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Discussion Starter #1
As many of you know, I was rear ended at the track a few weeks ago which resulted in a broken collarbone. The bone was broken in 4 or 5 places and required surgery which I had done about 2 weeks ago today. They used a 6" titanium plate and 10 screws to hold it all together and so far I appear to be healing well. Still some residual pain and stiffness, but movement and flexibility is returning.

The surgeon who performed the surgery down in NC said that he recommends I remove the plate eventually if I want to continue hitting the track. He said that the plate poses a risk and could potentially pierce my coratid artery or something if I were to crash and impact the area again. However, at a post op appointment with an orthopedic surgeon here in NY, the doctor said that the plate poses no additional risk and I should only opt to have it removed if it is uncomfortable in everyday life. He said the real risk of a collarbone break has to do with sharp bone shards causing damage internally which can happen with our without a plate.

What are your thoughts? I am sure there are many people on here who have had this injury as well. What did you do?
 

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Holy shit I saw the pics it looked super gnarly glad you're healing up well two different thoughts is always weird and confusing especially when it comes to health risks
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
This may help with your decision a bit:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=af_rLPXjTj8
Thanks for the video, and this is pretty much exactly what my surgeon here in NY told me.

My real concern is that motorcycle racing (track days included) is inherently a high risk sport where clavicle and shoulder injuries are quite common. When I go back to the track, there is of course a risk of me landing on that side of my body again, and I want to make sure the plate does not pose an ADDITIONAL risk. Its a large piece of metal which I would think could cause internal damage if the bone were to break again.
 

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I'd get it out personally. I wouldn't like having a plate still in there if it doesn't need to be. You pretty much risk your collarbone breaking into pieces any time you go to the track so I'd rather shards of bone over severed artery.
 

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I had this same conversation with my brother (an internist with fellowship in ortho sergery) after I broke mine and after some conversation with colleagues, they mostly agreed that the plate was fine as long as it didn't bother me.

However, this forum (and the internet in general) is a TERRIBLE place to get advice on something like this!!!

If you aren't sure, talk to a couple other docs in your area. Get a couple more consultations and see what the professionals think - don't decide for yourself based on the word of a bunch of no-nothings on the internet, two differing opinions from doctors, and your own best judgement :coocoo Decide based on as many expert opinions as you can!
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
You pretty much risk your collarbone breaking into pieces any time you go to the track so I'd rather shards of bone over severed artery.
Therein lies my concern. It was the opinion of my NY surgeon that the bone shards pose a higher risk for internal damage than the plate does. And I would think with the plate intact, the bone is actually stronger and less likely to break, no?

I had this same conversation with my brother (an internist with fellowship in ortho sergery) after I broke mine and after some conversation with colleagues, they mostly agreed that the plate was fine as long as it didn't bother me.

However, this forum (and the internet in general) is a TERRIBLE place to get advice on something like this!!!
Yea, again that is pretty much what the second surgeon expressed to me. So long as I am comfortable with the plate, I am safe to leave it intact.

I was more reaching out to the forum to chat with other people who have had the same surgery to see what they ended up doing. Advice from someone on here regarding my body and my injury will be taken with a grain of salt :p
 

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I would just get all my bones replaced with titanium plates for strength and weight savings, then you don't have to worry about breaking any more bones and you'll have a net gain in the HP to weight ratio.
-Cody, phD, mba, cpa, std, at&t, o.p.p. - yeah, you know me
 

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Therein lies my concern. It was the opinion of my NY surgeon that the bone shards pose a higher risk for internal damage than the plate does. And I would think with the plate intact, the bone is actually stronger and less likely to break, no?
That is a good point. And now that I think of it, I highly doubt they would ever use a plate on somebody's collarbone if it posed the risk of cutting an artery if they fall that way again.
 

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I wouldn't worry about it. I shattered my leg and have a rod inside my tibia and screw in my knee. I had another screw in my ankle but if it got even slightly hit it would hurt like holy fucking hell so I got it removed. I would get the whole rod removed but I don't want to be down for another month and go through physical therapy again. If it doesn't bother you id let it be.
 
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**update**

So, the one and only Dr. Ting just called me! For those of you who dont know him, he is the personal orthopedic surgeon for the San Jose Sharks and has also worked on several world champion motorcycle racers. He was a super nice guy and what a cool conversation. He was name dropping with Nicky, Jorge, etc. This is what he told me:

He said I am good to go and that the x-rays look good and the plate appears to be installed well. Bone looks good and straight and I have nothing to worry about. In fact, he said def DO NOT remove the plate if I want to continue racing or snowboarding. Once the plate is in there, it should be considered permanent. If I were to remove it, all those screws leave little holes in the bone and it is much weaker than it was before and can easily break again. He said he has installed many of these in pro riders and you HAVE to leave it in. In fact, Nicky had one installed on the front of his collar bone (newer technique) which his leathers were pressing on and causing irritation, so Ting went in, removed it, and replaced with the more common kind I have on top of the bone.

He said I should be able to get back on the bike and resume riding as usual within 3-6 weeks. I am super excited!!!
 

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I broke my collarbone in oct of 2011. I have a plate and 9 screws in mine. I can definitely tell it is there and it is uncomfortable at times. I plan on keeping it there unless it gets extremely uncomfortable. But after 2+ years of it being there I haven't had any problems. My break was just like yours. Maybe a little bit worse. I wish I still had the X-ray pics to show
 
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My scar
 
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So, the one and only Dr. Ting just called me! For those of you who dont know him, he is the personal orthopedic surgeon for the San Jose Sharks and has also worked on several world champion motorcycle racers. He was a super nice guy and what a cool conversation. He was name dropping with Nicky, Jorge, etc. This is what he told me:

He said I am good to go and that the x-rays look good and the plate appears to be installed well. Bone looks good and straight and I have nothing to worry about. In fact, he said def DO NOT remove the plate if I want to continue racing or snowboarding. Once the plate is in there, it should be considered permanent. If I were to remove it, all those screws leave little holes in the bone and it is much weaker than it was before and can easily break again. He said he has installed many of these in pro riders and you HAVE to leave it in. In fact, Nicky had one installed on the front of his collar bone (newer technique) which his leathers were pressing on and causing irritation, so Ting went in, removed it, and replaced with the more common kind I have on top of the bone.

He said I should be able to get back on the bike and resume riding as usual within 3-6 weeks. I am super excited!!!
So happy to hear. Heal fast, and get back on the bike.
Meanwhile, the rest of us will plan on the zx6r-cordon around you so gixxer kids can't get near you!
 
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So happy to hear. Heal fast, and get back on the bike.
Meanwhile, the rest of us will plan on the zx6r-cordon around you so gixxer kids can't get near you!
Haha, thanks man! And yea, I really hope I dont get plowed into again by a gixxer or anyone for that matter.
 

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Ebster - just had my follow up with my Dr and asked him about the aorta thing you mentioned. He said that its more likely I'll be hit by lightning. He said there's so much tissue between the plate and anything life threatening that its extremely unlikely to be an issue.

I asked him about getting back on the track and he said that 8 weeks post-op should be fine so I'm gonna stick to my schedule of being back out over Memorial Day weekend at Spring Mountain in Parumph.

With that said, agree with previous poster that getting advice from this board related to health concerns may not be the best idea so take all this as anecdotal chatter.

Good luck on the road back.

PS - your X-rays look alot like mine. Wonder if they recycle them to save money?
 
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