An update on Tarzan’s condition

May 30th, 2007

Wendy took me to the doctor today for a one-week checkup on my shoulder. The doctor inspected the incision and said it was healing well. Then a nurse removed the stitches (3) and staples (14). I’ve never had staples before, and Wendy and I had wondered how they were removed. The nurse had a little tool that looked just like a pair of pliers or wirecutters, except that the business end had three little fingers, two on piece, one on the other. The finger on one side meshed between the two on the other; when squeezed around a staple, these fingers cause it to open up so it can be easily and painlessly pulled loose. The nurse then covered the incision with some tape strips; she said I have to wear them until they fall off. I can shower without covering them, but should not soak them.

The doctor cleared me to return to work on Monday. He said I could drive and use my computer, but he also said that I have to continue to wear the sling, and that I was to do absolutely no pushing, pulling, or lifting with my right arm. He also said I should refrain from moving the arm around too much. As the pain has receded, and some strength returned, I had been doing just that: moving the arm around to test its range of motion. The doctor says such movement, even thought it doesn’t appear to put any strain on the shoulder, can cause the screw to slip. He says I should absolutely minimize movement of my arm.

I have another checkup in early June, and in about six weeks the doctor will remove the screw. This will be another minor surgery similar to the first: they’ll put me out, re-open the very top of the incision, and take the screw out.

Further reading:

A description of the acromio clavicular joint and repair of AC joint separation.

The story, complete with gnarly X-rays, of a guy who broke his collarbone while running.

The story of a strange metal orb found in Texas. Has nothing to do with collarbone injuries, but has some cool X-rays.

2 Responses to “An update on Tarzan’s condition”

  1. Ginger Says:

    My mom once broke her ankle, and had four screws therein for almost five months. Upon removal, she had one bronzed upon a plaque that read, “The worst screw I ever had!”

  2. Leigh Ann Says:

    Oh, I like that idea! Too funny! Did the dr say anything about physical therapy?