15 Year Old Male Hockey Player with Fractured Clavicle
A 15 year old male hockey player was checked heavily into the boards during a hockey game and suffered a complete, distracted mid-clavicle fracture. The distraction or separation between the fragments was about a half inch which is quite significant.
The initial ER physician recommended surgical repair due to the distance between the fragments. However a subsequent orthopedist recommended an attempt at conservative treatment via rest and partial immobilization via sling and harness. The orthopedist advised the family it would most likely be 6 to 8 weeks at a minimum before he could play hockey again assuming it healed without surgery which was by no means assured.
I advised the family to utilize herbal patches in addition to the orthopedist treatment to attempt to speed up the process and possibly return him to hockey games sooner to salvage the end of the season. They agreed. They utilized a total of 6 herbal patches in the manner recommended. Basically, 2 days on and 1 day off per patch.
The patient was doing so well with the treatment that he removed the harness at about 3 weeks and returned to fairly normal activities at under 4 weeks. He returned to full contact hockey practice at 5 weeks and games a few days after that. This was a remarkable recovery and return to sports considering the severity of the fracture and the possibility of requiring surgical intervention.
He has continued with all normal activities and is pain free. This was a very impressive response to herbal patches. It should be considered for all athletic teams in an effort to return injured athletes to the sport much faster then with just standard therapy alone.
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