first. He seems to be treating this injury more conservatively than the first. Our son still needs to wear his sling to school until his next appointment (March 15). The only thing that we can think of is that he rolled over the wrong way in his sleep, since there were a couple of mornings that he was in a lot of pain.
    How common is it for someone to break one clavicle then the other within such a short period of time? Short of putting this kid in a bubble (which has been suggested), what precautions can we take? He is hoping to start playing travel soccer at the very end of April. I’m thinking of getting him a protective shirt that a roller hockey player would wear for him to put on under his soccer jersey; however, this won’t protect him in case of a fall. He won’t be playing hockey again until summer, and he will have new shoulder pads with extra clavicle protection when he plays. Any suggestions would be most welcome!
    Thanks again for sharing your experiences with us.
    All the best,

    Sorry to have you back for a second round. But glad the information here is helping.

    It sounds as if the two incidents were unique and simply bad luck. I’ve had cycling friends unlucky enough to break collar bones within a short time. It’s not something common but not without precedent for active people.

    Protecting against collar bone breaks can be tricky. One must be wearing protective gear for the activity. But there are so many activities that can lead to a break and it’s not fun or possible to always have protective gear. For hockey there are various shoulder pads that include collar bone protection. If he isn’t wearing any now then it might be good getting him a set. And don’t forget that upper and core body strength can help protect against injuries.


  272. Juan

    I broke my right clavicle 10 days ago while snowboarding (make that ice boarding) at Hunter Mountain in Upstate New York. Fortunately, the initial impact wasn’t too painful (probably because I was also knocked unconscious) and I was promptly treated at the mountain clinic, put in figure 8 splint and sent home. Sleeping has not been a problem at all, not even the first night. I can drive a stick, have a good deal of strength and flexibility in my right arm (considering the injury)and the bruise has faded. There’s a good bump on the bone at the site of the break and the whole thing appears to be moving as one piece. All good signs. So I thought, until I saw the orthopedist today who said I should consider surgery to restore the length of the collar bone which has been shortened by about 2cm. I’m an avid surfer and am concerned that the shortened bone will affect the performance of my paddling muscles. I’ve also read that most people have achieved good results without surgery. Any advice?

    That’s a tough question to answer. Each injury and recovery is unique. I would recommend visits to both an orthopedic doctor and a physical therapist that specializes in sports related injuries. They should be familiar with your needs and how your injury will effect you. If you are lucky you might run across a doctor that’s a fellow surfer.


  273. CJ

    February 10 2007 day I joined the fractured clavicle club. (the FCC) And like a madman did research on it and found this site. Loved the stories and would like to post my experience.
    I’m taking a martial arts class performed a roll and landed awkwardly on my right shoulder and felt and heard that snap. Went over to my instructor and said I think i messed up my shoulder so I fell down and he proceeded to pop it back in, of course I’m screaming “IT STILL HURTS” so lying down couldn’t move. Paramedics came and told me I messed up the clavicle. Had a friend drive me to the hospital (no way I’m paying for an ambulance bill, I just got a bandage sling) Thought I had to wait in the emergency waiting room because I saw a lot of people no seats available and was thinking great I’m gonna stand and pass out to the pain but luckily I was admitted. Gave me my new friend the figure 8 and was on my way. As my parents drove me home every bump every pot hole, turn, braking, sucked. If a revolver with on bullet was given to me I would’ve gladly used it haha.
    It’s already a week since the break, pain has subsided, although I have those blasts of pain that ride from my armpit to my bicep. I can drive but with my right arm a lil low on the wheel. Tommorrow I’m gonna run to the doctor about those blasts of pain.
    Things I’ve learned so far:
    Sleep was non existent since I’d wake up at 4 all cringing.
    I think I can shoot mace with my left arm with accuracy since now I shoot spray on deodorant under both pits.

    That’s really funny! :’) – Hans

    And a good support system helps esp the first week (thanks mom and dad)
    Also this quest to find speedy recovery methods, supplements etc. Time is the healer I know haha. But staying home and doing nothing most of you can relate.
    I ran across these supplements and I may go and try them
    Super Cissus http://www.usplabsdirect.com/supercissus.html
    SAN bone boost http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/san/bone.html
    Well I wish everyone the best, with less pain and speedy recoveries! I’ll post here again with my findings on those suppliments

  274. Heidi

    My Doc seems super concervative and I want to go back to work but need to be able to be cleared to lift 25 lbs. Anyone know if a doc out there recommends less than 6 weeks before lifting 25 lbs for non-displaced break? (distally located just in from accromium process?

  275. Em

    My fiancee broke his collar bone in 3 pieces a year ago whilst snowboarding & it still has not healed.
    He did the normal procedure of hospital appointments but each time the xray showed no change & each time the specialist would say it will start to heal in a couple of weeks time but every time he went back for the xray there was no change & the specialist would say the same thing again which was that it would start to heal in a couple of weeks.
    The specialist at the hospital didnt seem worried that it was not healing or even showing any signs of healing. The specialist insisted that it needs more time to heal & to not worry. He even said that he would not need to see him again.
    My fiancee couldnt beleive that he had said this & felt like he was just pushed aside. After 8-weeks my fiancee went to his own doctor & requested a hospital appointment to see a different specialist as his collar bone did not feel right at all. He recieved the appointment in the post only to find out it was the same specialist he had seen b4, aarrgghh!!!
    He had another x-ray & it still had not healed. He started to ask questions about it but the specialist kept insisting that he is the expert & to not worry & to give it time to heal.
    It is now a year on & and within the last month he is now getting pins & needles in the outside part of his hand, he gets an electric shock type pain which runs down his arm & also the back of his arm aches & feels dead sometimes. He recently went to his doctor who has confirmed that it has not healed & that his nerve maybe trapped. He is currently awaiting an appointment with an upper body specialist.
    I can feel that this time next year I will be here typing about this bloody bone!!!!
    Can anyone relate to this or have any comments on his situation as we are just awaiting this next appointment to come through the post which could be months yet & would appreciate any advice.

    I can see the frustration you must have. At this point it sounds like he needs an MRI or some way to diagnose any possible soft tissue problems. The sensation issues sound like a nerve is being impinged. It’s important to have that diagnosed soon as waiting can lead to permanent damage to the nerve.


  276. Liza Jean

    I want to come back to this site to post my recover and say thank to Hans for having this site what a blessing for all.
    For back info on my injury read Nov. 18 & 21, 2005
    I had surgery to repair the break. I was afraid to have surgery till I spoke to a physical therapist about recover with and without surgery. After explaining my break and how it would move if I just shivered he told me it could cut the blood vessel . I decide that I’d take a skilled surgeon cutting by my artery rather than having the splinter bones just moving all over. My pain was very little after surgery. I was just so glad to have it set in one place.
    I have pictures of breaks, incision, and plate the can be seen under skin. jam56bird@msn.com email me if you would like to see them. I know I wanted to know what it would look like and how if would feel after surgery.
    My incision was the full length of the collar bone. Healing went great. Problems were when it was time to take off the sling my arm was partially frozen even though I did my exercises every 2 hour for 20mins daily.
    I had to have physical therapy. I took 12 weeks to move arm up over head myself standing. I started cutting hair 9 wks after surgery but only a couple a day. I took 4 months before I could properly lift my arm to cut hair, like this / elbow just would not lift up.
    I found arnica cream to be the bigger blessing after a therapy session for pain. This stopped the aching without taking pain meds. I was allergic to oxy. and vicidin found this out day one of break could not take them.
    I took many supplements, homeopathic, and did alternative therapies to heal. I had a stone massage to loosen he muscles 11 wks after surgery. The next day I lifted my arm over my head myself.
    Dr. said I can have it removed if I want because I can run my finger over it and feel the holes and screws. Not very sexy for a girl. DH don’t mind and I could careless all that matters to me is I can lift my arm and use it.
    A year later my arm is still weaker than the left one. I can not sleep on my right side. Weather changes can give me an achy feeling otherwise I’d never know it all happened. I also lost the 10 pounds of extra weight I gained. I think this has alot to do with a great surgeon Dr. Sekia of UPMC Sports medicine. It was worth drive three hours and getting two opinions( dr asked for 2nd opinion to help me decide because it was gray not a clear cut surgery break) they said surgery is what they would do or recommend to their wife. Better than first dr. so could have cared less. I’d still not be moving my arm if I had listened to him!!!! Tried to move it too early because I read post about not letting it freeze up. Give your arm time to heal.
    Don’t like dr. get a new one!
    If you need surgery get it, otherwise it may just be longer recovery than you think when they want to mess around and do it 3 months later.

    Nice to hear back from you. And good to hear that you are doing well on your recovery.


  277. Holly

    Everyone seems to have lots of questions and wants to be able to relate. That is me too and why I have found this weeksite so helpful. Let me start with- I have learned there are many different types of breaks and other stats that will affect your healing.
    I broke my clavicle on Nov. 17th when I high sided off my motorbike. I, like lots on this site was thinking OK six to eight weeks as I was in very good shape and expected to heal in the time it seems all the medical web sites said. Thanks for this site by the way great for moral support as well as information.
    It seems there is a lot of different opinions on the figure eight, vs. sling. I am in Victoria, Canada and I am told they no longer use the figure 8 anymore but seems they do in most other countries I have read here. Ortho surgeon told me my break was too bad for it to be helpful in anycase.
    This may be discouraging to some but don’t count on healing in the 6 to 8 weeks like I did. It was a hard blow but had I known what I know now I would have never expected to heal fast. IF you are female it will take longer, if you are over 35 it will take longer, and here is the big one if it is displaced or communited it will for certian take longer. That means if your break is worse it will take longer. But the good news is all but 10% will heal in 24 weeks. I am just posting this because I was reading all those (great for you) got out there and was doing things in six weeks and I thought well that’s me. It just is not the reality if you break is bad.
    If you can see your x-rays you will know. So now I sit at the 12 week mark with a small hint of healing. I am hoping with all my heart that I will be healed in six months so I can ski next winter, mountain bike again and play squash. All my passions. I think no more motorbiking for me, good fun but not worth the risk.
    I hope this gives you an idea of the healing time you may need. I find it is good to know the real deal. I was also told to use pain as a guide as the next step it to try an figure out what you can do that will help or at least not hinder your healing.

  278. Dale

    Hello to all; I to had broke a collar bone and still have the break and I am on the fourth month. My break happened when concrete met shoulder. Anyway the only thing I have a problem with is the headaches like some of you have experienced and the sharp pain in the muscle tissue and the elbow. The motion range and ability to use the arm at different heights is getting better. I have done all the exercises required to get better and they really do help and all the recommended check ups. My bone has not met at each end and they still overlap. Has anyone ever gone through this and what was the recommendation given, because the ortho surgeon that I have does not seem to be to concerned about any of this. I also have experienced blood clots at the break and it is also the left side. The stories about getting dressed, loved those because I to am female and I could relate to every one of those examples. I do construction work for a living so there really is no modified duties to return to yet. Please respond if any advise. To all of you guys out there, take care of yourselves.

  279. Jennifer

    I shattered my left in 1998, had surgery and got into a car accident 3 months later. The thing that I would urge people to look into is acupuncture. It has helped tremendously with pain management and healing (esp. if you have suffered a lot of soft tissue damage…I get whip lash now, about 4 times a year from minor movements like rolling my ankle) My doctors were in shock with the speed of my recovery and I didn’t have to use any narcotics.
    With the new scars, if you grow a nervous habit of rubbing the scar a lot (hell, the screws feel crazy), you’ll find it turns a nice silver color and probably won’t keloid (sp). You also need to wear sunscreen on it to avoid higher risks of skin cancer.

  280. Jen in La Jolla

    I was wondering if you could calm my nerves. I am a 25-year-old female and to make a long story short, I landed on the back of my left shoulder and completely snapped I believe the distal third of my collarbone. I read above that you had someone handle mice for you when you returned to work. This is where you could relax my nerves-I work as an animal technician at UCSD (so I handle mice and only mice all day), and I am coming up on the 4-week mark and I am worried they will not let me return to work (within the next week) because the nature of my work is quite physical (changing cages all day). We use standard caging with plastic bottles. Given I am correct and you are familiar with my line of work, how long do you thing it would be before I can resume my job 100%? And does ibuprofen retard bone growth?!

    Laura is the one that wrote the “What to Expect…” story at the top of this page. I posted it for her at her request. So I’m not familiar with those types of cages but I would think that by now, if the bone has fused, that you would be fine as long as you are careful. If the bone hasn’t fused than that would be a problem.

    At the same point in time when I was healing I was able to lift fairly heavy objects again. I made sure not to do any sudden jerking movements and to stop if my shoulder became sore or hurt.


  281. Jack

    I broke my right clavicle on Thursday (11th Jan) tripping over and smashing my shoulder on the pavement.
    I was in agony at the time, but the pain isn’t as bad now. Sleepng and movement are OK. Still only managed to change my t-shirt once though, that was very painful. As a university student, I’m going to find it very hard to do work, and I’m meant to be in winter training for the new cricket season. Going to see the doctor on Wednesday, I hope to be playing cricket again as soon as possible.
    Really enjoyed reading the stores here guys, many thanks!

  282. Terry

    I missed a step going down to my own basement and broke my collar bone on Jan 2, 2007. it has been a week and I improved a lot. Your site has been a lot of help since neither the ER doctor nor my ortho doctor said much.
    I met a triathlon guy at the hot tub today (he also broke a collar bone once) and he said it is VERY important to try to hold the shoulders back so the bone would not heal “short”. It is tiring holding my shoulders back even with a figure-8 brace but it certainly makes sense. He also suggested a narrow pillow along the spine to allow room for holding back the shoulders when I am sitting or sleeping.
    Periodically I feel a kink or a knot near my break, I can usually work it out by moving a little bit. Does anyone else have this?
    I am 63 and I am hoping for a quick recovery since I have ski trip planned for the end of Feb.

    Your kink/knot might be muscles knotting or soft tissue “catching” on the injured area. I would feel something similar early in my recovery but it eventually went away. I also used hot baths and a heating pad on the injured shoulder and neck to help relax the muscles and reduce knotting/spasms.

  283. MickeyPaul

    I broke mine on 31st December 2006 by falling down a flight of stairs – I didn’t cry or take any pain killers though, ok so I did cry a bit…. I’ve read your above posts and so I’m a bit concerned about shaving my pits, it also feels a bit weird just using my left hand to urinate (I’ve left my flies continually open – there’s a helpful hint for you poor unfortunate victims. Although it did sting a bit at first (not the urinating) I’m a pretty tough Scottish bloke – so I didn’t go to hospital for a couple of days, anyway i had moral support from my myriad of mates on the “Daily Punt” that beats any morphine or professional treatment. For more details and a spooky picture visit my url link above (by clicking my name)

  284. Richard

    I broke my left collar bone on xmas day playing cricket :/
    Its been 5 days now and I’m not looking forward to the next few weeks. I can’t sleep in a bed at all, just can’t find a good postion, so I’m sleeping in a chair: if you can call it that. On the up side, codiene and beer seem to be very good friends and I’m enjoying the new 3-some we have going. The worst part really isnt the pain but having one arm strapped tight to your body 24/7 and being completely dead weight. I’m showering every other day just because of the incredable hassle, and down to wearing button up Hawaiian shirts (cant get anything over my head or lift left arm).
    I broke a bone in my foot 2 yrs ago and I have to say there arnt words in the english language to discribe how much worse this is. Because I just have a sling all my family/friends think I’m being a “girl” and should still be goin out and stuff. Sucks to be me at the moment. Oh well can’t last foreva πŸ™‚ Good luck to all you other collar bone sufferers.

    You are bringing back memories. Hawaiian shirts were standard wardrobe after my break. Luckily for me broken collar bones are common among cyclists. So there’s wasn’t too much hassle about not going out since they had all been through the same.

    – Hans

  285. marlon

    on december 12 i broke my collar bone wrestling and region torments is januray 6 im 14 do u think i can wrestle on the 6th
    its been about 3 weeks and im feeling fine but my doctor said i cant play any sports untill 6-8wks wat is normal healing time for sombody my age

    marlon – See my answer on the other page you left your question:

    Broken Clavicle No More

    – Hans

  286. Jordon R.

    2 weeks ago I broke left clavicle in wrestling I joined to stay in shape for the soccer. This was my first year of wrestling and I only got one match in, the day after the first match I was puting a guy in a half and he throw me over him and I landed odd. The dr told me it’s a total total brack, the collar bone is pointing up and the clavicle down under the collar bone, I need to go back in 3 weeks to see if it’s healing right, and if not they will have to put a plate in. The worst part is if that happends I will miss the start of club soccer in UG πŸ™

  287. zach

    hi guys- i see that i am not alone! Im 12 years old and was jumping my bicycle(awesome jump) when the landing went terribly WRONG! my bike went to the left but i didnt!!!! needless to say-where i landed was where i stayed until my mom and dad picked me up and got me too the e.r. I looked like the hunchback of notredame. i felt even worse-never had soooo much pain!
    well-left clavicle break. a shot of morphine and a sling and i was sent on my way with a followup appt. with an ortho doc the next day. confirmed by the ortho–keep in in a sling and come back in 3 weeks(no physical activity for a 12 year old is a death sentence!)
    mom and i return 3 weeks later to find out that since the swelling had receeded, the break is worse than originally thought——-had to be at hospital at 5:30am the next morning for emergency surgery of my collarbone. Immediate relief after the surgery and a 5inch metal plate with six screws!!! The scar doesnt look nearly as bad as the bone sticking up was!!! it looked like a golfball! anyhow-this happened to me on october 8th and oct 25th i had my surgery. still not allowed to return to physical activities yet—no sling though and i have great movement. the numbness over the scar is a little nerving though!
    i go to see doc again dec 19th and maybe he will give the thumbs up to get back to my life and Finally ride my new bike that i got for my birthday back in november—ive only been allowed to LOOK at it!!!!!!!! good luck to all of you out there with this same injury—surgery may not be for everyone but the doc said that my shoulder would have become frozen if i didnt have it done! thanx for this site!!! ZACHARY FERRENCE

  288. Ms. Lumen D'souza

    I got too bad pain in my neck and back area and after i got an xray done dr says i have 2 extra ribs called cavicle ribs which are touching the nerve near the spinal code which are creating the pain. Can i have more information on this ribbs please.

  289. Steve

    Surgery certainly needs to be taken seriously with all the inherent risks of infection, anesthesia, etc. However, I had surgery to repair a broken clavicle (see 11/22/06 post) and was using that arm again a week after the surgery nearly pain-free. The first 3-4 days afterwards were pretty painful, but from the sounds of it, nothing more than you are dealing with right now. One other big disadvantage of the surgery- $$$$$. The total before insurance is about $15,000.

  290. Barbara Mendez

    Hi,thank you all for all the infro.I was in an car accident May 24,2006 and my left collar bone was broken.I had some nerve damaged also.Ive been to so many doctors and it’s been six months now snice my accident and I have more pain now then ever before.Ive taken almost everything I can get my hands on to help with the pain and nothing seems to help.well, now they are telling me Ive got to have surgery and to have a plate.I cant ever begin to think what my life is going to be like after the surgery,I can hardly stand to dress and wash my hair or just the basic things now.I dont wish this on anybody,the only way I deal with this is by thinking it could have been alot worse.Well, good luck to everyone,It feels good to be able to read about other people that can understand what you are feeling. THANK YOU! Barbara

  291. Janetta Pedeliski


  292. Bonnie

    Hi everyone!
    went back to the doc’s AGAIN! We are now at 3 months to the day since my run in with a 9mm gun( and the jerk who pulled the trigger). Suprise Suprise Doc says i am healing pretty well-he is impressed. in fact, he says I may not need surgery! No plate!
    Instead, he is puting me on a machine. A bone stimulator. It is as small as a cassette tape player and has 2 wires coming from it. At the end of the wire there are 2 circular pads that send some kind of ultrasound-like waves to the bone. it is to help with re-growth. I already have what seems to be a new bone growing underneath,yet attached to another piece of a bone.
    I have to tell you as i have before i have 3 kids.
    Laundry still gets done, along with the dishes,meals,and general care and attention. I still do everything i did before except work( doc refused to release me) and walk the Great Dane.
    and it seems i am healing very well. it shocks me.
    Hope everyone’s holidays were good and plentiful!
    to Janetta,
    You should have 2 options for finacial help.
    Crime Victims Compensation(ask the hospital about it-every state has one)
    If the driver of the vehicle had car insurance at the time, then he should of had an auto insurance PIP.
    You do not have to be on the policy- just with in a certain amount of feet of/in the car!
    They will pay for up to 70% of lost wages and i know every PIP is different but mine paid $15,000. towards hospital bills.
    It may help-i hope it does! You may have to jump through some hoops( document wise) but very worth it in the end to recover something/anything. Good luck!
    I second Lucy telling the Bovine story-
    let’s hear it….

  293. Hans

    Lucy – You are holding back on us about your bovine run in. There’s got to be a good story there.
    Can’t answer how long it will take you for A or B. Recovery time depends on many factors. Some recover in 4 weeks and others over a year. There was another shotgun commenter on the “Broken Clavicle No More” page of my site (link at top of this page). Search for the word “shotgun” to find the comments.

  294. Lucy

    Cool site, a good place for advice and empathy! After a nasty run in with an evil cow (bovine not human) two weeks ago I am now in recovery with a broken collar bone. Does anyone know how long it takes to get back a-running and b-shooting (shotguns)?
    Any tips on getting strength back too? Thanks

  295. Steve

    Glad I stumbled onto this site! I have learned a lot from others who have gone through this before me, so I hope my experience can help someone too. I broke my collarbone mountain biking (actually it was the falling that broke it, not the biking) about 6 weeks ago. I broke it at a bike race that fortunately was staffed by a volunteer doctor. He turned out to be a God-send. He arranged someone to take me to the emergency room that day, provided referrals for respected local orthopedic docs, and was simply a decent/knowledgeable guy to talk to about the injury.
    The day of the injury, the emergency room doc recommended a simple sling as treatment. The next day I showed the x-rays from the emergency room visit to an orthopedic specialist, who told me the same thing. I had already made an appointment the following day with a specialist the race-doc gave me, so I went ahead and saw him, expecting the same thing. Glad I did. He took another x-ray at 25 degree angle upward, instead of the straight-on shot, which showed a vastly different situation. The fracture was comminuted and displaced about 1 inch- a drastic “Z”- but on a horizontal plane rather than a vertical plane, which is why it wasn’t as visible in the first x-ray.
    This doc gave me the choice of sling treatment (but said the chance of nonunion was great) or surgery. Cringing at the idea of surgery, I opted for the sling and a return visit in a week. However, I got a copy of the x-ray that day and looked at it all that night. I am not a doctor, but I am an engineer. I could only imagine the stresses this 1″ displacement would place on the shoulder, neck, back, etc; that is IF it ever did heal. I plan on resuming volleyball, biking, and weight lifting again and could not see this happening with what I would think are huge weak points in that bone. At 35 year old, I also could not see dealing with this limitation for the rest of my life. I called the doc back and scheduled surgery for two days from then. He joined the free piece of bone to one side with a long screw, and then joined the two halves with a 5 inch plate and 8 screws.
    Like I mentioned initially, it has now been 6 weeks and things are progressing well. I am in physical therapy with 99% range of motion and getting my arm strength back. The plate is fairly prominent, but no more than the typical “bump” from a conventional fracture heal. With continued hard work and lots of prayers, I should make a full recovery. I am hopeful that the follow-up x-ray at the 10-week mark shows some good bone heal- will keep you posted.

  296. Janetta Pedeliski


  297. Barb

    I’m a 55 year old female who has broken my right clavicle on August 6 – over three months ago. The break is slightly over-lapping with about a half inch gap between the parallel pieces of bone. Xrays show little healing has taken place. I’ve been in the figure-8 brace 24/7 and my doctor still insists that fusing can happen and that surgery is risky enough to avoid at all costs. He said that after 3 MORE months in the brace, he’ll reassess. ‘Just want to let readers know that this can happen. (Patience will pay off if surgery can be avoided.) Among the many things I’ve learned from this: I’m glad I’m not a smoker, as they can take up to 85% longer to heal (!). Also, if the velcro on the brace wears off, the tiny black butterfly clips that can be purchased in office supply stores do a great job of securing it! And most importantly, if you’re riding on the back of a tandem bike and your husband is riding in front and he says, “I’m going to try riding with no hands”, just scream “NO!” – – or you may immediately crash on your shoulder and be incapacitated for months! Good luck to all!

  298. Melody De Leon

    I just brought my 9 year old son home from the ER with a broken clavical. Got the sling, the Tylenol/Codeine, and Motrin goodies and then wondered, “How will he sleep?” which is why I got on the inet. Found this site and laughed hysterically at Laura’s story (sorry, Laura) and many others… still don’t know how I’m going to make him comfortable tonight but at least I know what to expect for the next few days and weeks. Great stories! Thanks so much. I’m off to have the recommended shot of whisky and then I’ll tend to my son…. Oh, did I mis-read that recommendation?
    Melody De Leon
    Lakeport CA

  299. Patty

    Hi Hans,
    Just wanted to let you know my daughter is back to playing with no restrictions. It took 8 weeks total. Thank you for all your help and support. This is a great website and I am glad I found it. Good luck to all of you!

  300. Andre

    Hello. I broke my clavicle (midshaft) back in June doing martial arts (took a bad fall, luckily I didn’t land on my head!). Went to the ER and they gave me a figure 8 brace, told me to see an Orthopeadic doc in 2 weeks, and reassured me that clavicles heal fine on thier own. First week was misery but the second week I felt much better. The Orthopod said I could ditch the figure 8 and only use the sling if my shoulder hurt. She said what the ER doc said, “if they are in the same room, the ends of the clavicle will meet”.
    It’s now November and it hasn’t healed yet! Fortunately I’ve got most of my flexibility back and a fair amount of my strength. I’m unable to train because exerting any force hurts. So I’ve schedule to have a plate installed to fix my non-union.
    I’ve really gotten a lot from this site. I really want to thank Hans and everyone who has shared thier experiences here. I’m wondering if anyone who has had a clean break and gotten a plate can give me a rough timeline of what to expect when. Also if anyone had a plate done months after the injury, was the recover worse/better/same as the first time around?

  301. Kellie

    What a wonderful site to come across and ease some worries. My 13 year son was hit by a puck during hockey try-outs three weeks ago on a Saturday directly on his left collar bone. A trip to the emergency room determined it was a bone contusion, but they put him in a sling for three – five days. He went back to the doctor after four days (Wednesday), they cleared him and he practiced twice complaining of pain so we took him back to the doctor the following Tuesday. The doctor x-rayed him again and proclaimed that the bone had fractured and put him back into the sling for a week. The next day, he was at school, reached for something and heard a snap. He knew he had broken it and when I looked, I knew it was broken. When my husband arrived home, looked at it and pronounced it “officially” broken, I’m not sure who was more devestated, my son who would be out of his beloved sport or Mom who had never dealt with a broken bone before. The sight of my pale 13 year old hunched over and shuffling like a 90 year old man after a stroke was horrible! He has been in a figure 8 and sling for almost two weeks and is looking much more like his old self. Last week he went back to the doctor for his first week check up and the doctor said to keep it completely immobile for another two weeks as it was not healing as quickly as he would like and would refer him to a Ortho if the next set of x-rays show continued slow progress. After a mild panic at the thought of surgery, I found this site and am happy to say that it seems his recovery is moving at a reasonable rate and he should be able to return to his team by Christmas not to play, but at least skate(fingers crossed anyway). He does have a horrible bump on his left clavicle area, but from what I can determine from this site, that seems to be a good sign as well. Thanks for all your stories, they have helped my sanity tremendously.

  302. Hans

    Judy – I solved the sore armpits by playing around with the adjustment for the figure-8 and by adding some thicker foam for more padding. Initially I was tightening the figure-8 too much. By loosening it a little and playing with the alignment of the straps I was able to make it feel a lot better.

  303. Judy

    after reading all the posts, I thought you folks would appreciate hearing my “if you think you’ve got it bad” story. My 19 year old son — who is profoundly deaf, relies on sign language, and also has cerebral palsy — broke his collarbone 10 days ago playing rec soccer. The pride he felt in sustaining a SPORTS INJURY quickly wore off once he realized that his life is more limited than it already was! The break is on his left side, and his right arm is his least cooperative limb, very difficult to isolate his right arm movements without “reaching” over to the left, due to the CP. And signing, of course, has to be limited to mostly his right hand. Eating has been difficult since he eats mostly with his left hand.
    The Xray showed his broken bone pieces sitting on top of each other, the ortho doc said it’ll heal like that, but I’m amazed that my son has not experienced the pain I’ve heard and read that others have. He’s on ibuprofen all day long, which works well, and I add benedryl for night, and he’s sleeping well. I just added calcium after reading your posts!
    The figure 8 brace we got at the ER is very sore under his armpits, I’m searching for a better brace that won’t snake around his armpits, and I’ve seen some other options, not sure I want to spend the money for Shouldersback, but I wonder if it would also help his quirky posture due to the CP.
    We’re due back for another Xray in 5 days, we’ll see if there’s been any healing, I won’t be shocked if we have a long way to go since his movements have not been as restricted as perhaps should be.
    One day at a time, right?

  304. Hans

    Rob D – The first two weeks after breaking the bone is the most important to let it heal and try to fuse. You should try not to do any motions that will move your collarbone. For example, raising your arm parallel at this point is a bit too soon.
    The popping and clicking isn’t necessarily from the ends of your break. It can be caused from various thing such as muscle and ligaments moving around.
    Lana – From all that I have read and heard, broken bones in children heal very quick. Babies will often break a collar bone during delivery. It just heals up quick on its own. I don’t know if your daughter will need surgery at a later time. I would think not. But you might want to consult with an orthopedic doctor. Also, ask the doctor about the overlap and any complications that might occur in the future if the bones heal together that way.

  305. Bonnie

    Hello to all and i hope all is well. Just a small update. I went back to the doc’s for my 8 week appt. and suprise, suprise, he wants to wait 6 more weeks. There has been some fragment fusion but nothing to really write home about.Doc says if i wait 6-12 more weeks i’ll get a smaller plate. I am down with the smaller plate but the waiting game is the pitts! After a while I become immune to the pain, even forget about it(as hard as that is)and do beyond my limit-but boy do i remember real quick! ha ha. Doc gave me a ref. for phys. therapy which i hear that some exercise may help regrowth come a little quicker-let’s keep our fingers crossed. Then to top it all off the trial was cancelled until an undetermined time due to my shooter wants a phsyc. evaluation. GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!
    well still on the flip side-my 2 yr old is still going on the potty!
    it really is.
    I wish you all lots of laughs,regrowth,and full range mobility!

  306. Lana

    On October first, my 6 month old daughter rolled off of the bed and fractured her right clavicle…although it broke my heart, she took it quite well…the first x-ray in the ER looked like just a slight fracture, however, 4 weeks later with the follow up x-ray, the bones are actually separted and one is over the other…the x-ray report said that the findings were a healing clavicular fracture with overiding and shortening..the doctor hasn’t compared the x-rays, but I have medical experience and saw the results with my own eyes…does anyone know if this is something that will heal itself? Will the bones eventually fuse together or will surgery be a must when she is at an older age…please help with any knowledge..thanks

  307. Rob D

    I initially broke my right collar bone 2 weeks ago. It wasn’t completly broken, but just cracked, looking like the peak of a triangle. Things were going well, it hardly hurt anymore, and this was only after 1 week. That was until I slipped on some slippery steps, and landed right on my slinged arm.
    I had some BAD pain after this, and after going back to the hospital, it was now broken straight through. It has been another week, and for the most part the pain is gone, as long as I don’t move my slinged arm.
    I have some heavy clicking and poping going on if I move my arm above parallel to my side. Is it too early to be worrying if the bone is fusing? The clicking/poping are indicating the ends of the bone moving around right?
    Thanks for any advice. Rob D

  308. Hans

    Vicky – The pains in his elbow and wrist may be from lack of use. I experienced the same thing when I left my arm in the sling for too long. My doctor had told me to take my arm out of the sling several times a day and bend the elbow and wrist. Also, to very easily move my arm to work the shoulder socket. But he indicated I should not move it so much that I begin to move the shoulder and collar bone.

  309. patty

    Hi Hans & Kate’s mom,
    We went to the orthopedic on Oct 12th and my daughter is 80% healed and he wants her to wait another 4 wks. So will be training indoor next month if he releases her from care. She is now on her 5th week and is doing everything but playing soccer and gym class. It was not a clean break and it will take about 8 wks total.
    Thank you for all your support and good luck to all of you.

  310. Vicky

    Hi there, My fella broke his right collar bone two weeks ago in a motorbike accident – damn them diesel spills! – anyway I was hoping someone could give me advice on him exercising his arm. He’s been in a sling for two weeks and still feeling quite a bit of pain but he’s getting bad pains in his elbow and wrist, I thought this may be due to lack of use and contracting muscles. The doctors haven’t said anything just come back in 6 weeks for another xray.
    Thanks and I hope you all feel better soon – believe me it’s just as frustraing for teh uninjured party πŸ˜‰

  311. Carl DeFranco

    Wow! Except for Bonnie, I feel like I’m in a huge crowd. I took a fall off my raod bike a bit over a month ago and broke my right clavicle, with what the orthopedist called a “comminuted fracture” – mkeans about 2-4 pieces. At age 60, I expect a longer healing time, and at least it was at the end of the outdoor season. I’ve been going through the same dressing, driving, working problems so many of you noted.
    On the initial bad day, I discovered that in a biker vs. traffic, you always lose. I was forced over a curb. In keeping with Newton’s Laws of Motion, when my bike stopped at the curbing, I didn’t. It was obvious, very quickly, that I was not okay, and I used my cell phone to call for help. A very nice lady stayed with me until the paramedics arrived. The emergency room staff was professional, and I probably had more X-rays of my neck than shoulder area, but my helmet protected that area well. I was fitted in a figure 8 brace and arm sling, and I managed to survive the first week on large doses of ibuprofen, the alternative being hydrocodone, which I despise. I’ve been dosing on calcium/Vitamin D supplements as well. I’ve also learned to sleep sitting up.
    I probably should have made up a small sign to hang on the sling, since everyone kept asking. The more sympathetic people suggested I needed a more adventurous story – maybe a bar fight or cattle stampede.
    After four weeks, I still have a large black and blue area on the right pectoral, and although the pain has subsided, the area still reminds me to be careful when I overdo it. I will probably not be able to participate with my sailing crew next month at the regatta in Georgia :o(
    I see the orthopedist again in 2 weeks. Hopefully, I can start working the area to loossen things up.

  312. Bonnie

    hello to All.
    My name is Bonnie and on Sept. 1st of this year I was shot sniper style with a 9mm gun. The bullet entered the top of my right shoulder, hit my clavicle(and shattered it),and then exited out of my throat. So far some nerve damage on the right side of my chest and the shattered clavicle are the extent of my injuries. I was riding in the passenger side of our family van with the windows down. Talk about being caught off gaurd.
    So i am home from work. they are only liable to hold my job for 90 days..ha ha..i won’t be going back there. I worked at a Veterinary hospital which is physically demanding of my dominant arm. I am at the waiting stage with the docs. I go back to have x-rays done this week. The pain is intense-ibprofrin during the day-everything else makes ya tired. I’ve never been so excited to go to the doc’s office. I have 3 kids,so staying still..well, that’s the punch line in all of this! My youngest is a 2yr old BOY! oh how life can be funny sometimes.:)
    As soon as i read one womans comment about being careful not to roll over on the affected side I knew I had found the right place. I wonder how/if all of you delt with the depression from the physical limitaions? I have so hit stir crazy in the house. I go outside and the nieghbors are bugging me with their kind words and much needed prayer- but who wants to deal?
    But a big plus in all of this is while being here i have sucessfully potty trained my 2 yr old! No more diapers EVER!
    Thank God for small miracles!! haha.
    I think this is a great site you got here Hans.
    Nice to know I’am not alone.

  313. Steve's Mom

    Steve is 7 years old and was playing football with his 12 year old brother, when he tripped and fell and landed on his left shoulder last night. Clear break…through. He is in a figure 8 and a sling and luckily is doing okay –as long as he stays in bed. He is off from school this week on fall break, which helps things. How long were the younger children kept out of school, and when they returned did they have any problems with kids or anything? This reminds me of when I broke my collarbone when I was 17 years old. I was on my way to track practice and I was ridiing my bike, a lady opened her car door up on me and the inside of my leg caught the door and flung me into the air which seemed like an eternity. I landed on the ground. She wanted to move me from the street, but I wouldnt allow her to until EMS arrived. I was in terrible pain for the 1st two weeks and had to have help dressing and undressing. I started lifting leg weights again at the end of my third week and riding stationary bikes. By the end of the 4th week I was doing a little bit of running. I competed in my sixth week, but under my doctors advice kept the figure 8 on until the 8th week. I havent had any problems over the years, because I believe it healed properly. Good luck to all those recovering, I feel your pain.

  314. Kate's mom

    Hans & Patty
    Just a follow-up, Kate is back on the soccer field finally released to compete. For those who talk about the timeline this is 34 days since her injury. We have reviewed many compression wraps and for her, they have been too bulky. So she will have a trainer applied prewrap support as she enters the field on Tuesday mostly for her psychological well being. She will continue the calcium tabs.
    Thanks for the support and information on this site. It was helpful over these past weeks. Heal well all.
    Kate’s mom

  315. Laz

    Dear Friends in Fracture,
    I broke my collarbone about 2.5 weeks ago in a horseriding accident. My horse tripped and fell over after a jump and I flew out of the saddle hitting the ground with my left shoulder first. The ground proved harder than me clavicle.
    Now one thing I must consider myself lucky in is that I have experienced very little pain. After the fall my wife drove me to casualty where they X-rayed the area, then basically gave me a sling and some painkillers. As I felt no particular pain, I didn’t take the painkillers. After a day or two I noticed that the sling the hospital gave me was made of some crappy elastic material that started to stretch, so my wife made one out of an old sheet. This turned out to be miles better.
    After about a week I noticed that wearing the sling made my arm feel more uncomfortable than not wearing it, so I gradually stopped using it. In fact there was a very noticeable gradual improvement in my mobility every day, so I started feeling very optimistic about the entire incident. I started using my left arm more and more. Again, there was no pain, only some minor discomfort and stiffness. Unfortunately, now after about 2.5 weeks I am getting stiffer again although still there is no pain. It feels like something is “setting” inside the broken area which worries me a bit. Does anybody know what might be going on? I’m getting a bit down as I was doing so well…

  316. Patty

    Hi Kate’s mom,
    My daughter is without the brace and sling too. She will be going back to practice this week and goes for an xray next Thursday (4wks) the orthopedic didn’t want to see my daughter any sooner?? I would like to get some more info about the compression wrap, I am sure that it will make our daughters feel better about playing and that it is healed. Did the dr recommend the wrap, where can I get more info??

  317. Kate's mom

    Hans & Patty
    Thanks for your reponses to my post on 9/23 about my daughter Kate (age 15, break on 9/13). Youth is a wonderful thing. Kate is without the sling now. Went for a jog at soccer practice yesterday and is excellerating her footwork training. She goes for a 2nd X-ray this Thursday (3+ wks after injury).
    The compression wrap that I asked for advice about earlier is still a question. I understand that it is a sleeve that covers the injured collarbone and shoulder to retain heat and possibly is a psychological help that the injury is OK. I am getting one of these as she will return to play in about 2 weeks and I see the benefit for her. I was just looking for a brand recommendation. If you have any ideas, please let me know.

  318. james kern

    just an update on my clavicle fracture: had surgery on may 27/06 and after four months i am at about 90%. got back on the dirt bike last weekend for the first time since the break and felt really good although a little tentative at first. for me sugery was the only option and being canadian it did not cost me my daughter’s university education. Clavicle breaks are brutl to experience and definitely something to avoid. but the body is an amazing thing,………heal well.

  319. Angela

    Wow, Im so glad that I found this site !!! I was in a car accident this past Sunday (the 24th) that left me and my family very shaken. We were hit by a car going around 70 mph on the driver side rear. My husband and son (2 1/2 yrs ) are ok, however I suffered from a sprained wrist, sprained ligiment (sp?) in my right shoulder and a refractured clavicle (middle third). Went to the ER later that day and they told me that I cracked (refractured) a previous break that I didnt know I had. I dont recall ever breaking my clavicle, and the way its broken I think I would have remembered. They said that the bone had healed and the car accident had aggitated it and refractured it. Waiting to hear back from the lawyer about the lawsuit for pain / injury. Thankfully it wasnt completely refractured, however Im in severe pain, either from the fracture or the ligament. I wish you all luck in your journey’s, I know this first week has been hard.

  320. Dave D

    I broke my left clavicle 5 weeks ago (middle third, displaced). After riding 2600 miles by mid August, I hit a car that pulled out in front of me, 1000 feet from my driveway. I’ve been in a figure-of-8 brace since, which has let me function, but I’m still uncomfortable when not wearing it.
    Without the brace, I have a lot of crepitus, am unable to reach my right armpit, and can’t put a T-shirt on. An X-ray at 4 weeks looked just like the one at 2 weeks. My next appointment is at 7 weeks, and I’m still hoping for the best. I’m taking calcium citrate with vitamin D, and have been riding stationary bikes at the gym. I purchased a second brace to facilitate laundering.
    Everyone’s comments here have given me a better idea of what to expect with my injury. My advice for anyone is if you’re going to break a bone, don’t wait until you’re 56.

  321. Hans

    Kate’s mom – Being young and healthy is a big bonus towards healing quick. If all goes well then that time frame sounds like a fair estimate. Just be sure to check with her doctor before giving her a go ahead.
    As for a compression wrap, I’m not familiar with that. I used a combination of the figure-8 and a sling. It took some adjusting to get the figure-8 comfortable. It’s not necessary to adjust it too tight. If it’s binding, pinching, or painful then that’s too much. The figure-8 helps to keep the shoulders aligned and reduce movement. The less movement the better for healing.
    Patty – Wow, it sounds like soccer is taking out a bunch of players. Sorry to hear that. As I mentioned to Kate’s mom above, being young is one of the best factors for healing. A four week recovery sound fair. Just follow up with her doctor before sending her out again to play.

  322. Patty

    Hi Kate’s mom & everyone
    My daughter broke her clavicle 10 days ago also. She is 8 years old and was also playing soccer. She was tripped and landed on her shoulder. She has a clean break and the orthopedic said 4 weeks and it should be healed because she is so young. The fall season is done for her and she will try to play indoor this winter.
    I am also wondering if the time frame sound reasonable also.
    Any thoughts are appreciated.
    I also have my daughter on calcium tabs. hopefully that will help also. Patty

  323. Kate's mom

    My daughter Kate (age 15) broken her collarbone 10 days ago playing soccer. She was tripped and landed on her shoulder and the clavicle gave way. She never swelled or bruised much in the next few days after the injury–told it was due to her on the field care from EMTs. She was given a sling which she prefers over the figure 8 wrap.
    Some tell me that due to her fitness and age she can return to play in 4-6 weeks. She is very fit, has been taking 1200mg calsium tabs and working the stationary bike (things Laura mentioned) since day 3.
    I have 2 questions:
    –Does this timeframe sound reasonable? The orthepedist says that since her clavicle held it’s shape (is end to end) with the arc in tact that she will be on the shorter end of healing.
    –I understand that there is a compression wrap that she can wear when she plays that may give some comfort. Does anyone have a recommendation of brand?
    Any thoughts are appreciated. Thanks for the site Hans–we googled and came up with your info.

  324. Martin T

    Just an update for those worried about whether they are going to heal. Have a look at my previous posts 19th August and 26th August so you understand the scenario. Well, I went back on Sept 18th for a further X-ray and to my great relief bone is now growing and begining to fill what looks like a pretty huge gap where my break was. In fact I had two breaks and both are filling in nicely. After 6 weeks after my fall there was no progress at all, so I started taking Calcium Orotate and having Low Wave Diathermy [LWD] for 15 minutes twice a week. On top of this I applied Comfrey Oil each night to my shoulder. The Doctor at the Fracture Clinic was very pleased when he saw my last Xray [they had been talking about the possibility of taking a bone graft from my hip – not good news] and he plans now to remove the steel plate in about 6 months time – he won’t do it any sooner as he wants to give ut as much time to get nice and solid. I asked him if the things I was doing had brought about the change from no growth after 6 weeks to good growth after 12 weeks post injury. He said he didn’t know and that no clinical trials have been done. He said that the fact that I was a non smoker was probably more relevant. My view is that as you mope around suffering at not being able to do anything active, it is important phsycologically that you are doing something to get things moving; therefore taking Calcium, apply Comfrey and going for LWD is definately worth trying.
    My shoulder still hurts when I try to move it to the extremes and I am back with the physio next week – we had laid off too much exercise to allow the healing to get going – so I hope to start getting good all round movement back some time before Christmas.
    Hope my experience helps you.

  325. Jeff Huber

    Laura Erker’s dialog of her left broken Clavicle is simular to mine. I broke mine in a bike ride having bumped the riders back tire ahead of me sending me reeling to the pavement on my left shoulder and hip. I’m in week 6 now and the Xray at week 4 started to show calcification,healing and fusing. The shoulder is healing well and as a rider is the least of my worries right now. My left hip has taken a few hits over the years and this one was the worst. No fractures, but lots of initial swelling and was purple from the hip to the knee. Walking was a problem for days. Felt like a real bad pulled groin at first and as time progressed the swelling in the hip went down, but still have some now at week 6. Riding and walking cause discomfort in the left knee. Was a runner for 30 years and at age 43 moved over to the road bike. Now at 46 this fall is a real issue for me, not the shoulder but the effect it has had on the left knee. The right knee had a torn menicus scoped when I was 40, ran 3 more years and had a minor tear in the left this past spring. Rode OK all summer as the tear calmed down, but this fall changed my walk enough I beleive to mess up this knee again. So bones heal, but the knee and hip seems to be more of a concern longer term to me now. Anyone out there with a simular story?

  326. Colin

    They should provide the URL for this site in the ER take home pack together with the X-rays and painkillers.
    I broke my collarbone yesterday evening. My own fault – riding home on my bike fresh from the shop with new wheels and the brakes tightened to finger-touch. Attempted to brake one-handed and went straight over the handlebars. I am embarassed to say I was putting my handphone back with the other hand.
    Landed on the road, dazed and bloody and began assessing the damage. The bike was unridable but I knew quickly that I couldn’t ride it anyway – my left shoulder was messed up.
    My visit to ER was similar to many others except that I live in Japan and my Japanese is pretty basic, especially medical terminology, so a lot of what went on passed me by. They insisted on treating and X-raying my legs (8 times!) for simple roadrash. I guess blood looks spectacular and my mangled shoulder wasn’t bleeding.
    I was fitted with a Figure of 8 brace and issued 5 tabs each of Celebrex and Loxonin. The Celebrex tabs are 50mg. compared to a typical 200mg in the US. All medications are very low-strength here. But I surprised myself by getting a reasonable night’s sleep propped up on pillows. Have spent today researching and this site has been extremely helpful. I am an active 52, the bone is broken in 2 places and was initially in a Z formation, so I know not to expect miracles. I also learned that I should not rush to surgery and to be aware of a frozen shoulder.
    I have a planned marathon in late November but have already given up on that (I certainly hope to be running again before then, but I was aiming for another sub-3, and would rather postpone to the spring than waddle though it.)
    I plan to keep wearing the brace, taking painkillers before bed at night, and visit an English-speaking doctor on Tuesday (I chose the beginning of a long weekend to do this.) If I have any problem with the Figure of 8 brace I will try the ShouldersBack device.
    Thanks for all the shared experiences and advice. If I have any special insights I will post back here later.
    Colin, Tokyo

  327. Romeo Lim

    Hello fellow breakers. I too broke my right clavicle when a stray dof darted in front of my motorcycle and I ran over the mutt, too late to brake or avoid it. Initially there was litle pain but by the time I got to the ER it was terrible. Xray confirmed a clean break, middle third, and so I given an arm sling to wear and some strong pain medication via IV drip(Tramadol). Didn’t sleep a wink that night.
    Next day my Ortho confirmed the ER diagnosis and put me in a clavicular brace (figure-of-8) and sent me home. The next 2 weeks were very difficult. Things that are normally taken for granted such as brushing ones teeth, combing and putting on a shirt became comically awkward. The pain of the broken bone was nothing compared with the irritation from the tight clav brace so after 4 weeks I took it off with permission from the Doctor. Xrays at 2, 4 and 6 weeks showed no healing but my I can feel the 2 broken pieces had adhered so the Doc gave the go-ahead.
    Dont be dismayed when your Xrays show no signs of healing, fibrous tissues that bridge the gap between the bones don’t show up well on xray. I’m now on my 8th week and have regained about 80% use of my right arm, only hurts when I raise it above 20 degrees above the horizontal. I was even able to compete in a IPSC match last weekend with no problems. Not too bad for a 49 year old.
    So fellow breakers, don’t be depressed when your xrays show the same thing as your initial shots. It will never be perfectly aligned again. As long as you have full range of motion and strenght then it is allright. Your chances of healing naturally are very good indeed, surgery should be your very last option.
    Thanks a lot to Hans for hosting this website, it helped me a lot knowing how other people coped when they underwent the same experience.

  328. Scott

    Thomas Kidder – Im 33 and I felt a definite knitting at 4 weeks (at least I think its knitting, my Xray is tomorrow).
    Hopefully it will continue to knit some more though as Im now at 6 weeks and still have some discomfort (not pain). For eg if I let my shoulder drop right down it feels like its kind of stretching the point where the break is. Also I cant put too much weight on it. I was told 3 months for it to heal to a point where everyday activities where OK and 6 months until I could lift wights in the gym again.
    Ive got my xray and a couple of pics at what it looked like at certain dates. If people want I will put them on flickr. Let me know.

  329. Hans

    Charlotte – Your doctors are being fair by not commiting to timescales. It very difficult since each injury and how a person heals is unique. If your husband is lucky and the break fuses soon then there might be enough time for him to recover and handle the trip. But it’s a gamble.
    Clover – Sounds like things are going the right way for you. I would recommend listening to your body to judge your limits. If you do something that causes you pain then back off.
    I had no expectations about healing time for my collar bone. When I was “healed” and back riding the bike at 4 weeks I thought that’s how it goes. After reading all the comments that others have left about their experiences, I feel I was lucky to heal as quick as I did.

  330. Glenn

    Hans and Everyone…….I’m in week 6 of my collar bone break and everything is going fine. I’ve been on the trainer for the past 3 weeks and I feel good. Just wanted to say this is has been a great place for info during the early days. I enjoyed reading all of the stories and advice on this forum.
    Keep it up.

  331. Thomas Kidder

    I have been keeping up with posts since I shattered my right clavicle the 27th of July in a MTB wreck in NC. The info was helpful, but the fear of not healing and needing surgery was increased by many of the posts. Along with that fear, was lots of good insight about expectations at certain time points. The fact that at 4 wks there is little if any knitting going on in 36 yr olds. I am at 6wks plus 1 day, no sling and no pain. This worthless arm is an interesting thing to have hanging around. I have x rays at 8 wks and hopefully the MD’s opinion will ring true and the bones will be healed. I’ve got a week long MTB trip in mid Oct. Thanks for the insights.

  332. Clover

    Hey, y’all, another member of Team Triage signing in here.
    I broke my left collarbone close to the AC joint two weeks ago Saturday. I was riding my road bike to work and a man opened his car door without looking and absolutely creamed me–my bike and I both went flying. (My bike is fine, other than a scuffed seat. I took a direct hit to the shoulder and got a few patches of road rash there and on my knee, but nothing too bad.)
    Everything was pretty painful for a couple of days. I was signed up to run the Hood to Coast relay one week after my wreck and I had plane tickets and everything, so I ran the race in a sling (about 17 miles total, split between three legs). It actually went fairly well, better than I’d thought it would. Keeping the arm immobilized gave me a side stitch I don’t normally get, but I managed to run a pretty decent race anyway. My team was pleased.
    The swelling’s down, the pain’s pretty much diminished (although I know instantly if I exceed my range of motion limits–yow!), and the sling is I think getting in my way more than it’s helping. I’m running about six miles a day and wanting to run longer. I want to ride my bike again, too. I went back to work after two days–I’m a barista–and did fine, aside from needing people to help me lift stuff and reach for things on shelves and that sort of thing.
    So what I’m wondering is if I’m missing something. Am I doing myself harm by being so active so quickly? It feels fine. I have a small bump and a mostly-faded bruise, but that’s supposed to be normal. The bone isn’t displaced. Thoughts? Did any of you heal up a lot faster than you thought you would?
    Thanks for this site–lots of good info here!

  333. tom

    i broke my collar bone a week ago and i went to the hospital had an xray!! they said i could go home an that i must stay in an dont do anythink an it will heel.then two days later they phoned me up an said i have to go for an op

  334. Charlotte

    Help! My husband broke his collar bone last week. We are due to start a 10 month backpacking trip round the world in 6 weeks time, starting with a tour through China. The doctors won’t commit to timescales, and say that the bone may need plating. Can we still go in 6 weeks time or should we cancel? Is there anything we can do to speed up the healing process? – trying lots of rest and calcium. Thank you!