Broken clavicle x-rays

June 18, 2010

in Daily updates, Geek stuff, Ottawa

Here are some photos I snapped of the x-rays taken at the Ottawa General Hospital, at various points after my cycling accident:

May 30th – a couple of hours after the accident

T+4 days

T+19 days

In three weeks, I will get another x-ray. I have been warned that I will need to avoid any intense physical activity for a further three months after that, meaning I will miss most of the summer cycling season.

[Update: 9 July 2010] Here is an x-ray from today, showing a bit more of the affected area. The biggest difference from the T+19 shot is the round area of bone forming underneath the fracture area. The doctor told me another should form later underneath that sharp protrusion:

T+40 days

[Update: 13 August 2010] Today, the doctor said they might eventually need to operate, to remove that sharp spike of bone. I am supposed to go back in three months for another x-ray.

T+75 days

[Update: 24 November 2010] I told the doctor about how my shoulder has been aching a fair bit, since it started getting cold. He set me up with an appointment for some physiotherapy.

T+178 days

[Update: 2 March 2011] This will be the final x-ray in this series, as the doctor is now satisfied that things are healing properly. He told me the bone will still be remodelling itself for at least a year.

T+275 days

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{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Matt June 18, 2010 at 5:53 pm

What’s it supposed to look like? It doesn’t exactly seem to look… connected.

. June 18, 2010 at 6:48 pm

Clavicle
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Milan June 18, 2010 at 7:10 pm

Oddly, I think seeing the x-rays today made my shoulder hurt a lot more than it did before.

It’s like my brain is saying: “Wow! That’s a real injury. I ought to be careful about how I move.”

Matt June 18, 2010 at 7:20 pm

Did the doctor mention if it’s healing as it’s supposed to be? When it’s healed, will it look more or less as it did before you broke it?

Milan June 18, 2010 at 7:32 pm

The emergency room doctors told me that I would be ‘permanently deformed.’ Thankfully, that just means a bit of a bump and some asymmetry.

Supposedly, the bone will actually be stronger after it heals than it was before.

It is apparently healing essentially as it should be. I hope that spike-shaped protrusion on the upper bone fragment goes away eventually.

Sarah June 19, 2010 at 10:53 am

I’m pretty sure I was biking within 3 months of breaking my collarbone. In fact, I think I was biking within 6 weeks, although carefully, not in traffic, & I was very aware that it wasn’t properly healed because it hurt when I put much weight on the arm. In my experience some doctors are much more cautious than others and there is a range of ‘we don’t advise this’ that goes from ‘really, really, really don’t do this – doom will follow!’ all the way to ‘well, I don’t recommend it, but if you do then I doubt anything bad will happen’. All in all, my guess is that it’s hard to know when you’ll be biking again without seeing how the collarbone does, how you feel about the potential risks, & how much your doctors advise against it.

R.K. June 20, 2010 at 10:48 am

Ouch!

That sharp part looks like it could be a future health risk. If you get hit in a certain way, it could be driven forward into your shoulder. Or it could break off and become a pointy disconnected fragment.

R.K. June 20, 2010 at 9:01 pm

Have you considered an x-ray pinup calendar?

L June 21, 2010 at 7:56 pm

It’s amazing how much it’s changed in such a short time! I hope you continue to recover steadily.

-L.

Hilary July 10, 2010 at 12:04 am

I wonder if drew’s point from his break has gone away yet. It stayed relatively pointy for quite some time.

Milan July 10, 2010 at 11:23 am

If you find out, please let me now.

Also, how long ago was it broken?

markus September 6, 2010 at 12:08 am

Hey I broke mine about a year ago playing football and its actually very similar to yours. Took me 5 months till I could even workout again. I broke it again my 1st game back this season. I have no clue why Ottawa doctors dont recommend any surgery… Im back in a sling just like i was before

Milan November 22, 2010 at 10:45 pm

Perhaps it is because of the cold, but my shoulder has been aching a lot lately.

I have more x-rays on Wednesday.

. January 31, 2011 at 8:42 pm

Plastic surgery
A newly developed material should make it easier to mend broken bones

MUCH of modern medicine is high-tech wizardry. Broken bones, however, are still dealt with in a clumsy, old-fashioned way that frequently involves screws, nails and pins. Even the simplest operation can result in infections and incomplete healing if those devices are not placed as they should be. In dramatic circumstances—for instance on a battlefield, where surgeons cannot use X-ray machines and there is no proper operating theatre—the need for so many bits and bobs can make effective surgery impossible. Thousands of soldiers fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, for example, have had limbs amputated after injuries that could have been treated at any hospital.

It was with them in mind that DARPA, the research-funding agency of America’s Department of Defence, approached a group of scientists at the University of Texas, Houston, two years ago. DARPA wanted something that army doctors could carry in their bags and use to mend injured limbs on the spot, before amputation became inevitable. The researchers, led by Mauro Ferrari and Ennio Tasciotti (who have since moved to the Methodist Hospital Research Institute in the same city) came up with an idea that could change orthopaedic surgery once and for all: a material that surgeons can implant or even inject; which fixes a fractured bone quickly; and which then leads to its full regeneration, with no need for nails and pins.

The material in question, the product of a collaboration between biologists, nanoengineers and mathematicians, is based on a chemical called polypropylene fumarate. It is activated at 37°C, the temperature of the human body. When applied to a broken bone it solidifies and works like a glue, bringing the two parts of the fracture together. That is necessary, as any orthopaedic surgeon knows, because if a gap of more than a few millimetres is left between fragments the bone will never heal.

. January 31, 2011 at 8:43 pm

The key to success, says Dr Tasciotti, is timing. Stem cells must reach the site of the fracture, proliferate and turn into osteoblasts at the right moment. If they start to specialise too early, there will not be enough bone cells to heal the fracture. This is where the mathematicians of the group came in. Using computer simulations, they found the ideal thickness for the silicon spheres and the ideal size for their pores, so that the spheres degrade and release their content at the right rate. While this happens, the polypropylene fumarate becomes integrated with the body thanks to protein fragments called peptides placed on its surface. These make it look like human tissue and thus prevent its rejection by the patient’s own cells.

Milan June 20, 2011 at 8:52 pm

One lesson from cycling: pavement is dangerously hard.

brandon July 29, 2011 at 12:59 am

i recently just broke my clavicle, its been six weeks i go to the doctors tuesday, but did it still hurt at six weeks? and the deformation of the bone on mine… i can still feel the bone thats broken. idk but it still feels broke

Krista October 19, 2011 at 11:58 pm

Thank you so much, these X-rays give me hope. I recently have broken mine, and it is not even touching. I don’t like the sound of surgery, so thank you thank you

alex March 30, 2012 at 3:12 am

i have a broken clavicle and i cant belive how much it is healing up

rachel September 28, 2012 at 10:20 pm

Hey, just wondering, at T+19, were your bones joined back together already? My fracture is similar to yours but I still see a little black area between the floater and the top piece.

Milan September 28, 2012 at 10:45 pm

I don’t exactly know. The x-rays are not three-dimensional, which makes it hard to be certain of when the bones fused. They did fuse at some point, clearly, but I couldn’t tell you when.

joshua April 1, 2013 at 9:15 pm

Are you experiencing pain from this collarbone injury?

joshua April 1, 2013 at 9:15 pm

I should say still experiencing pain two years later?

Carisa ayungua December 1, 2013 at 4:19 am

Hi my name is Carisa ayungua I am 13 I was drawn to this because I think it might of happened to me I was in 6th grade and a boy pushed me out of my char and I landed on my side right on my shoulder and I poped and it was hurting really bad I could not left my arm and I did not go to the hospital and I still haven’t and I also have a bump and it wasn’t there before so ya I thought you would like to know and if u know any way to stop the dull pain in it plz and thank you

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