SURGERY TO PLATE A BROKEN COLLARBONE - WHAT'S INVOLVED?
Before ClaviBrace®, plating surgery was recognised as being the best option for a displaced and shortened collarbone.
Using the commonly prescribed arm sling is not a treatment, by comparison using a sling alone for a broken arm would be unthinkable without first placing the arm in a cast.
ClaviBrace® IS A BRACE SPECIALLY DESIGNED TO HOLD THE BROKEN COLLARBONE IN THE BEST POSITION FOR HEALING, RATHER LIKE AN ARM CAST WOULD.
It does not carry any of the risks of surgery, providing better, faster healing (4-8 weeks), neither does it require follow-up surgery to remove metal-ware and there's no surgical scar.
PLATING - Whats involved?
A collarbone shaped piece of metal is fixed over the broken bone and is held in place with up to nine screws.
It takes six months for the screws to consolidate and a further year to heal solidly enough to go back to high impact sporting activities.
The procedure to remove a clavicle plate takes around 35 minutes under general anaesthetic.
After the plate has been removed the screw holes need time to fill-in. Those holes are lined up and can re-fracture like a zipper opening, making the collarbone highly unstable for 6-8weeks.
It takes a good six months for the collarbone to heal properly and during this time, raising your arm above your head or lifting any weight should be avoided. It takes a full year to heal completely and it is important during this time, not to fall or knock that shoulder.
There are mixed opinions about removing a plate. The simple rule is, if you want to return to high-impact activities, have it removed.
RISKS OF REMOVAL
- The bone re-breaks easily along the line of the screw holes
- The bone falls apart along the screw holes line and at the site of the original fracture
RISKS OF KEEPING THE PLATE IN
- Future impact could send the plate into your neck with the risk of severing the carotid artery (main blood supply to the brain)
- With impact, the clavicle snaps at one or both ends of the plate resulting in a very difficult to treat fracture