The Exterior is Mending Well (and Pix of the Interior.)

I had my first post-surgery appointment this morning. The focus was on the condition of the incision site and how I was feeling, and not so much on how the bone was mending... that will be determined later.

So, as to the focus... Once the the nurse practitioner removed the final bandages from the incision area, I got my first glimpse as to where scalpel met skin. To my delight, it wasn't nearly as bad as I had imagined... there was very little in the way of dried blood, scabs, etc., and the incision site seemed to be healing pretty well. In 10 days or so, I can start putting either lotion, vitamin E or anti-scar cream on in it to help minimize scarring.

As for how I'm feeling, I told the NP that I feel pretty good for the most part. I haven't had to use any pain meds for close to a week now, and haven't had a fever since the surgery. The most problematic thing is sleep (or lack thereof). The most discomfort I feel is when I'm in bed at night... the rest of the day is usually not a problem (except when I sneeze... WOW, does that produce a sharp tinge of pain!) As a side-sleeper, it's not easy finding a comfortable position on my back that works for me then entire night. Having to wear the shoulder immobilizer 24/7 hasn't made sleeping any easier either. The NP said my sleep issues aren't uncommon and that they will slowly improve over the next couple of weeks.

Other things that came out of this appointment:
  • I can start doing some basic range of motion exercises at home. I still need to wear the immobilizer most of the time, and but can keep the left wrist free except for when sleeping.
  • I'll be starting physical therapy sometime in early- to mid-May.
  • I was given the OK to ride a stationary bike as long as I'm sitting up and not having the shoulder carry any significant weight.
My next appointment is May 11, at which point I'll get another x-ray taken to see how the bone is healing, and hopefully get a better idea as to when I can resume a normal riding position.


Below are some x-ray images (click on them to see larger versions.)

These two x-rays were taken on April 7 during my time in the Emergency Room. If you're like me, you'll have to take the doctor's word that the collarbone was in 4 pieces... 3 pieces are pretty easy to see in these images.

This x-ray was taken on April 15 while I was in anesthesia land in the operating room. It's not the "finished product" though... an 8th screw was added, and the two end screws were replaced with longer screws.

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