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Broken Collarbone/Rib - Update 3/15 - Surgery over - see first post

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  • Broken Collarbone/Rib - Update 3/15 - Surgery over - see first post

    UPDATE 5/18: Post 30 - Healed and feeling great.


    Came off silly horse yesterday right on to my right shoulder. Collarbone is broken in at least 2 places, but so far they don't want to do surgery.

    Suggestions to make life easier? Ideas to aide healing?

    Thanks
    Christa

    who is happy it is a time year horse care can be minimal.

    UPDATE 2/12 - I had a DRs appt Friday and the fracture is definitely non-union and I am scheduling surgery for mid-march when I have a break from my new job (college tutor/spring break). I am making horse care arrangments and figuring out other stuff.

    I know a few people gave thier experiences when this first happened, but any others. Any good pointers or things I should think about.

    Christa

    Who is somewhat bummed because I just started riding the OTTB/FLF I got on Christmas Eve and she seems like she is going to be fun. Now I am looking at giving her 2+ months off, after only 4 weeks of schooling, right before trail season.




    3/15 Update: Surgery was Tuesday 3/13 and less than 48 hours out I wish I had pushed and gotten this done last fall. Shoulder feels a LOT more stable, though still sore (yes I have good pain meds). I am looking forward to a summer with the shoulder being healed and feeling good.

    Horse I came off of also just left on trial for, hopefully, a great new home where he will be worked as much as he needs to be with somebody that enjoys riding him.

    New (xmas eve) TB gets another ~8 weeks to grow some foot and put on some more weight before she starts serious work.
    Last edited by Christa P; May. 18, 2012, 11:35 AM. Reason: Update

  • #2
    A figure-8 bandage or one of those "Shoulders Back" riding gadgets will help remind you to keep it still. It will heal no matter what you do (short of being really silly and/or having your golden retriever puppy trip you on the stairs and re-break it . . . ask me how I know!) so just try to be patient! Learn to use your left hand and arm--feels so very, very awkward but is do-able.

    The less movement you have the quicker and better it will heal. Mine healed horribly crooked after the Puppy Incident and it is a good 3" shorter than the normal one, but it never hurts and I just didn't want to have surgery and delay getting back to doing things. No regrets, I just have a somewhat lumpy-looking shoulder.
    Click here before you buy.

    Comment


    • #3
      My advice?

      Do the surgery immediately.

      Like DW, I have one that broke and healed much shorter. Unlike DW, I have serious problems that are a result of that assymetry. Of the two things in my I would do almost anything to go back in time and change, this is one of them. In pain related to that break as I type this.
      "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
      ---
      The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.

      Comment


      • #4
        I wouldn't necessarily rush into surgery. You can't undo surgery once you have it done. There are a lot of little moving parts in the shoulder. Complications such as staph infections and blood clots are rare, but they do happen. If surgery is needed to get you functional, go for it, but do it as a last resort.

        Get a second opinion on your prognosis and recommended course of treatment from a really good shoulder specialist. As I said, the shoulder has a lot of little moving parts. If something isn't going right, you want an expert figuring out how to get everything lined up again.

        Get your good shoulder specialist to recommend a good physical therapist. You will not want to use your shoulder while it still hurts - duh. Eventually, however, some of the larger moving parts will start sliding into uncomfortable positions because all the muscles which normally hold them in place are out of shape from not being used. Physical therapy will help prevent that.

        If you live anywhere near IKEA, they sell a motorized bed platform which will lift the head and feet of the bed. It's a lot cheaper and more comfortable than the hospital bed equivalent. This might be more comfortable than sleeping in a recliner.

        Baggy flannel shirts are your friend. For quite a while after I crunched my shoulder I could not wear a bra, nor could I lift my arm over my head to put on a T-shirt. Baggy flannel shirts made dressing a lot easier, if less fashionable, during this period. It was actually quite some time before I could go back to wearing a regular bra; racerbacks were more comfortable initially.

        Comment


        • #5
          I had the surgery and have no lump. Initially, the pain was excruciating. A pillow under the arm to keep the shoulder stable helped. So did pain pills. Take any/all available. Don't shy away from asking for help. It's ok to cry.

          My spill happened in the warmer months so instead of flannel, I had soft button down shirts. The ones in the mens' departments were the best. I used a strapless bra.

          Cover yourself with towels whenever you eat or drink. Much easier than changing all the time.

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            Just an update. No appointment yet for a second opinion. I have gotten some help and the horses have the basics taken care of, though the guilty party leaves for 2 months training on Monday . He is 8 going on a very green 4 with regards to training and NEEDS a JOB. I just haven't had time, facilities, or this year the energy, to really work him.

            I am sleeping proped up on the couch. Fortunately (??) I have had similar experiences dealing with a dislocated shoulder so I do have some coping strategies. It was more the actual break and how it would heal that I was worried about. This is my first broken bone since I broke my leg 30 years ago.

            My pain level is very manageable with a loritab every ~6 hours and so far the shoulders look pretty even so probably not looking at surgery for now.

            My trickiest issue is that it is my right shoulder this time. When I dislocated it was my left which was easier to deal with.


            Christa

            Comment


            • #7
              When I snapped my clavicle in two lawndarting on xc, I wore a figure 8 brace for 4 months and they wouldn't operate, citing the fact that I'm a girl and I wouldn't want scarring or pins when wearing low cut tops...

              A bike messenger with the same break on the same day got pinned.

              It healed eventually, but it's lumpy and thick (8 years later) and it took a long forever before I could slouch again - I had so much massage and chiro to try and loosen things up after being jammed in that figure 8, lemme tell you... ugh!
              ----------------------------------------
              PSSM / EPSM and Shivers Forum
              http://pssm.xanthoria.com/
              ----------------------------------------

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Xanthoria View Post
                When I snapped my clavicle in two lawndarting on xc, I wore a figure 8 brace for 4 months and they wouldn't operate, citing the fact that I'm a girl and I wouldn't want scarring or pins when wearing low cut tops...

                A bike messenger with the same break on the same day got pinned.

                It healed eventually, but it's lumpy and thick (8 years later) and it took a long forever before I could slouch again - I had so much massage and chiro to try and loosen things up after being jammed in that figure 8, lemme tell you... ugh!
                Uh yuck, that is how I did not get operated on either... Silly girls, they are not athletes!
                "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                ---
                The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  An update. Going in Wednesday for a second appointment with the original dr. So far the pain is not a real problem, just taking regular ibuprofen as needed.

                  In the mirror the shoulders look pretty even so I think that will be ok. Still can't drive my car as it is a standard shift so I have to drive the truck, which makes for longer walks to stores .

                  Horses that are here have the basics taken care of and are doing fine - BTW, a plastic sled works well for basic picking and moving hay bales and can be easily pulled with 1 hand .

                  The trainer LOVES the horse and he is making excellent progress - probably relates to working daily, a rider that is in shape and good footing, all things lacking here.


                  BTW, there was never a mention of a scar issue with the surgery, just that the displacement of the bones did not meet the general criteria for surgery.


                  Christa

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    You're tough stuff if you can drive after this short a time. I didn't even try for over a month. I knew there was just no way I could control the vehicle if I needed to use the bad arm in an emergency.

                    Misery loves company. You might find this page amusing, at least the part describing how he broke his clavicle the second time. http://john.jpy.com/clavicle/

                    I'm one of the lucky folks with a clavicle non-union. (I blame Ronald Reagan and the Republicans the for anti-union tone taken by recent politics. I have no idea why they are opposed to unions, but I hold it deeply and personally against them that my clavicle is union free. Fine, you can have your opinions on public health care, but keep your politics out of a woman's body. At least out of my broken clavicle. ) Having a clavicle in two pieces isn't actually as much of a problem as you'd think. The arm works just fine, and the shoulder doesn't hurt unless the weather is changing.

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Originally posted by carp View Post
                      You're tough stuff if you can drive after this short a time. I didn't even try for over a month. I knew there was just no way I could control the vehicle if I needed to use the bad arm in an emergency.

                      Misery loves company. You might find this page amusing, at least the part describing how he broke his clavicle the second time. http://john.jpy.com/clavicle/

                      I'm one of the lucky folks with a clavicle non-union. (I blame Ronald Reagan and the Republicans the for anti-union tone taken by recent politics. I have no idea why they are opposed to unions, but I hold it deeply and personally against them that my clavicle is union free. Fine, you can have your opinions on public health care, but keep your politics out of a woman's body. At least out of my broken clavicle. ) Having a clavicle in two pieces isn't actually as much of a problem as you'd think. The arm works just fine, and the shoulder doesn't hurt unless the weather is changing.
                      I live alone so no real choice but to drive some. I am careful and only drive more back roads, not highway driving. I am getting a few hours in doing office work at my job, but that is just a few miles away on country roads as well.

                      Actually I am looking forward to new xrays wednesday to see where the healing is going.

                      Christa

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        JINGLES FOR YOU ``

                        Jingles for you `` hoping you heal quickly *** AO ` Always Optimistic ~

                        sleeping suggestion ... put a "fitted " sheet on a recliner and sleep sitting in recliner ...
                        Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Originally posted by Zu Zu View Post
                          Jingles for you `` hoping you heal quickly *** AO ` Always Optimistic ~

                          sleeping suggestion ... put a "fitted " sheet on a recliner and sleep sitting in recliner ...
                          It will be 2 weeks monday and last night I slept in my bed with just some shoulder support. It was the best nights sleep since the injury.

                          Given my pain level (minimal - 2 ibuprofen this morning, nothing since) and ability to move and use the shoulder some -yes, I am being extremely careful - without any discomfort I am hoping it is healing well.

                          No recliner here so that wasn't an option unfortunately.

                          Christa

                          PS Thanks for the jingles. The positive energy seems to be working.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Ahh, the memories.

                            I broke my collarbone (only in one place though) from a fall about 8 years ago; the ends weren't touching, they were about 1/2" apart, one on top of the other. Doc didn't recommend surgery, OR a figure-8 brace for that matter; iirc, I was in a sling for a few weeks until the sling got annoying, then it was just "try not to move or bump it" until it healed. By some miracle, the ends must have found each other because it healed without a bump.

                            Sleeping was entertaining at first... I didn't know any better the very first night, laid down in bed, found myself in excruciating pain and couldn't sit back up again-- I had to have my now-hubby pull me to an upright position. After that, I had a whole setup of big sofa pillows in the bed, so that I could lay at a good angle. After a week or so, I started having night spasms and the doctor prescribed Flexaril, which took care of it.

                            Driving: I drive a stick shift too, and not driving wasn't an option-- no other automatic vehicles available unless I rented one. Luckily my car had a pretty short/smooth stick and and I was able to (carefully) shift with more wrist movement than shoulder movement. I was driving a day or two after the break.

                            Honestly, the worst part of the whole process was not being able to pull my hair back into a ponytail... I had to have DH do it for me, and suffice to say, it made for some frustrating mornings, lol... other than that, everything just took soooo much longer to do-- getting dressed, brushing teeth, showering, etc. And forget shaving armpits!!

                            Incidentally, after 3 or 4 weeks when the nerve endings had died and the bone-shifting was no longer painful, it made for a fun "party trick" to have people put their fingers over the spot and feel the bones move. Grossed quite a few people out with that one, heehee....
                            *friend of bar.ka

                            "Evidently, I am an unrepentant b*tch, possible trouble maker, and all around super villian"

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I broke mine pretty badly last summer and wound up having surgery. It was the right decision. I found a great surgeon who also rides. He put a plate and 6 screws in. He also had to make a 'bone paste' out of my bone fragments and also some ground up cadaver bone to fill in the gap when he tried to join the broken ends of my collarbone. I didn't have any pain after the surgery - only took one Perocet and that was to sleep the first night.

                              I highly recommned sleeping in a recliner so you don't roll over on your bad side. I rented one and it really helped.

                              The plate bugs me a bit when there a change in the weather (hot to cold and damp), but 2 Aleve solves the problem. The scar isn't too noticable either.

                              I tell people I got screwed 6 times in 90 minutes and don't remember a thing!

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I broke mine in May along with 5 ribs, and was pretty miserable for 6 weeks. I wasn't a surgical candidate and just wore a sling. It healed pretty well, but what bothered me the most were the shoulder muscles that were not worked while the shoulder was healing. Was able to get back to running early on, not able to do much yoga, but once I was able to start working on the shoulder, things were a whole lot better.

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  Been awhile since I updated. The shoulder is improving quickly now. Went to the doctor 10 days ago and he measured the shoulders, so far they are equal, but no x-rays that time. He did say to start carefully moving the shoulder back and forth, swinging it against my side. I am not supposed to move it sideways yet.

                                  I did start driving my car after 2 weeks, but with 2 towels and a pillow to create an armrest the right height to rest my elbow. The pain is decreasing all the time and I am slowly getting my range of motion back, but very little strength yet.

                                  I don't see the doctor again until 10/26.


                                  Christa

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    Now a broken rib as well

                                    Update from 10/23 - Felt great and did some winterizing around the place yesterday. Felt great until I sat around for awhile and then went to bed. When I layed down my ribs started hurting so bad I couldn't breathe. Called my brother for a ride to emergency clinic. A few x-rays later it turns out what I thought were bruised and battered ribs from the fall area were actually 1 broken rib. It was probably healing fine, and then I did a little more than I should have and aggravated everthing around it.

                                    Some pain meds later and feeling much better. Already have a DRs appt. for Wednesday so I will see what he says.

                                    Christa

                                    PS until this I had been pretty well off any pain meds a couple of weeks - just a couple OTC ibuprofen once or twice a week it I did a little too much.

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      1/15 update - probable surgery

                                      Update 1/15 - Went to the DR. Friday and the xray showed there is still a large gap and it looks like it is not going to heal and I will need surgery. Yes, I could leave it like it is, but it bothers me enough that something needs to be done.

                                      So, Experiences? Healing times - Dr. said 6-8 weeks, is that full use or rehab start?


                                      I will be asking Dr. more questions don't worry.

                                      At this point I am thinking about mid-march for a surgery date so I can hopefully be ready to enjoy my horses this summer.

                                      Christa

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Good luck!! I havent broken my collerbone but i just broke 3 toes and cracked my foot whilts splitting my foot at the same time! Yes thats talent, my sister said i just needed to say no to yoga

                                        on sugeriy perspective, im completly for ones that may not be nessary but make you feel better(ie me opting for a laproscopy to clean my endomitriosis up this year)



                                        Hoping everyithing goes good! I personally hate waking up from surgery and have said colourful things to the poor nurse trying to wake me( i just wanna sleep damnit)
                                        Beyond the Ring-para dressage, training, coaching
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