I talked to my doctor about taking the metal plate on my collar bone out....

Discussion in 'Rider Down' started by bing!, Sep 6, 2011.

  1. bing!

    bing! Active Member

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    He agrees that if I break my collar bone again, the metal plate could cause a break on one or both ends of my clavicle. Not a good thing. He was very clear thought that the risk is minimal.

    He wants to see me again in 3 months before any talk about taking it out is even considered.

    However, he warns me, if I take out the plate, along with my 10 odd screws, the screws will leave large holes in my clavicle. These will heal, but during that healing process, I shouldnt be riding for at least 3 months :(

    What to do? What would you do?

    /bing
     
  2. Danimal

    Danimal Gary the Cat

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    I got chills just reading this....

    I know that doesn't help even a little.
     
  3. matty_P

    matty_P New Member

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    I would ride road, work on shoulder strength for that time. I would also schedule the time to take the plate out for december-ish, since it's more rainy then and you won't be riding as much anyway. I'm sure your doctor is going to tell you not to ride road also, unless they are not as conservative as the orthopods i've known; but honestly you just want to put yourself in the least likely to fall situation; you could trip during that three months and land on the curb, ect... there are many scenarios. mountain biking is a little more impact through the shoulder and more likely to fall, so i wouldn't ride trails. it's also not a bad thing, a lot of pros take time off and do other kinds of training not to the detriment of their fitness and minimally to their technical skill.
     
  4. monstertiki

    monstertiki New Member

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    Wow bummer... is there a more metal option? maybe they can replace it with a completely metal collar bone. But really if you get the screws taken out 3 months isn't that long of a wait.
     
  5. Bryguy17

    Bryguy17 A little Shaggy

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    I thought about getting my plate removed, but I'm personally going to just let it be for now.

    personally, mine doesn't bother me too much. only if I press hard on the corner of it does it kinda hurt (but not really, just gets uncomfortable).

    I also realize that if I hit something hard enough to break my clavicle (plate or not), its probably going to mean another plate is getting put in anyway.

    my opinion (taken with a grain of salt): leave it. you avoid another 3 months of recovery time (along with the requisite recovery you'd need once the bone is healed). you avoid another surgery (which may or may not be a bad thing for you personally). you dont end up with a bigger scar (as they cannot cut it in exactly the same spot when it is removed). you still get to tell people that you have a rad chunk of titanium in your shoulder (awesome party trick!) if it really bothers you, talk to your doctor and see what he recommends. they tend to know better than blokes like myself (or most other people on the interwebz)
     
  6. jeff^d

    jeff^d Active Member

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    I have 2 plates and 16 screws in my left arm. My doc's advice was the same as Bryguy's -- leave the hardware there unless it's really bothering you. He also said hardware needed to be in a minimum of 1 year before he'd consider removing it.

    Avoid recovery time and potential complications of an additional surgery, more scar tissue, PT, etc. Also, an impact that would cause another break would likely break with or without the hardware there.

    See how you feel in a few months. You can always get a 2nd or 3rd ortho opinion, but most will probably say leave it in unless it's a problem.
     
  7. mtnbikej

    mtnbikej Well-Known Member

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    Yup.......hardware stays unless there is a problem with it.

    Asked my OS about the hardware in my leg......said leave it alone unless it starts causing discomfort. The plate on the outside of my ankle does not like my work boots...rubs it the wrong way.....but I will leave them in there....don't need another procedure to remove them. I have heard 12-18 months minimum before you can get them taken out.

    The new hardware in my shoulder will be permanent as well.


    I do have fears of breaking the bone again with the hardware in it.......I keep thinking about what a 2x4 looks like when you rip a screw out of it, how it splinters.

    Collar bones are overrated anyway. We really don't need them anymore. They don't do much.
     
  8. Robo

    Robo No dabs.

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    I've thought about getting mine removed 2 1/2 years later, but all the reasons above tell me not to. I have the longest Ti plate available, so it doesn't leave much weak area (besides the very ends!). With 12 screws, that's a lot of holes in the bone to have filling in. A little uncomfortable when the kids hang on it, but all is working well, so I'm not messing with it.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. bing!

    bing! Active Member

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    Ive made a decision as follows:

    negatives

    -the doctor says the risk of a lung punture and a bad break is minimal
    -people whove had the same and are still mtbing decided to keep the plate
    -having to go into another major surgery
    -3-6 months off the bike after surgery (i dont ride road)
    -removal will cost me another decent bike.

    positive
    -more pain pills j/k

    I'm keeping the plate. Thanks!
     
  10. geek

    geek Member

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    reading this thread makes me contemplate giving up mountain biking...

    but only for a minute or two.
     
  11. Keith B

    Keith B Professional Lion Tamer

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    I had a similar debate. I had 2 plates and 10 bolts holding my left forearm together and decided to have one plate and 6 bolts out (I was advised not to have the ulnar plate removed due to the high risk of nerve damage due to it being in the centre of my arm). It was a tough choice to go back under the knife of my own accord but it was the right decision. I have no pain whenever I go from warm air to cold now and I can rest my arm on things without the bolt tops digging into the inside of my skin.
    My break was so bad (it actually shattered into pieces) that despite the metalwork being in there for 3yrs there was still a crack through the break point (which was now a ball of bone.) Doc told me that the bolt holes and the cracked ball of bone would take up to 6 months to heal properly. I would do it but just ride fire road and be careful.
     
  12. jeff^d

    jeff^d Active Member

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    Really? I view these as success stories of modern day medicine. We can push our limits, and someone will be there to put us back together!
     
  13. TranceRider

    TranceRider No, I don't Ride a GIANT

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    I have a metal plate on my collarbone and I will choose to keep it there because of the issue you already mentioned - if it is taken out you basically have to do a double recovery - as if you had broken your collarbone again (so the screw holes can heal). My doctor recommended only to remove the plate if it causes major problems.

    So my advice (I am trying to follow this myself) - don't fall and break a collarbone again. :bang:

    Seriously tho - if you fell again with the force needed to break the same collarbone - it would break whether or not you had a metal plate in there, and you'd be back to square 1 again.
     
  14. geek

    geek Member

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    Haha.... yeah, I suppose. Still lots of pain involved, not to mention $$$.
     
  15. ShockTheraphy

    ShockTheraphy New Member

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    I too thought about that. But then remembered that most members here are from OC and are rich ;)
     
  16. auger

    auger Member

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    FWIW I agree with the keepers in the thread. 2 different Otho's advised me to keep it unless it causes problems so I'm keeping my collarbone plate and 6 screws. I have crashed hard on it twice and it did freak me out but so far all is OK. In fact 2 weeks ago today I went OTB and landed on my left shoulder, alway the left freaking shoulder for me and it was a pretty hard impact. Shoulder swelled up and hurt like hell. After the swelling went down got xrayed because I was concerned about the hardware. The doc said it was ok. Felling ok now. I think bing! had the only Good reason on his list for a reason to remove it. Good luck with your decision.
     
  17. stuffshredman

    stuffshredman Member

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    I've got two plates and fourteen screws in my right arm that have been in there for 24 years with no problems... other than the occasional full cavity search at the airports :)
     
  18. Lottel

    Lottel New Member

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    usually, metal plates can be removed once the bone shows sufficient healing. if it does not bother you, don't do it as scarring can cause some issues. some metal plates irritate the normal contraction and relaxation of muscle fibers. in this case, i will opt to remove it. i see a lot of riders ride like there is no tomorrow. be careful as injuries like this will haunt you when you get older. you will be prone to developing osteoarthritis later as you get older. enjoy the trails. take it easy. nobody is racing you.
     
  19. nickk6

    nickk6 New Member

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    I took mine out, WAY LESS pain when its cold outside. I should also mention that my shoulder has been numb now for 2 years after the second surgery. I was just getting feeling back before the second surgery. Always a risk, If I could do it over, I'd still take the damn thing out.
     

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