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  #1  
Old 05-10-2007, 08:34 PM
weiwentg weiwentg is offline
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removing surgical pins from a broken clavicle

hi, all,

after 3 years or so, the pins and screws in my right clavicle are causing me minor but persistent discomfort. my orthopod at the time said I could leave them in if they gave no discomfort. I'm seeing him Wednesday. will probably schedule the surgery for the fall (don't want to disrupt my summer internship). if you've broken a clavicle or something else, and had it surgically pinned, I'm curious to hear your experiences. if you got them out, did it worse the scarring?
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  #2  
Old 05-10-2007, 09:09 PM
JohnS
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weiwentg
if you got them out, did it worse the scarring?
Don't worry about any scarring. There's an old saying "Scars are just tattoos with better stories...".
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  #3  
Old 05-10-2007, 09:09 PM
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Bill Bove Bill Bove is offline
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Scars are cool, chics dig 'em

If I weren't so fat I'd be working in ways to take my shirt off to show off the lumps from breaking my collar bone too many times. but no, I've never had it pinned. It's unusual in the states to have it pinned isn't it?
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  #4  
Old 05-10-2007, 09:09 PM
93legendti 93legendti is offline
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I had a pin (14" rod) put in my right femur in 1980. Neither the surgeon in Vt., nor my subesequent treater here in Michigan told me to get it removed. In 1990 my hip was bothering me and I saw an Orthopod. He said it wasn't the rod bothering my hip--and it was a good thing because if it needed to come out my femur would likely fracture in the process. A riding pal fractured his femur in 2005 and in 2006 he had the rod removed. He was riding in 3 weeks.

The scar would be the least of my concerns. I have a large, foreign matter in my body. My rod now sets off metal detectors. I have a Dr.'s note and I tell the screeners before I go thru about the metal implant. Still, I am waiitng for the one time in a foreign country, or with an over zealous screener for a hassle to come up.

If the Dr. says take it out, I'd take it out for sure.
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  #5  
Old 05-10-2007, 09:15 PM
samtaylor1 samtaylor1 is offline
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Broke me femur in half and had the rod and pins removed (no scaring). Though there is a scar from the surgery (2 of them)

Shattered my hand in a bike accident scare from the surgery, but no sign of scars from the pins.

Take them out, keep them- they probably cost more then your bike
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  #6  
Old 05-10-2007, 09:49 PM
hybridbellbaske hybridbellbaske is offline
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I have a titanium plate and 8 screws holding my right clavicle together. Operation done in October 05. No problems and no discomfort.

I don't seem to set off security devices.

Pinning clavicles is slightly unusual and generally only done if you have done a really good job of breaking it. The position of the break is also important in deciding whether or not pinning is necessary.
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  #7  
Old 05-11-2007, 12:12 AM
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vaxn8r vaxn8r is offline
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I think pinning is required for distal clavicular fractures. Not sure if it's to prevent malunion or poor healing angle.
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  #8  
Old 05-11-2007, 12:49 AM
nobrakes nobrakes is offline
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I've had my right clavical pinned and plated last Nov., after a bike crash in late Aug. This was that side's second break, and it wasn't healing, so we opted for the surgery. No real discomfort, but I feel the 9 screws and the plate under the skin, but have no plans for removal at this time.
My right elbow, which was shattered in another bike crash in 2005, also has 9 ti screws and a plate which has caused severe discomfort since then, and is being removed in June. Hurray! The doctors were reluctant to do this, but my whining convinced them.
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  #9  
Old 05-11-2007, 05:18 AM
soulspinner soulspinner is offline
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hip

I had 4 pins in my left hip. They took them out cutting where the first incision was and it looks like it did after the first operation. Recovery was short as it was less invasive than the repair. Youll be throwing fastballs in no time.
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  #10  
Old 05-11-2007, 06:27 AM
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Rich_W Rich_W is offline
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I've busted both sides... First one (L) was minor, Second time (r) was shatterd into half a dozen pieces.

I considered getting "the plate" on the second time... spoke with two Doctors with competing perspectives. One saying do it... faster heading time... be back on bike in two weeks, and I'll end up 'straight'. The other doctor says Nerve Damage is not worth the risk.

Then... I spoke with a friend of mine (former pro) who's had 5 collarbone breaks in his career. He has a Ti plate on one side... As a result of the surgery, he was left with persistent numbness in two of his fingers.

So my point is... take them out... as long as there is no risk of never damage.
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  #11  
Old 05-11-2007, 08:53 AM
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PaulE PaulE is offline
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Left side left in

My 4 year anniversary of breaking my left clavicle is coming up. I have a stainless steel plate and six screws, which I've left in. My doctor said I could have it out if it bothered me, which it hasn't. I did all of the physical therapy and have full movement and flexibility of my left shoulder. For me, since I don't have any problems, I am not about to start mucking around with it. I don't know what the healing time or physical therapy is for the hardware removal, but I recommend finding out before deciding to have the procedure.

My doctor wrote "patient has metal hardware in left shoulder" on a prescription pad and gave me that for airports. I don't fly often, but I have yet to set off a metal detector in Newark, LaGuardia, Boston or Miami airports or some NYC office buildings that have metal detectors that visitors must pass through.
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  #12  
Old 05-11-2007, 10:20 AM
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Ozz Ozz is offline
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I had a 5" pin in my right clavicle after breaking it in a soccer game....broke my tibia and fibula at the same time.

After a week or so, the pin started to back itself out of the bone and poked it's way thru they skin. I went to the doc who told me it had to come out, and immediately started me on some Keflex antibiotics

Removing the pin involved a pair of vise-grips and the doc telling me to look away and take a deep breath.....ouch!
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  #13  
Old 05-11-2007, 10:54 AM
cw05 cw05 is offline
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It's a controversial topic in ortho trauma but the general consensus is to only fix the open clavicular fractures (i.e. poking through the skin) or if they are severely tenting the skin. That said, there is always going to be orthopods will fix more than others. The problem is many clavicles that are fixed cause more morbidity from pain later down the road than the very small benefit of an anatomic reduction with open operative fixation. The other indication if you have a posterior sternoclavicular dislocation...these should be reduced as they pose risk of damage to the large vessels on the top of the heart.
All of this said, I was hit by a car last fall. My right clavicle was one of 15 bones broken. As a surgeon, I chose not to have my clavicle fixed and rather just let it heal on it's own.

Last edited by cw05; 05-11-2007 at 04:28 PM.
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  #14  
Old 05-11-2007, 11:27 AM
93legendti 93legendti is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cw05
It's a controversial topic in ortho trauma but the general consensus is to only fix the open fractures (i.e. poking through the skin) or if they are severely tenting the skin...
Are you referring to clavicles only or any fractured bone?
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  #15  
Old 05-11-2007, 04:15 PM
weiwentg weiwentg is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cw05
It's a controversial topic in ortho trauma but the general consensus is to only fix the open fractures (i.e. poking through the skin) or if they are severely tenting the skin. That said, there is always going to be orthopods will fix more than others. The problem is many clavicles that are fixed cause more morbidity from pain later down the road than the very small benefit of an anatomic reduction with open operative fixation. The other indication if you have a posterior sternoclavicular dislocation...these should be reduced as they pose risk of damage to the large vessels on the top of the heart.
All of this said, I was hit by a car last fall. My right clavicle was one of 15 bones broken. As a surgeon, I chose not to have my clavicle fixed and rather just let is heal on it's own.
mine was broken into 3 and was severely tenting the skin. I later broke the other one in a race, and the same orthopod recommended no surgery. after that healed, I had a severe car v bike, and broke the same clavicle (open fracture this time) and a few other bones. I now have scars over both my collarbones, and they both irritate me sometimes. it doesn't look good, which is why I was concerned over the scarring.
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