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Broken Collar bone with Surgery!
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crag_rat


May 11, 2011, 1:21 AM
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Broken Collar bone with Surgery!
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I broke my Collar bone mountain biking 2 weeks ago, I had surgery yesterday to get it plated back together. The specialist/surgeon suggested that it may well have fused back together on its own but I opted to go with surgery due to wanting to be sure of it mending properly. I was also told that that this would reduce my recovery time, and avoid the need to focus on maintaining good posture waiting for it to recove.

I am living near Squamish in Canada at the moment and am keen to get back climbing as soon as possible. I am aware that it is reccomended to "give it time" and to "be patient", but I was wondering if anyone who has had surgery on a broken clavical would have any words of encouragement!! Having focussed on bouldering and sport climbing for the past 4 years or so I am now super keen to get back into multi-pitch trad climbing, especially being in a place that is world famous for it. I am a relatively competent climber and would be more than content climbing things well below my ability for the first month or so whilst being back on rock.

I am aware of other forum posts related to this topic, but was more interested in what people had to say about a recovery which had involved the surgical route.

Cheers - Matt


onceahardman


May 11, 2011, 4:11 PM
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Re: [crag_rat] Broken Collar bone with Surgery! [In reply to]
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For an average surgery of this type, you should be able to begin climbing (as you said, you'd be content to be well below your normal level), in 4 weeks, if all else stays normal. If you are over age 35 or so, you may need to add a week or two. By mid to late summer you should be close to back up to speed, barring complications.

I have broken both clavicles as a child (non surgical) but have treated several in the clinic, who played contact sports. But I've not treated climbers for it.


onceahardman


May 16, 2011, 2:25 PM
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Re: [crag_rat] Broken Collar bone with Surgery! [In reply to]
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enigma stated (OT) in a different thread:

In reply to:
2.Some of your advice is incorrect, for instance someone who has surgery for a collarbone,
(according to medical research as well as friends it generally takes alot longer than 4 weeks to recover and climb again.)- Obviously dependent upon the severity of their injury.
3. ( friends of mine who have sustained that particular injury it is more like 6-9 months.)
4. I'm sure that you don't want anyone to start
climbing too soon and become re-injured. Do you?
5. Its prudent to suggest they check with their own doctor!

I am always open to being proven wrong. My answer is based on the most recent clavicle ORIF I treated, in a hockey player. He returned to his league (non-professional, but competitive and full-checking) in 4 weeks. I treated him with a pretty aggressive closed kinetic chain regimen including exercises like planks and Turkish Get-Ups. Usually, when professional and amateur science minded people disagree about things like this, they provide evidence, not declarative statements like, "according to medical research..."

WHAT medical research? Are you aware of a study showing when a large number of (say) 5.11 climbers status post clavicle ORIF are able to return to 5.5 top-roping? I looked and couldn't find any, so I went to my own clinical knowledge.

Usually, 6 weeks is about the start for returning to sport, but for the guy to start some easy top-ropes ("I am a relatively competent climber and would be more than content climbing things well below my ability for the first month or so whilst being back on rock. "), I don't think 4 weeks is unreasonable, if he is young, and the case is uncomplicated.

Maybe it is a little aggressive, but (obviously) I'm not the treating therapist on this case, and frankly, I don't think the guy is an idiot. If he's not ready in four weeks, I'm sure he'll be able to hold off a few more.


onceahardman


May 16, 2011, 2:27 PM
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Re: [crag_rat] Broken Collar bone with Surgery! [In reply to]
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BTW...Matt, (OP)...

Please keep in contact regarding when you actually begin climbing. I'm really honestly interested in your case.


crag_rat


May 18, 2011, 11:52 PM
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Re: [onceahardman] Broken Collar bone with Surgery! [In reply to]
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Thanks so much for that, it was really helpfull (and encouraging!), especially as you have a professional background.

In terms of my recovery progess, I feel like things are going well. I kept things mellow for the first week after surgery, keeping it in a sling, not straining myself etc. In the past few days however I have started to increase movement a little bit, spending a little more time out of the sling, doing some very light excersises etc. I have also started to measure how high I can lift my arm comfortably and in the past few days I have even increased this by 30 odd centimeters.

I am going to take some physio shortly and do some more light exercises accordingly. But the main thing I have decided regarding me making a fairly swift and safe recovery is to not only listen to the experts but to also and especially listen to my body. If and when things feel painfull, hold back and dont push it.

I also feel confident that if I find the right slabby routes that when I do go climbing that I will be able to find something that I can quite literally do one handed. It will no doubt help me improve my footwork, can't be a bad thing Wink


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