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Broken Clavicle - Your experiences

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All breaks are different. So all stories are different. Position of fracture and the location of your shoulder will guide the need for an operation to insert a plate or to let it heal naturally. Don’t jump on the OP too quickly and discuss the options with your surgeon. At the end it is important to get the shoulder back at the right place for your long term enjoyment of life.


I found that my doctor recommended the OP a bit too quickly. I queried it and then he supported me to proceed without the OP. Retrospectively I am very happy with that decision. The initial recovery is slower without OP but you don’t need a second recovery period and cost after the plate removal OP (which not all medical aid will pay). And the body is amazing how it heals, as long everything is straight and lined up. It grows bone where there is stress. So do your physio :)


Don’t rush in getting back on the bike. Let common sense guide you. If it feels right do your IDT thing. Wait until you can do push-ups without pain before hitting the mountains again :). I started commuting after about 4 weeks (slow riding, not training) but decided to wait 3 months before MTB.


Some advice to the cost of the exercise (based on my experience with Discovery)

1) It is NOT an emergency. So the cost of the trauma treatment and your choice of aftercare (OP or not) depends on your chosen plan.

2) My medical aid authorized the OP and would have paid the full cost.

3) my choice to not do the OP meant that it was not a hospital procedure but out-of-hospital treatment so I had to pay it from own pocket. My medical aid was not impressed by my argument that I saved the scheme R15000 for that OP in exchange for R3000 worth of doctors visits.

4) the OP to remove the plate would not have been paid for with my plan. So ask.


Good luck and recover well :)




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I have broken both sides. The right one in 2001 was in two pieces, the left one in 2017 was in three! Both times I had a plate inserted to screw the clavicle back together.  On both occasions my Orthopedic surgeon told me to get back on the IDT within 3- 4 days. After that, I was back on the road after six weeks.

Then removed the plates after one year. Medical Aid paid all costs at each occasion as they are all related to the same incident at that time. Get your quack to spell it out in detail during the op authorization.

Without the plates you run the risk of not achieving a straight shoulder/ clavicle recovery and live with residual problems.

Both my shoulders are perfect without pain or any sort of loss of feeling or strength. 

I would certainly recommend the op route as the initial hassle might be bad but the resultant recovery is just so much quicker.

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I've broken both.

first in 2005 was a clean break and that healed on its own, arm in a sling for a month. By the end of month two I rode Sani2C. it was a tough three days but I got through it.


second fracture was comminuted, so that needed a plate, and 8 screws. 5months later I've not checked in with the surgeon as to when I could/should have the plate removed as its not bothering me currently. It does feel like we may have rain tomorrow though but that's not a given yet.


to remove or not to remove, that is the question (to be answered by your surgeon and medical aid)

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So I went for a slippy slide on the MTB last Feb (just before lock down) and fortunately landed in some soft grass- the result, broken clavicle but not bad enough to warrant surgery....


You can see my inactivity from the time it happened until I hit the IDT for the remainder of last year... I seriously wouldn't rush and let your body heal up properly... your fitness will come back in no time! As others have said, listen to your body and what the doc says.



As a result, the Mrs won't let me ride outside until I'm vaccinated... My mates call me captain co-ord :whistling:

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I agree.


I broke mine and had plate inserted in December.


Took about 10 days off the bike and then started slowly on IDT while arm was still in sling and water proof wound dressing still on... gradually build it up.


After about 3 months I was riding outside and found that I have hardly lost any fitness ( Wahoo Kickr is one of the best "investments" I ever made ). 

This and then join Trainer Road and do the 6 week Base building....its not that hard but will keep you busy......

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