SURGERY TO PLATE A BROKEN COLLARBONE - WHAT'S INVOLVED?

Before ClaviBrace®, plating surgery was understood to be the best option for treating a broken, shortened collarbone.

With NHS cut-backs many leave A&E in a collar and cuff foam strap or worse, a cotton muslin triangle. Even those lucky enough to have an arm sling leave questioning the inadequacy of care. Treatment, for a broken arm, by comparison, placing the arm first in a cast and then in a sling is commonly understood. The same applies to a broken collarbone and it is therefore important to ClaviBrace the fracture in the best position for healing first, then according to severity placing the arm in a sling.

ClaviBrace naturally holds the fracture in place delivering faster healing without surgery or associated risks. It also eliminates the need for further plate removal surgery 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 sports.

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 6-8 weeks. 

It takes a good six months for the collarbone to heal properly and during this time, raising your arm above your head or lifting should be avoided. There are no guides on a safe lifting weight and much depends on individual circumstances. 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 PLATE REMOVAL

  1. The bone re-breaks easily along the line of the screw holes, forming an arch protrusion just under the skin
  2. The bone re-breaks easily at the site of the original fracture

RISKS OF KEEPING THE PLATE IN

  1. Future impact could force the plate into your neck and risk severing the carotid artery (main blood supply to the brain)
  2. With impact, the clavicle snaps at one or both ends of the metal plate resulting in a difficult to treat fracture

By using ClaviBrace®, all surgical plating risks can be avoided and importantly, without compromising on best outcome. Healing time can often be faster and bone union stronger.