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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Can one live comfortably with a dislocated clavicle and fractured sternum?

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Dr. Matija Romic

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2012

Answered : 300 Questions

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Posted on Sat, 10 May 2014 in General Health
Question: My 79 yr old father is suffering from dementia and chronic COPD. He is on oxygen 24-7. He experienced an electrical accident in 1968 whereas hi right arm was amputated to just below the elbow. He has worn a "harness" prosthesis since that time that is operated by the movement of his right shoulder forward and back. On 4/20/14 he experienced a mild stroke and the next day on Easter Sunday he experienced a fall and complained of pain on the front right chest as well as the top of his shoulder. XRay's have confirmed a dislocated clavicle and a fracture to his sternum. The Ortho wanted to do surgery to make necessary repairs. His primary physician doesn't want him to have the surgery as she doesn't believe he will survive it given all of his other medical issues. My question is, can a person live comfortably with a dislocated clavicle and fractured sternum? Will the weight and use of his prosthesis cause more damage?
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Answered by Dr. Matija Romic 1 hour later
Brief Answer: the operation is not strictly indicated Detailed Answer: Hallo and thank you for asking HCM, I understand your concern. The operation of sternum is not necessery if there is no heart damage, since it comes to healing by itself. Clavicle is operated if the dislocation is gretaer than 2 cm. It has a supporting role in the shoulder joint and fractures of clavicle have also good results in non surgery treatment. Considering that the right hand is not functional there is no need to insist on the surgical procedure because the movements have been reduced earlier. I recommend bed rest for six weeks that will give satisfactory results. If you decide surgery, it is a relatively short-term operation that can be performed under regional anesthesia and complications are uncommon. The operation is not strictly indicated with respect to age and co-morbidities. I hope this answer was helpful to you and feel free to contact us with additional questions.
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