Collarbone Rehab Update

Sorry, I’m not trying to subject you to wrinkled old guy beefcake pictures, but I thought the colors coming down from the broken clavicle were interesting. I’m now entering my 3rd week and rehab is going nicely. Going through the interesting process of bone healing:

I should be getting some “fibrocartilaginous callus formation” by now. Who knew bones got calluses? I thought that was just on your hands if you don’t wear gloves doing manual work, or your feet if you walk a lot.

I’m still fortunate to have very little pain unless I move the right shoulder too much, then the bone feels sore. Immobilizing with the sling helps a lot. There’s one exception, occasionally if I move the wrong way it feels like I’ve been stabbed in the front of my arm. My doc thought that might be a pinched nerve. It seems to be lessening a lot lately thank goodness, maybe there was swelling inside the shoulder that has gone down.

I’ve gotten into a good groove with exercise. Three times a week, I do strength training, and intervals with my bike on a stationary trainer (and also going up the stairs 2 at a time). In the picture you can see red ropes anchoring the bike to the wall. In the unlikely event the rear wheel should work it’s way out of the trainer, the bike could fall to the right, my bad side, which would be a disaster. The other 4 days I go on nice brisk walks, 30 minutes to an hour. It feels good, I don’t expect to lose too much aerobic fitness. Losing some strength and muscle mass on the right side is unavoidable. I can work out pain free on the left side using bands and a dumbbell, doing things like vertical and horizontal press, and low and high rows. The right side can be worked isometrically using PT exercises. In addition to the isometric strength work, it is also important to take the sling off at least twice a day and move the shoulder joint. The ball and socket part of the shoulder (glenohumeral joint) can actually get adhesions end up frozen if it is immobilized for too long. That would lead to painful PT to get the mobility back later. Thanks to my doc for that warning! Carefully moving it without bothering the collarbone prevents that.

The other exercise that is impacted is my yoga routine. I do that every night for relaxation and maintaining balance and limberness long term. I’m doing what I can with the right shoulder in a sling, but some of my favorite stretches have to be omitted for now. Having the right arm in a sling is also a nuisance for typing! But if that is all I have to complain about I feel pretty lucky. 🙂

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