A blog for (semi) athletic middle-aged men (and women) holding on to (the last vestiges of) their youth
by training for and competing in running, cycling, swimming and triathlon events!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Bionic Collarbone

I had a follow-up appointment with my orthopedic surgeon this past Friday and he took this X-ray of my new collarbone. This shot is a lot clearer than the one they gave me the day of the surgery. Pretty wild, eh? Looks like simple hardware you could buy at Home Depot but I'm sure it cost a lot more. OK, so I may not be the Six Million Dollar Man, but Dr. Loucks did tell me that the bone graft putty (Deminerilized Bone Matrix) alone cost $5,000 for one tube!

I thought it would be interesting to compare this X-ray to one taken before the surgery...

As you can see, the pieces of bone definitely line up better than before. Dr. Loucks says it won't ever be perfectly symmetrical, but the big bump on my right shoulder (caused by the broken bone sticking up) is gone. More importantly, it no longer moves around! What I had before surgery was a "fibrous non-union" that basically acted like a joint. I could actually make it move up and down...kind of cool for grossing people out, but not great for everyday functionality!

The best news from my follow-up appointment was that I could ditch the sling and start using my right arm again (oh yea, and taking showers!). It already feels better than it did several weeks after the initial break, but regaining full range of motion in my right shoulder is going to take some time -- and physical therapy (two times a week for six weeks).

I had my first PT session yesterday. Nick, my therapist, put me through some basic stretching exercises to start loosening up the muscles in my shoulder. Not too painful, but I get the sense it's going to get worse before it gets better. As they say...no pain, no gain.


1 comment:

  1. It looks like the hanger iron I use to hold water pipes. I bought a roll at Home Depot a couple years ago for about $2.



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