Broken collar bone, Do I need surgery?


Q: Hello. I broke my collar bone exactly 2 weeks and 2 days ago. The doctor in the ER told me it was a minor break, wear a sling for a week or so and just be careful with my arm. Well 2 weeks past, I went to surgeon on Wednesday and he took more x-rays, it showed my bone broken into 4 pieces and doesn't look good. He tells me come back in 2 weeks, if it doesn't start healing together, he'll have to perform surgery. Is this enough time to actually heal a bone? He jumped on the surgery subject so quick? Can I deny this surgery till a few months down the road, if indeed I really need the surgery? Thanks


A:   The vast majority of collar bone fractures heal without any surgical intervention. Your surgeon does not expect your collar bone to heal within two weeks but to show signs of healing as it would have been a month since initial injury. These signs include the formation of new bone. If these signs are absent after a month its unlikely that the bone will heal without surgery. if surgery is suggested, delay makes the procedure more difficult and less likely to yield the desired results.

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