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Open reduction internal fixation (ORIF) of clavicle fracture


You have just undergone internal fixation of your clavicle (collar bone) fracture/break with Kemble.


This was done because your collar bone was broken, or that it was broken before and did not heal well. 

The operation is usually performed with a plate and screws construct. 

The following is an example of such a fracture treated with a plate and screws

clavicle fracture treated with plate and

Post operative recovery

First 4-6 weeks following surgery

  • Your wound will be dressed in a water-proof dressing. You may take a quick shower with this dressing on but please do not soak it in water or take a bath. 

  • Early numbness or tingling in the first 24 hours following surgery is not uncommon. This may be due to the local anaesthesia Mr Wang placed into your wound to help with the pain. 

  • Please do not lift anything heavier than a cup of tea at this time. 

  • You will be in a sling. Please stay in the sling most of the times except during showers or during elbow exercises for the first 2 weeks after surgery (exact duration will be given to you by Mr Wang) 

  • Elbow exercises - please come out of the sling 3 times a day to stretch your elbow - straighten it all the way and then bend it all the way. Do 10 repetitions of this 3 times a day. 

  • You will be given an appointment at around 2 weeks for a wound check with Mr Wang. There may be tails of dissolvable sutures used for skin closure. There may also be 'steristrips' or small wound closure tapes, that could be either removed during the appointment or left to fall off at home/in the shower over the next few days. 

The following is your physiotherapy prescription

2-6 weeks following surgery

  • You will being weaning out of the sling at around 2 weeks. You may still wear the sling when out and about (for comfort only) but should be able to be out of the sling all other times. 

  • Gentle active and passive range of motion can begin at 2 weeks. No elevation/abduction >90 deg. 

  • No lifting anything heavier than 1kg


6-10 weeks following surgery

  • At 6 weeks post op, the bone should be 50% healed. This is now strong enough to push your shoulder in regaining flexibility

  • Commence all active and passive ROM, no limit on range of motion

  • No lifting anything heavier than 5kg. 

10+ weeks following surgery

  • Commence strengthening

  • Ok to return to sports once full range of motion and 80% strength reached and xray deemed united by Kemble.

Bone Healing general rules

  • At 6 weeks, bone is around 50% healed. At 12 weeks, this is around 80% healed. The last 20% may take 6, 12 months.

  • Bone healing is usually determined on xray +/- CT, and Mr Wang will advise you when there is sufficient healing to progress with your activities.

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