the story thus far

Written by Matthew Warlick

June 19, 2004

So, I opted not to have the initial surgery, as 90% of most patients due. For the most part, collarbones heal back normally with little treatment.

What I didn’t know then is that there are 3 types of collarbone breaks, based on the area broken, along with subset of each category. Turns out I had a type 2 distal clavicle fracture, the one that just so happens to have the most complications. It’s basically the worst kind of collarbone break you can get, completely breaking the distal end off, while tearing and separating the ligaments that hold your shoulder together.

Your collarbone acts like an axle and a crank a the same time, the slightest movement of your arm can send the outside end, or distal end, of you’re clavicle not only up, but twisting and rotating as well. As you can imagine this isn’t very conducive to bone healing. I wish I would have know this earlier.

Most people don’t realize it, but you’re arm has no bony attachment to your body. You have a knee joint and a hip joint, but you have no shoulder joint. I know what you’re saying to yourself … “Then how can someone dislocate his or her shoulder?”

Well here’s how!

You can actually dislocate you’re shoulder BECA– USE there are no bony attachments. The end of your Humorous, or upper arm bone, rests inside you’re rotator cuff, which is a modified ball and socket joint comprised entirely of muscle and ligament. So once you pop it out once, you’ve stretched out those muscles, and are usually prone to do it again

So 6 weeks go by and they say I can take the sling off, I was still very weak and sore, but managed to slowly increase my activity. About 12 weeks went by and I got the go ahead to start drumming again, something I was dying to do.

I wish now I wouldn’t have. After a couple months of playing and trying to rehab my arm through drumming, I began to notice I would get fatigued very quickly, and I couldn’t really do any overhead activity with my arm. So I go back to my doctor.

Turns out the bones never healed back, and the only thing keeping them from rubbing against each other, while causing great pain, was a small sac of fluid and scar tissue between them.

Now most doctors use surgery as a last resort, and I completely understand why. Needless to say I went through my fair share of physical therapy and home exercising. After a few months I began to develop severe back pain. After much deliberation I decided to have an OR-IF.

At first the results we’re good, and I progressed slowly but surely. About 4 month into recovery, I started developing numbness and tingling in my hand and forearm. I woke up one morning and the pain was unbearable. I immediately made an appointment to see my doctor, who seems very uninterested in helping me in any way, he seemed to think the pain was in my head, or that I was exaggerating.

It took 4 different doctors until I found one willing to REALLY help me, and to take me seriously. I currently have a very low opinion of medical professionals.

So that’s the story thus far, I live with pain and numbness is my hand and shoulder on a daily basis, and this is how I get out my thoughts, feeling, and frustrations. Hopefully it will be midly entertaining while serving to help and educate those who suffer the same fate.

My one piece of advice to everyone is to stay positive. As corny as it sounds, you can only feel as good as you let yourself. It’s your body, listen to it and take control of it. That, and don’t be afraid of doctors, a lot of them know a lot less than you do I can assure you.

You May Also Like…

I need to vent

Because my shoulder hurts, really hurts, for the first time in a good while. Getting back to playing drums has really...

An update long overdue

An update long overdue

Well damn, it's been a while. I've been meaning to post to this blog ever since the year anniversary of the plate...

De-Robotification Complete.

De-Robotification Complete.

That's right folks, that plate is outta there. as i type one-handed, it sits here in a little hospital bag, looking...