Open Reduction and Internal Fixation
At A Glance: Open Reduction and Internal Fixation
Tell Me About The Surgery
Procedure Research and Consultation
How is collarbone surgery done?
When you have collarbone surgery, an orthopedic surgeon puts the broken pieces of your collarbone back where they belong, and uses metal devices to keep the pieces in place.
What issue does ORIF surgery solve?
Often a fractured collarbone will heal on its own within six to eight weeks, but you may need surgery to repair injured blood vessels, a fracture breaks through the skin, or the broken pieces of your collarbone are simply not in a good position to heal.
Do I have options for anesthesia for ORIF surgery?
General anesthesia is most common for this procedure.
How do I know collarbone surgery is right for me?
You might be a good candidate for collarbone surgery if the fractured collarbone has broken through your skin, is severely displaced, or is in several pieces.
How safe is collarbone surgery?
In general, severe complications from collarbone surgery are rare. You should also know that Hancock Regional Hospital has been rated one of the safest hospitals in America by The Leapfrog Group, a national nonprofit health care watchdog organization; and was named the safest hospital in Indiana on the Lown Institute Hospital Index.
What are possible side effects and complications of ORIF surgery?
While rare, some of the possible complications of this procedure include infection at the site of the incision; broken screws or plates; damage to an artery, vein, or nerve; bone misalignment; injury to the lung; and complications from anesthesia.
What are the possible side effects of general anesthesia?
Some of the possible side effects include nausea and vomiting, dry mouth, sore throat, muscle aches, headache, bruising (from the IV), itching, shivering and feeling cold, difficulty urinating, and sleepiness. In older patients, memory loss and temporary confusion are possible.
What are the alternatives to ORIF surgery?
Before deciding on a surgical solution to your clavicle fracture you might want to consider the alternatives. They include allowing the bones to heal on their own, physical therapy, careful use of pain medication such as cortisone shots, and wearing a sling.
What are the risks of not having ORIF surgery?
If your doctor recommends collarbone surgery and you don’t have it, your bones may heal incorrectly, and you risk limiting your movement going forward.
What kind of outcome is typical for ORIF surgery?
A collarbone surgery should alleviate pain and allow you to return to a full range of motion.
Consultation and Choosing A Surgeon or Surgical Team
Do I need a referral to see a surgeon about ORIF surgery?
Your health insurance provider may require you to get a referral from your primary care provider to see a surgeon about ORIF surgery.
What should I bring to my first appointment with a surgeon to talk about ORIF surgery?
Insurance information Medical records, including your medical history, from your primary care physicianYour most recent labs and imaging (Not sure where to go? Check out Gateway Hancock Health, where you’ll be able to get in and out quickly and pay, on average, 70% less than you’ll pay at a hospital.)
Do I have to get a second or third opinion for ORIF surgery?
You can always get a second or third opinion, but it isn’t required.
How should I decide which surgeon’s advice to follow?
You should work with the surgeon with whom you feel comfortable, whether that’s one of our surgeons or not.
Will the surgical team know my health history?
Your health history will be compiled and available to the team before, during, and after surgery. If you’re a Hancock Health patient, we will be able to access your records within our system. If you aren’t, we will work with your doctors to get the necessary information.
Why might I have to wait to schedule ORIF surgery?
In some cases, it takes time for a patient’s body to be ready for surgery. For example, if you have another medical issue including another surgical procedure or an illness, we might wait to schedule surgery. Your health and safety are our top priorities, so we schedule surgeries when they’re best for our patients.
What happens if my symptoms get worse while I wait for collarbone surgery?
Your surgical team will evaluate the situation and help you make a choice that’s right for you and your health. Temporary treatments might be used if your surgery is rescheduled.
Insurance & Cost
How much does collarbone surgery cost?
Consult the Price Transparency Tool at HancockRegionalHospital.org for an idea of how much collarbone surgery might cost.
Will insurance cover ORIF surgery?
In most cases, insurance will cover most of the costs associated with collarbone surgery. To obtain an estimate of your possible out-of-pocket expenses, use our Price Estimator Tool.
Will Medicare cover collarbone surgery?
Medicare parts A and B will cover the cost of collarbone surgery, but it’s important for your doctor to indicate that the surgery is medically necessary.
What are payment options like for collarbone surgery at Hancock Health?
Hancock Health is committed to helping make great care affordable for all patients. To find out more about payment options, please visit the billing and insurance FAQ page at HancockRegionalHospital.org.
Pre-op and Day of Surgery
How should I prepare for collarbone surgery?
You’ll probably be instructed not to eat anything after midnight on the day of your surgery, and you might also be told to stop taking certain medications or dietary supplements.
Why can’t I eat before surgery?
There’s a risk of aspiration, which means breathing foreign objects, like food or saliva, into your lungs. This can occur because the anesthetic for surgery can impair your body’s ability to stop the contents of your stomach from entering your lungs.
What should I expect right before ORIF surgery?
You’ll arrive several hours before your surgery and be escorted to the preoperative waiting area.You’ll remove all of your clothing and jewelry, and put on a hospital gown. (Your valuables will be placed in a secure area or may be given to a family member.) You’ll sign any necessary paperwork and a preoperative nurse will take your vital signs, review your medications, and answer any questions.You’ll meet your anesthesiologist and the members of your surgery team. They will mark the location of your surgery on your body. An I.V. (intravenous line) will be placed in your hand or arm, so medications—including general anesthesia—can be administered. If you’re using a different kind of anesthesia, you’ll receive an injection.When it’s time for your surgery, you will be wheeled into the operating suite on a stretcher.
Will I need someone to take me home after collarbone surgery?
For your safety and the safety of other motorists, you will need someone to drive you home. If you don’t have a ride, we’ll help you arrange one.
Why are there so many people on my surgery team?
In addition to the surgeon, you have an anesthesiologist, nurses—some of them specialize in working with patients and others assist the surgeon—and support staff, who get you checked in and out, compile your records, and more. They all work together, performing their individual jobs, so the procedure is as successful as possible.
Why am I asked for my name and date of birth every time I get medicine?
It’s a safety precaution to make sure you’re receiving the medication that’s prescribed for you.
What do I need to bring to the hospital the day of my ORIF surgery?
Anything you’ll need for an overnight stay, including a change of underwear, a sweatshirt, glasses or contacts, headphones, and your medications. You might not be there overnight, but it’s a good idea to be prepared.
How long does it take the anesthesia to wear off?
It takes about an hour for general anesthesia to wear off, but you may notice the effects for a day or so. It usually takes 30 minutes to an hour for local anesthesia to wear off, though the effects can last a few hours.
What will happen during ORIF surgery?
You’ll breathe oxygen through a mask and our team will track your vital signs as the surgery is performed. After cleaning the affected area, your surgeon will make an incision through the skin and muscle near your clavicle. Your surgeon will bring the pieces of your clavicle back into alignment, and they’ll secure the pieces of the clavicle to each other using screws, metal plates, wires, or pins. After the team has secured the bone, your surgeon will surgically close the skin and muscle around your clavicle.
When will my family be informed about how I’m doing?
Our associates will get information from the surgical team in the operating room during your surgery and keep them updated. Following the procedure, your surgeon will talk with them in person.
How long will the collarbone surgery take?
Collarbone surgery typically takes one to two hours.
How long will I be under for ORIF surgery?
You will be anesthetized during the entire procedure and a few minutes afterward.
How long will I be in the hospital after collarbone surgery?
While the length of a hospital stay depends on each patient’s individual needs, patients typically leave within one to three days.
What can I expect right after collarbone surgery?
You’ll wake up from surgery in the recovery room and, as you start to regain feeling in your body, you’ll receive pain medication. After leaving the recovery room, you’ll be taken to your hospital room where you will be able to see friends or family who came with you.
How will I know if collarbone surgery worked?
Your surgeon will discuss your procedure with you. It can take up to three months for people who have collarbone replacement surgery to return to most of their normal activities and as much as a year to fully recover.
When will I get to talk to my surgeon after surgery?
You’ll be able to talk to your surgeon immediately after your procedure, while you’re in the recovery room.
How soon after collarbone surgery will I be up and moving around?
Within 24 hours of the procedure, you’ll likely be asked to stand up and walk with the help of medical staff. For several weeks following your surgery, your arm will need to be kept immobile often using a sling.
Will I receive pain medication right after ORIF surgery?
In most cases, patients receive pain medication immediately following surgery.
How soon after ORIF surgery can I eat or drink?
You may not be able to eat or drink right away. After that, you may return to solid foods—but easy-to-digest items, including soups, pudding, and yogurt, are recommended.
Will I need to fill any prescriptions or take medication after ORIF surgery?
You may be prescribed pain medication, anticoagulants, or other symptom-reducing medications.
Recovery and Follow-Up
What will I need to do to prepare for my recovery from collarbone surgery?
Make sure you’ll have help with everyday tasks, such as cooking, showering, and doing laundry. If you live alone, our associates can help you find a temporary caretaker.
How should I prepare for my at-home recovery?
For a while after surgery, you’ll need to keep your arm immobile. Often, this means that you will need to wear your arm in a sling for several weeks. Follow your doctor’s advice for pain medication and applying ice to your clavicle.
If I need physical therapy or rehabilitation after collarbone surgery, how is that arranged?
You will likely begin physical therapy almost immediately. Our associates will help you arrange the post operative care you’ll need.
Will I need any follow-up appointments or procedures after ORIF surgery?
You’ll have an appointment with your surgeon about two weeks after your surgery. Your outpatient physical therapy sessions will begin almost immediately following your surgery and last for six to 12 weeks, maybe more. You’ll also schedule another appointment to check in with your surgeon about a year after your procedure.
Will there be any scarring or stitches to remove after ORIF surgery?
Your stitches or staples will likely be removed during your first postoperative appointment with your surgeon, about two weeks after surgery. There will be some scarring at the incision.
What do I need to have to care for any wounds or incisions?
You’ll need fresh dressings but you won’t need antibiotic ointment, as putting it on the area is unnecessary.
How do I care for my incision at home?
Change your dressing daily, starting two days after you leave the hospital. Don’t scrub the incision area.If you have steri-strips over your incision, they will fall off on their own within about two weeks.You may remove your dressing and shower two days after your surgery if there is no drainage from your incision. Carefully pat the incision dry after your shower and reapply the dressing.For about two weeks, don’t submerge your incision in water by taking a bath or getting in a pool or hot tub. When the incisions are completely healed, feel free to resume those activities.
What should I do if I have an emergency or accident ORIF surgery?
If you fall and hit your shoulder after collarbone surgery, or have another kind of emergency, call your surgeon’s office. If you need immediate emergency services, go to the nearest emergency room.
When will I be able to get back to work after ORIF surgery?
If you have a desk job, you can probably return within a week after your procedure. If your job requires more physical movement, it could take longer.
Meet Our Surgeons
Ask a Surgeon
Watch our surgeons answer common questions.
Ready to Talk?
Whether you’re looking for an initial consultation, a second opinion, or you just have a few more questions, we’re here to help. Fill out the form below and we’ll get back to you within one business day.