Act Your Age, Not Your Shoe Size

Three weeks ago today we had our annual Fall church picnic. After lunch the “men” of the church started a flag football game. I say “men” because the vast majority of those playing were definitely attempting to be younger than they were. Scott was one of these.

All he remembers is catching the ball, turning to run upfield, and the next thing he knew he was on the ground. Long story short, Scott broke his collar bone. Here is a picture of the x-ray from the emergency room (click on any of the pictures to see a larger image):

Notice it broke on the very end and not on the middle. That is the most rare type of collar bone break (less than 10% of the time according to the internet) and the most type requiring surgery. They shot Scott with pain medicine and referred him to an orthopedic surgeon.

The funny thing is that, not fifteen minutes after Scott drove off to the ER, another man fell on top of a teenage boy. He ended up in the same ER, in the adjoining room to Scott, and he also broke his collar bone on the same side! The hospital staff wanted to know what church we went to so they could avoid any future social functions we might have! 🙂 Here’s a picture of Caleb and Scott leaving the hospital with matching injuries and matching slings (BTW – Caleb’s break was more “typical”. It broke in the middle and will heal on its own):

Monday, Scott went to see the orthopedic surgeon. He gave him three options, and basically told him option three was the only viable one – surgery to repair it. Because the two pieces of bone were on top of each other, and not facing each other, they would need some help staying in place to heal and grow back together. The surgery was scheduled for Wednesday morning. Here are some “before” pictures taken before he went in.

Notice the “lump”. That’s where his collar bone is sticking up. Also notice how his shoulder has “caved in” without the collar bone support:

Here is a shoulder to shoulder comparison, to see how much shorter the broken one is:

The doctor’s plan was to align the bones with a “closed” procedure, where he would align the bones, and put screws in from the outside, and when the bones had healed remove the screws. Alas, that was not to be. A lot of the bone had shattered, and so he couldn’t get proper alignment. He ended up having to make a large incision and go in and bridge the two pieces with a metal plate, and secure it all with six screws. Here is a fluoroscope image from the surgery:

All in all, he missed eight days of work, and his left arm was completely immobile for about twelve days. He is out of the “immobilizer” and just wearing a sling, but still has a way to go before he is completely healed. If you look close at the above picture, you can still see the separation between the bones (from the left there is bone, and a whitish space (the gap), and then a small darker piece of bone, another whitish space (the joint) and then the shoulder bone). It actually looks worse here, but that gap will have to grow together before he will be able to be completely mobile. After it heals, there will likely be some therapy to help regain lost muscle from the immobility. He also has a nice 3-4 inch “Frankenstein” scar as a souvenir right on the top of his shoulder.

One of the funniest things about the whole situation has been Anna. She has seen the pictures and heard us talking, and seen Scott’s arm. Now whenever she sees Scott she calls him “Bone”!

Needless to say the last few weeks have been crazy. Melinda says Scott has been a good patient, and not too demanding, but she was very glad when he was able to tie his own shoes again! 😉

Please pray for continued recovery, and for no long-term affects because the church picnic is only a year away, and he needs to be ready for the football game… 🙂