AlecProfession: Health Care
Hobbies: Cycling/ Mountain Biking
Doctor: Winston J. Warme, MD
Briefly describe your symptoms and the medical condition that brought you to see the doctor.
I am a competitive road bike racer, and crashed hard on my shoulder in a race. I knew immediately that the clavicle (collarbone) was broken. It actually did not hurt that bad as long as I immobilized my arm in the sling given to me by the EMT at the race. But, any range of motion with the shoulder was very uncomfortable and made things like bathing, getting dressed, and working quite difficult.
What one or two things stand out to you about your experience with your doctor and their team?
Dr. Warme was fantastic. He got me into his clinic quickly. He assessed my injury, and also how it would affect me specifically. He considered my job and also my hobbies. He explained that clavicle fractures can be managed non-operatively, but that my specific type of break had a high chance for poor bone healing if surgery was not done. Knowing that I was eager to recover and get back on the bike, he had me in the OR only 3 days after the accident. And the surgical result was perfect!
What can you do now that you could not do before surgery? Have you been able to return to your hobbies or sports at the same level as pre-injury or at an even higher level?
After surgery I was back at work in 3 days and could ride my bike on the stationary trainer almost immediately. I was initially allowed range of motion with the shoulder, but no weight bearing. I was back on road after 6 weeks, and racing again after 12. I am now back at 100% of my pre-injury level, and would almost forget I ever broke my collarbone if not for the surgical scar.
What advice would you like to share with a patient with a condition such as yours who is considering surgery?
Surgery will allow you to get out of a sling much sooner. Non-operative management of a collarbone fracture would require at least 6 weeks in a sling, which is a major inconvenience. The risk of surgery is quite low, and so I would strongly recommend it if your surgeon thinks it is a good idea.
Please share any additional comments!
Dr. Warme, his team, and the UW Roosevelt Outpatient Surgery center are all fantastic!