Broken Clavicle (collar bone)

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Benz250
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Re: Broken Clavicle (collar bone)

Postby Benz250 » Wed Sep 23, 2015 9:16 pm

Broke my collarbone end January this year, surgeon told me it would heal, 4 weeks later for a checkup X-ray had not healed at all, option to wait further 4 weeks or put plate in, went with the plate option. Another 6 weeks before started to slowly get back on the bike. Still notice it on longer, hilly rides or really cold days. Would have been great if healed naturally.
Agree CA insurance was time consuming process and useless.

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Re: Broken Clavicle (collar bone)

Postby cogs19 » Fri Sep 25, 2015 11:40 am

I broke mine a few years back playing football. It was a solid break but the ends still touched, kind of like two index fingers touching tip to tip under pressure and then popping upwards to form a triangle shape. The doctor in the hospital tried to push the bulge in my shoulder back down - I saw every colour of the pain rainbow that day. I was advised to let it heal and I was happy to avoid surgery. In a sling for three weeks, I was back riding to work three weeks and 1 day after the injury (I have a desperate aversion to PT). I had residual pain and weakness for several months afterward and spoke to a doctor friend (who was pretty shocked by the size of the lump in my shoulder) about getting surgery to have it re-broken and re-set. He told me it's an option but advised me to be patient. Sure enough the pain and weakness gradually disappeared. 4 years later all is good. I played another season of footy with no issue and I've clocked up thousands of hours commuting and hundreds of hours MTBing. I still have a massive bump/lump (which is visible even under clothing) but no other issues.

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Re: Broken Clavicle (collar bone)

Postby defy1 » Sat Nov 28, 2015 8:08 pm

well took a big spill this morning MTB'ing and just returned from public ER.
X-rays reveal broken collarbone. it appears to be a clean break right in the "middle". I have a bit of the bone of it protruding out, and it seems both ends are on top of each other. All drugged up at the moment so drowsy and not feeling much pain.
Referred to ortho surgeon to call first thing Monday. We'll see how it goes..
I have private health insurance - would it be better to go to a private hospital?

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Re: Broken Clavicle (collar bone)

Postby stevecassidy » Sat Nov 28, 2015 8:39 pm

defy1 wrote:well took a big spill this morning MTB'ing and just returned from public ER.
X-rays reveal broken collarbone. it appears to be a clean break right in the "middle". I have a bit of the bone of it protruding out, and it seems both ends are on top of each other. All drugged up at the moment so drowsy and not feeling much pain.
Referred to ortho surgeon to call first thing Monday. We'll see how it goes..
I have private health insurance - would it be better to go to a private hospital?


Sorry to hear that, a break in the middle might mean you could get away without surgery. As for the private/public question, the best option is probably private in a public hospital. I had significant out of pocket costs by ending up at a private hospital - the gap in the surgeon's fees are huge, in the public hospital they would have just charged the schedule fee.

Steve
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Re: Broken Clavicle (collar bone)

Postby danny the boy » Sun Nov 29, 2015 8:28 am

defy1 wrote:well took a big spill this morning MTB'ing and just returned from public ER.
X-rays reveal broken collarbone. it appears to be a clean break right in the "middle". I have a bit of the bone of it protruding out, and it seems both ends are on top of each other. All drugged up at the moment so drowsy and not feeling much pain.
Referred to ortho surgeon to call first thing Monday. We'll see how it goes..
I have private health insurance - would it be better to go to a private hospital?


Get a second opinion from another ortho if you can. Depending on personal circumstances and what type of work you do you need to consider how much time you can afford to be off work. Mine would not let me back for 8 weeks which was a bit longer than I intially hoped when not trying to go down the surgery path and just listening to what the doctors said.

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Re: Broken Clavicle (collar bone)

Postby foo on patrol » Sun Nov 29, 2015 12:37 pm

defy1 wrote:well took a big spill this morning MTB'ing and just returned from public ER.
X-rays reveal broken collarbone. it appears to be a clean break right in the "middle". I have a bit of the bone of it protruding out, and it seems both ends are on top of each other. All drugged up at the moment so drowsy and not feeling much pain.
Referred to ortho surgeon to call first thing Monday. We'll see how it goes..
I have private health insurance - would it be better to go to a private hospital?


Bugger! :(

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Re: Broken Clavicle (collar bone)

Postby mikesbytes » Sun Nov 29, 2015 7:23 pm

Danny's got a point. In my case I was back at work a few days after getting it plated and riding within a week. I went private and the cost to me was about $1K after health fund rebates.
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Re: Broken Clavicle (collar bone)

Postby RonK » Sun Nov 29, 2015 8:17 pm

Robgr wrote:I think my collar bone has started to fuse together but there is an awfully big lump where the bones overlap a little. The public doctors say surgery is only an option if the bones fuse shorter but as mine are overlapped it must be shorter?

Yes, I had a visible lump too. The doctors at the public hospital I attended told me pretty much the same thing. They certainly did not recommend surgery. They did say that the bone would fuse a little shorter, but were unconcerned about it.
If it is shorter I've not noticed, and over time the bone has smoothed off and the lump has disappeared.
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Re: Broken Clavicle (collar bone)

Postby defy1 » Mon Nov 30, 2015 6:12 pm

stevecassidy wrote:
defy1 wrote:well took a big spill this morning MTB'ing and just returned from public ER.
X-rays reveal broken collarbone. it appears to be a clean break right in the "middle". I have a bit of the bone of it protruding out, and it seems both ends are on top of each other. All drugged up at the moment so drowsy and not feeling much pain.
Referred to ortho surgeon to call first thing Monday. We'll see how it goes..
I have private health insurance - would it be better to go to a private hospital?


Sorry to hear that, a break in the middle might mean you could get away without surgery. As for the private/public question, the best option is probably private in a public hospital. I had significant out of pocket costs by ending up at a private hospital - the gap in the surgeon's fees are huge, in the public hospital they would have just charged the schedule fee.

Steve


just got back from a specialist consul and def need get it plated. Split in middle but also into smaller fragments all the place.
Looks like I am going all private. I was referred to public ortho from the ER, but basically the referral letter said MAYBE/POSSIBLY they would call me within 7 business day to arrange an first consul, then god knows how long for surgery. tbh cbf waiting that long and wanted sorted it out asap so just googled a ortho, saw him this afternoon, and scheduled surgery Wednesday.

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Re: Broken Clavicle (collar bone)

Postby defy1 » Mon Nov 30, 2015 6:24 pm

mikesbytes wrote:Danny's got a point. In my case I was back at work a few days after getting it plated and riding within a week. I went private and the cost to me was about $1K after health fund rebates.


trying to figure out gap costs - they don't make it easy do they? medibank helpline is useless.

the only definitive answer i got is from the cost for the ortho surgeon, but they don't tell you the assistants surgeon fee, anesthetic fee etc....they tell you they will be a fee but not the amount! strrange..

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Re: Broken Clavicle (collar bone)

Postby mikesbytes » Mon Nov 30, 2015 6:43 pm

Why don't you speak to your health fund
If the R-1 rule is broken, what happens to N+1?

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Re: Broken Clavicle (collar bone)

Postby stevecassidy » Mon Nov 30, 2015 9:13 pm

I spoke to my health fund and they told me to shop around and find a surgeon who would charge the schedule fee - not easy to do with a injury and next to no knowledge of the system, you just go to who you are referred to and end up paying whatever they decide to charge.

I think private in the public system is the best option but you are then at the mercy of the theatre schedule and can get bumped if they have a more urgent case in. I was told that a clavicle could be operated on within the first three weeks, later than that they can still do it but they have to re-break before putting in the plate - so they can put you off quite a bit before it gets urgent.

Anyway, you made the same decision as me, get it done as soon as possible and start the recovery. Good luck on Wednesday!

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Re: Broken Clavicle (collar bone)

Postby defy1 » Wed Dec 02, 2015 7:55 am

A few more hours till my surgery..
thought Id share my nightmare in dealing with my PHI (Medibank) in the past 24 hours

I am on Young Hospital No excess policy,which suppose to covers all most of hospital related costs in event of an accident. A few days ago, I suffer a cycling related accident (broken collarbone). I meet all the criteria in the policy info I was provided when I joined, so you'd think I am "covered". I arrange specialist consul, who advises immediate surgery and begins arranging this in two days time with a private hospital (today). I proceed with this with the assumption I am "covered", because in my mind I meet all the criteria of my policy.

Now I submit all the paperwork to the hospital day before surgery,they do a check with Medibank and their response is I am not covered! Say What

It has nothing to do with my level of cover in my policy, what they want is me to fill out an Accident Claim Form (requires doctors input) to confirm its an accident which I am trying to get cover for. This can take 10 business days to process!!

So practically if you have serious accident, and need immediate cover and treatment, Medibank requires you to fill this paperwork, fax it to them and wait possibly 10 days to get confirmation after an investigation that you are covered or not (could be dead by then).
The only option is pay all out of my own pocket and claim later. If you don't have the $7000+ upfront your screwed.

What angers me the most is Medibank make no effort to ascertain the required information from my providers. One quick call to my surgeon would resolve all this, but they make you fill forms, submit and wait. IMHO This is an obvious convoluted "jumping through hoops" procedure forced on the patient to delay and stall any claim or coverage as much as possible.

Also, there absolutely no mention of this Accident form requirement in all the policies paperwork I have when I joined Medibank. Its basically something they don't reveal to you until last minute when a potential claim is to be made (i.e. inform them the need to go to hospital).

Am I being unreasonable here? It seems the process is backwards. anyone experience similar before?

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Re: Broken Clavicle (collar bone)

Postby stevecassidy » Wed Dec 02, 2015 7:14 pm

You're not being unreasonable, the whole private health insurance thing stinks, partly because of the constraints they are given from Govt. and partly because of the way that they choose to operate.

Depending on the hospital, you might be able to get them to submit their bill directly to Medibank - I think that's what I did for the hospital part, the surgeon's bills were separate and I had to pay them and claim (not very much) back.

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Re: Broken Clavicle (collar bone)

Postby moosterbounce » Wed Dec 02, 2015 11:47 pm

Wow. That's bad. Here's my experience with HBF in WA.
Picked up off the bike path by ambo and given the option - public hospital 15km away or private hospital 2km away that charges for emergency dept admission. Private thanks. X-rays, ct scan, surgery required so admitted while parts were ordered and surgery arranged.

I ended up waiting 2 days while surgery was scheduled (3 days in hospital in total) but on the first morning, I had a visit from the HBF representative to go over my expected expenses and what I was covered for. Turns out I was covered for quite a bit but my coverage also has a yearly bonus that I can use where I choose. I was asked where I wanted to divert this money and it was arranged for me.

Surgery etc later...surgeon, anaesthetist, parts, hospital stay (private room in private hospital) all covered. Emergency ambo covered. Somewhere in the region of 12k. The only things I wasn't fully covered for was things like X-rays in the ER as I wasn't yet an in-patient and some other stuff that Medicare "covers". Through this process, the only bill I had to present to HBF (could do on line) was the ambo. All hospital related bills including surgeon was sent direct to HBF and I was sent statements. I was admitted to hospital 21/12 and received these statements - paid - 1st week of January.

I admit, I do have a pretty high hospital and extras cover so I don't know what difference that made or if it was just an HBF thing.

Anyway, enough talk about money and inconvenience...I hope your repair went well. Remember, only the cool folk make those pesky metal detectors beep :)

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Re: Broken Clavicle (collar bone)

Postby dalai47 » Thu Dec 03, 2015 10:37 am

moosterbounce wrote:Anyway, enough talk about money and inconvenience...I hope your repair went well. Remember, only the cool folk make those pesky metal detectors beep :)


Also hoping the surgery went well!

I went private self funded (no private health insurance at the time) so had to pay up front before getting $5,000 back from Cycling Australia. Of the medicare rebatable component I got around 1/3 back.

Ended up signing up with AHM as soon as I discovered how bad the CA insurance was and to cover the physio I knew I would need. No complaints using them for the physio - no waiting period and I could use my whole allowance on physio only.

First time flying after the operation, I was disappointed my stainless plate and screws didn't set of the detectors... :lol:

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Re: Broken Clavicle (collar bone)

Postby defy1 » Thu Dec 03, 2015 8:44 pm

ok back from surgery and hospital and all went well. Shoulder a bit numb but no crazy pain. Can move a little now but need to take it easy obviusly Happy to be back on the road to discovery...thanks all for feedback and advice.

Managed to get the form signed and approved be Medibank literally 3 hours before admission to hospital! after countless stressful calls to Medibank back and forth for escalation and urgency etc...it was ridiculous seriously. Tbh the customer service hotline people were kind and helpful and tried their hardest to assist me (I never lost my temper on them which I think helped). Luckily Escalation was achieved and the Accident team were able to look at my case quickly and approved. It felt like a million tonnes lifted off my "broken" shoulder yesterday when I got confirmation.
At first I thought , well if I can't get approved beforehand no worries, then I'll pay upfront and claim later, only a call to my orthos office last minute do I find that going in uninsured and claiming means the over all cost is much bigger and gap is much higher after claim (>$6000), than if I go in insured and covered.

I blame the whole process is !! BAN ME NOW FOR SWEARING !!. I am sent an email of my experience to the PHI Ombudsman. I can't be the only one that had to deal with this kind of nonsense.

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Re: Broken Clavicle (collar bone)

Postby defy1 » Wed Dec 16, 2015 7:48 am

Thought I'd share my post surgery x rays. Now exactly 2 weeks post op, feeling ok and back to work, no pain really but noticeable "tightening/stiffness" of skin feeling around the whole incision area which is limiting somewhat range movement of my arm and neck, and occasional foreign sensation of the plate which is a bit weird. Strange reading other peoples response how they were advised to stay on sling for weeks on end after surgery, my surgeon said I could be off sling from day one after surgery , but don't do anything "crazy".

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Re: Broken Clavicle (collar bone)

Postby moosterbounce » Thu Dec 17, 2015 1:05 am

Metal is cool - welcome to the club!! And no...your family can't stick magnets all over you. My family tried!! By nephew (the cool teenage boy) didn't try, but he did exclaim that my plate was bigger than an iPhone!! If he'd included the model in that statement I would have worried he'd become a gook, but he's just hip :)

Glad things aren't too bad for you and the wound heals well. When it has, start rubbing moisturiser on it firmly. This will help keep it supple during the healing process (takes about 12 months or so for the skin to heal properly) and will also reduce sensitivity and any scar tissue underneath. Check that with a gp as I'm going back 10 months or so when my physio advised me to do it. My scar is around 15cm and I now have pretty much zero sensitivity in the area, unless I poke it pretty hard. So I don't poke it!!

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Re: Broken Clavicle (collar bone)

Postby bychosis » Thu Dec 17, 2015 7:38 am

RonK wrote:
Robgr wrote:I think my collar bone has started to fuse together but there is an awfully big lump where the bones overlap a little. The public doctors say surgery is only an option if the bones fuse shorter but as mine are overlapped it must be shorter?

Yes, I had a visible lump too. The doctors at the public hospital I attended told me pretty much the same thing. They certainly did not recommend surgery. They did say that the bone would fuse a little shorter, but were unconcerned about it.
If it is shorter I've not noticed, and over time the bone has smoothed off and the lump has disappeared.


Broke mine years ago in a backyard MTB stupid act. It fused together OK, but a bit side by side. Left a big lump. After it healed I was getting a tearing painful sensation over the lump. Went to see a specialist who told me he could shave it off in surgery, but I would prefer that I strengthened it by swimming for a month or so. Did the swimming, went away for work, many years later I still have an obvious lump but with no pain unless it gets knocked, usually when kids come in for an 'enthusiastic' cuddle.
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Re: Broken Clavicle (collar bone)

Postby mikesbytes » Sat Dec 19, 2015 2:10 pm

moosterbounce wrote:Metal is cool - welcome to the club!! And no...your family can't stick magnets all over you. My family tried!! By nephew (the cool teenage boy) didn't try, but he did exclaim that my plate was bigger than an iPhone!! If he'd included the model in that statement I would have worried he'd become a gook, but he's just hip :)

Glad things aren't too bad for you and the wound heals well. When it has, start rubbing moisturiser on it firmly. This will help keep it supple during the healing process (takes about 12 months or so for the skin to heal properly) and will also reduce sensitivity and any scar tissue underneath. Check that with a gp as I'm going back 10 months or so when my physio advised me to do it. My scar is around 15cm and I now have pretty much zero sensitivity in the area, unless I poke it pretty hard. So I don't poke it!!
Yeh, I don't mind mine
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Re: Broken Clavicle (collar bone)

Postby ft_critical » Sat Dec 19, 2015 5:02 pm

Related-ly, I have had the 'alien' on my shoulder for 4, 5yrs now. The doctor indicated that I could have the metal work out, but did not recommend one-way or the other. Mine gives me very little trouble. However, I have heard rumours that they eventually fuse with the collar bone and can't be removed. Any insights into removal or permanent feature?

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Re: Broken Clavicle (collar bone)

Postby defy1 » Wed Dec 23, 2015 7:43 am

Doctos can break bones, I am sure they could separate plate from bone

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Re: Broken Clavicle (collar bone)

Postby rest_assured » Thu Mar 24, 2016 10:33 pm

Broke mine a bit over a year ago. Like OP, alcohol was involved in facilitating an accident riding home...
Never had physio, was 6 weeks off the bike and is now pretty much back to normal. there is a decent sized 'knuckle' there, and i feel a bit of pain after a long ride with a backpack on my roadie, but that is about it. Pretty happy with how it has healed
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Re: Broken Clavicle (collar bone)

Postby geoff_tewierik » Wed Apr 20, 2016 2:25 pm

Did my right clavicle on Sunday while racing at Underwood as part of the Sunshine Series. Chose to take the ambo as I'd ridden to the race and had no car. Asked to be taken closer to home (Holland Park West) so we rocked up to the PA Emergency.

Clean break in the middle, not a lot of pain at the time, two pieces of the bones, no fragments, so currently going with the no surgery route. Was in and out in under 3 hours and am in a sling.

Spoke to my physio and he said to stick with the sling, have my normal monthly physio session with him on Thursday (for my broken L5) and follow up x-rays to be done with the fracture clinic on the 27th.

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