broken collar bone

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Anonymous's picture

I broke my collarbone while cycling on Saturday. It was not the point of impact, so I am wondering why the collarbone is broken and not some other part of my body?

Anonymous's picture
J (not verified)

I once fell on my side and the point of impact was my shoulder and upper arm. I was OK, but my collar bone ached for a while.

The collar bone is the clavicle or little key - it turns and has no marrow. It is brittle. When you fall off a bike, the higher you are the more momentum you gain. The shoulder, being rather high off the bike, hits the tarmac fast = hard. The little key bears the brunt and is vulnerable. Pop!

Also, many cyclist seem to neglect or at least not focus on upper body, especially shoulders - smaller profile into the wind. Less muscle may lead to more vulnerability.

Anonymous's picture
Anthony Poole (not verified)
Transmited Shock

I've not managed to fracture my clavicle, but I have managed fractures in both elbows - my right through cycling. Some years ago - when I still lived in London - my back wheel lost traction on some wet and smooth surface on a slow right hand turn and I put my right hand out to save myself. The impact with the ground was the palm of my right hand and the shock went up the arm and I fractured my radial head, hust below the elbow joint.

In February of this year, the day of that big snowstorm, I slipped in Central Park and tried ever so hard not to put my left hand out to save myself, but at the last split second I did and the contact was with the palm of my left hand, but I had a double fracture at the top of the ulna - communuted fracture of the olecranon and a fracture of the coronoid process, I think. Somewhere along the line, a small piece of bone broke clean off and is still floating around the joint. It will either be reabsorbed naturally, or else I will have to ahve it removed one day.

In both cases, the bones below the joint impacted internally with the bone above the joint and caused the fractures. The action of the ligaments could also have pulled on the radial head (right elbow fracture) and been a contributing factor.

The point is, transmited shock through bones is not uncommon.

Well, I'd never seen 26.9 inches of snow before. Not sure it was worth a broken elbow, though, but the snow was nice and looked spectacular under moonlight, just before I went down with all the grace of a sack of spuds.

I'm from London, and we never get that kind of snow.

Anonymous's picture
Ron Torok (not verified)
collar bone

The collar bone rarely takes the direct hit.

The break often occurs from a hit to the side or back of the shoulder, or occassionally from the forearm.

Collar bone is the single most common bone break in the body. 10% of all bone breaks are the collar bone.

A great majority of these break heal on their own, but make sure you get physical therapy as soon as possible to ensure maximum range of motion going forward.

If your incident is one of the rare ones that require surgical intervention, send me an email and I can let you know about my experience (I will be unreachable for over a week after today).

Good luck

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