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Pain after collar bone surgery
I broke my collar bone on April 4 and had the surgery to repair it on April 20.  The Doc gave me a nice plate with nine screws.  Now I am very numb in a large area under the incision and it is burning and throbbing.  This seems to have gotten worse after week two.  I expected some pain from this procedure but this seems to be nerve related.  Has anyone had experience with anything like this?  I can deal with it if I know it will get better in time but I'm starting to get concerned.  

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hi buddy,
well it's a concern. You should meet him soon and discuss with him the further treatment plan. Surgery if this region is commonly associated with nerve branch getting entrapped under some hardware, and hence can trigger off this sort of chain events.
So meet your surgeon and discuss.
And do let us know as what he said,
regards
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Thanks for your reply!  The nerve  branch getting trapped scenario  is a scary thought.  I hope that's not the case.  I just don't know how much numbness and pain is normal after a procedure like this.  I would say an area about the size of my hand is numb underneath the incision.  Maybe I am expecting to much too soon?

Thanks Again
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hi buddy,
generally we don't do anything, even if a small nerve is entrapped. And we wait for 12-18 months for the nerve to recover. In your case, the amount of numbness is not significant. SO you just need to wait and take your chances. Some nerve enhancing medicines like methylcobalamine can be helpful for the recovery.
Keep asking your doubts.
Regards
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Hi,
I got my surgery done in april 2009. Now it has been 6 weeks, i feel a lot of pain in my biceps n triceps while doing stretching exercises. I can not sleep properly due to pain in my arms which enhances when i lie down on bed.
Please reply to me
Thanks
Leena
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I had a collarbone fracture in India 5 months ago falling off motor scooter, original orthopedist advised against surgery.  He didn't do such a good job though, the right collar bone, which broke in 2 places perhaps 2 inches apart, is not in the best possible alignment.  After 3 months of  physical therapy, I have pretty good use of my right arm, but It overlaps and it's doctor's calcium, and 3 different pills that have given the bone its holding power... I'm still thinking about surgery, it's not completely comfortable no matter how much physical therapy exercises I do.... my doctor says to live with it that it is strong and should never come loose with normal care, other doctors say get surgery ....   any 3rd or 4th opinions or what is the best surgery?  I am still in North India in Rishikesh...  
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I broke my right Clavicle due to a Horse accident.  Have a smaller plate with only 6 screws put it.  Broke my Clavicle May27th and had surgery June 8th.  I am still having alot of pain and also having numbness down my right arm and across the right side of my chest.  The doctor did say my feeling may come back but it could take a year if it will.  Has anyone had any problems with keeping the hardware in  as opposed to removing them?  The doc said that I could remove the hardware if it bothers me and because it is a smaller plate than he usually puts in I have to take it easy for longer.  
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I broke my left clavicle in late January of 2008 and had surgery getting a plate with several screws in late February.  Ever since my surgery I have experienced chronich muscle pain in the left side of my back almost directly opposite from my clavicle.  I can get it messaged out but then the pain and tightness comes back within the next day or two.  Has anyone else had this issue after this type of surgery?  If so what can I do to relieve the pain for good?
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Stiffness is a common complication and prevented by exercise/physiotherapy and shoulder mobilization. Mal union or Non union which is rare cause no functional disability and no treatment. An open reduction and internal fixation with additional bone grafting may be necessary if there exists a painful non-union of the clavicle and for this you have to discuss near your orthopaedician. Take care!
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my son broke his collerbone playing takle football, he might get surgery, does anyone know if he will be able to play football again in the future, hes only 13 yrs old and he wants to play for high school
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Hello!

At the age of 13 fractures heal perfectly. For collar bone fractures you can go for conservative treatment and if required and suggested by the orthopedician you can go for surgery.

He can play football after recovery and it is always good that he does not play for the next 3 months. After the fracture healing he can play football after discussing with his orthopedician.

Take care!

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i fractured my left clavical and i am having surgery on the 11th of feb. 2010 its now early morning monday the 9th. i doubt i'll get a response but will i be able to continue competitive martial arts after the hardware is put in? i am aware the road back is a long curvy one but just how long and curvy?

having trouble sleeping because i cant stop thinking about the outcome
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I had my surgery a little over three years ago after a car accident that completely fractured my left clavicle. After the surgery the doctor told me that he had to put a horizontal screw to hold the pieces together while he put the plate on, he also told me that he had to re attach a tendon however i was groggy and was un sure about the details of how it was re attached. My recovery was ok, complete numbness between my shoulder and mid pectoral however i had major pain from the tendon in my neck. I could barely move my head to the right and could see the tendon in my neck protruding.... Now three years later i still have numbness and that "itch you cannot scratch" feeling. However occasionally i will get very bad pain along the plate line and can barely touch it.. (Exercise does seem to aggravate the situation.) has anyone else had this experience?
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im about to go into surgery and was wondering if all this talk of stiffness and  numbness always happens after surgery and what is usually the intended  recovery time?
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I am 53 and athletic, but  just had my surgery on July 28, two weeks after the accident with complete fracture and a non-union through the non surgical option used in the prior two weeks.
The surgeon had warned me that inserting a plate (6 screws) normally creates a better union, but the invasive approach does involve risk of temporary (stretched) nerve damage and some permanent.
Numbness of the skin at touch is a result of that (same feeling as when the dentist freezes your gum before working on your teeth. Pectoral muscle seems ok though. I have no pain now in week 4 post surgery, although the numbness in my pectoral and shoulder joint skin area was to be expected - and happened. 12-18 months will have to pass before we know how much is temporary and how much is permanent.
I had painful tender at the elbow for having my arm  i a sling for 4 weeks steady, but i started my own exercise to stretch back muscle and tendon so now the pain in that tendon has almost disappeared.
The jury is still out as to the the effective motion of my shoulder and any residual pain, because i will not start official therapy for another 3 weeks (i.e. 6 weeks post surgery) and surgeon's orders are to keep the arm below horizontal until then.
The Xray showed a perfect alignment of the clavicle post surgery to the point that the fracture line of the re-assembled bone does not even show 2 weeks after surgery.
Will keep my fingers crossed for another year or so...
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I had collar bone surgery 2 1/2 weeks ago.  I have a burning stinging sensation around my incision.  The area is also numb in an area about the size of my hand.  Did your stinging ever go away?
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Hey guys I broke my left collarbone 3 yes ago motorcycle slammed me to the pavement. Thought I could tough it out .just had surgery 3wks ago they put in a plate an 18 screws. Havering a lot of throbbing pain around the base of my neck I guess that is where the end of plate is there is a red area the size of a fist a fist at base of neck it really hurts.any comments
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if you have surgery can you play sports again?
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i broke my clavicle on 11/16/2010  and its STILL broken. it will not heal on its own. very hard to have a broken bone this long but they couldnt do the surgery sooner because during my motorcycle accident appqrently I also had a traumatic brain injury so the surgeon couldnt keep me under long enough to get both done. i also broke my forearm.
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I have been in physical therapy for 2 years--because of 7 discs in my back, (herniated disk) lower neck, hand pain.I also don't tolererate pain  narcotics well (stomach pain). BUT there are days I can't function until I take some medications and a very hot shower. I've been an athlelte all my life my mainLOVEis to run! It depresses me everyday, because for the last 3-4 years I've been in recovery, I use to run 7 miles,  weight lift, and stretch everyday-10 miles on weekends (it's literally how I pray). I broken my rib, had kidney stones, a misscarage and a second broken foot in 2 years.One month ago I broken my clavicle-snapped celery, thus metal plate, screws,ect.This site describes my experience so well!!-- itching, burning, sensitivity to textures that touch my skin, body heat increase, shortness of breath, dizziness, shooting pains that leave me afraid to move, numbness--especially over and around plate, neck pain, can turn either way, major pain in my back ect. It has been that painful. Here are my questions--I think the metal plate is on a bundle of nerves, when it hits, i can't move!!! Can they replace the plate with anything else?? I think I over did it--being used to pain, I ignored it..lifted and other bad stuff...( I'm 43, 5'4 about 105 pounds at the time of the accident.)   My intuition tells me to really rest and literally bind my arm to my side, then VERY slowly move it each day. The Dr said I don't need a sling--but I don't think this is not helping me heal.Any opinions??? Also has anyone experienced memory loss or fear attacks before the pain really comes?
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Dear All,

I am 36 and completely fractured my right clavicle less than 48 hours ago

Have seen ortho surgeon and they have suggested surgery as I have a 3 month old shoulder fracture/dislocation and they seem to think I can be back at physio 2-3 weeks after surgery

My concerns are the possible risks of nerve damage and infection

Has anyone had surgery (titanium) plate with positive results and good outcomes/recovery ?

Your experiences would've appreciated



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Dear All,

I am 36 and completely fractured my right clavicle less than 48 hours ago

Have seen ortho surgeon and they have suggested surgery as I have a 3 month old shoulder fracture/dislocation and they seem to think I can be back at physio 2-3 weeks after surgery

My concerns are the possible risks of nerve damage and infection

Has anyone had surgery (titanium) plate with positive results and good outcomes/recovery ?

Your experiences would've appreciated



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i broke my right collarbone 3 weeks ago, surgery was about 2 weeks ago. i still feel numbness right below me clavicle. dr. said that should eventually go away? is that true? also, when i look in the mirror, it doesnt look proportional right now... will it even even out when the bone is fully grown again?
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I live in San Diego, CA and have the exact same issue. Broke my collarbone in 2008, had a plate implanted and then removed, and to this day it feels stiff, and sore, and nothing really helps. Did you ever find a remedy?
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My mom broke her collarbone last novemeber and just had surgery in feb 2012, she's been expierencing some numbness all down her arm is that normal? I'm very worried about it and she hasn't exactly been doing what the doctor told her to do. Before she broke her collarbone we kept my sister's kids and yesterday we had to keep the youngest and she kept picking her up and now she's in excruiciating pain I keep telling her that she needs to wait to heal before she starts babysitting again but she won't listen what should I do? I'm very worried it won't heal the way it's supposed to! I honestly don't think she should have numbess all down her arm she can barely move it!
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I have broken both my collarbones and had surgery on both.  I have had great results.  There is numbness around the site and about an inch out.  I have a plate with screws on one side and screws on the other.  I have had no problem with infection or mobility.  Just be patient!
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Hi Christy,I broke left clavicle a year ago 8th June 2011.After consultant waiting for bone to heal he decided to operate 3 months later.maybe it is,was, my age 59 which slowed healing process.X.ray taken 1 week after surgery the consultant looked at x.ray and admitted that at least 2 of the pins in plate were a bit too long .I am still in discomfort with restricted movement,especially when dressing & undressing ,shoulder is still completely numb and swollen and an area hurts to touch .I tried to make another appointment because I know things are not as they should be when I can't even turn my head properly I was told I had been discharged.Next move I'm thinking is either wait to get back into the "system" again or just get immediate help at A&E .
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Hey everyone just thought I'd share my input.  I am not completely healed as of right now.  I broke my left collar bone four weeks ago and had surgery one week later so I am three weeks in.  I had a plate put in with 8 screws.  So far the scar is healing nicely and the pain is very low but sometimes when I am busy all day I am very sore at night.  My doctor said I don't have to wear the sling except for comfort.  It should be noted I broke the bone in three places in a hockey tournament.  I have numbness on the scar and on the shoulder by the pectoral area.  I will find out if it is healing when I go in for my six week appointment.  The doctor said numbness is normal and could go away quickly or take months to get better.

On another note I was advised to take extra Vitamin D and calcium.  I checked into some vitamins and found that Vitamin K2 is also good for promoting bone growth.  Drinking lots of water and eating healthy will help recovery.  Your body is already working hard to fix itself so don't make it overwork by eating like crap and not drinking water.  

I feel for everyone and hope everyone has a good recovery.  From reading a lot of posts I noticed a lot of people are having a lot of pain.  I was told by my Doctor that pain will be normal for a couple of weeks due to your body going through a major tramua.  Don't kid yourselves people this is a major tramua.  I thought it wasn't until I found out just how tough it is to heal an area that can't be placed in cast to prevent movement.  I am the kind of guy that doesn't complain and takes the pain so that says enough coming from me.

Before I leave I just want to say this.  My doctor said if the pain is really bad after a couple of weeks post op to make an appointment.  Swelling with redness, lot's of pain, high temp and leaking from the scar are signs of an infection so go see your doctor.  They will give you some medicine to get rid of the infection.  The longer you wait to see the doctor the more complications you will have.

Get well and remember that I am not a doctor and if you have letimate concerns call your Doctor.  I just want to share some of my experience.  Don't forget that most of the people on these forums are trying to evaluate themselves and treat themsleves and not getting medical attention.  
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hey man. i just got surgury on my clavical yesterday and im obviously still in pain and the area under the stiches is numb aswell. but i wouldnt worry. i asked alot of questions to my doctor and theres a few reasons. it may be numb. if the freezing acually got into the nerve it could not really damage the nerve. but instead the numbness would just last longer. but regardless the doctor told me. for *** long as u have the plate in there. it will always have some numbness around that area unfortunetly. only in the collar bone area tho. if a nerve was pintched or damaged. it would probably cause numbness in ur arm or fingers. but its your body. if your overly concered im sure your doctor would e happy to anwse your questions. but remeber there will always be a small area that will be numb
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My girlfriend had the surgery it will be a year in jan
She can't sleep because she is in so much pain
She said it feels like a snake crawling
She also on her back opposite side a huge raisesd muscle like a ball

Hurts to massage!   She has been back to doctor several times but he says it will just take time
She still has to take pain pills but really doesn't help
Please give us some advise
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I broke my collarbone 4 months ago and had it plated a month ago. I am experiencing many of the aforementioned problems. I have been going to a great physiotherapist that explains the healing and recovery process.
A large part of the residual pain is from imobilization, your body compensates for loss of use. you use it or lose it kind of thing. muscles nerves and joints that are not in use atrophy, shorten and stiffen over time and need to be brought back to function. That process is quite often uncomfortable to painfull depending on your body and length of immobilization. because I was pretty much immobilized on my left side for the last 3 1/2 months I will have a longer and more uncomfortable recovery.  I have a physical job and will probably not be back at full duty for another 4 months or so.  Find a good physiotherapist, preferably with an ostopathic background, at the very least a sports physiotherapist.  They are not all created equal, find the best you can.
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here is a reply to all who have numbness and pain around surgery site: I had broken clavicle surgery 2 months ago, I now have a plate and 7 vertical and 3 horizontal screws. I had pain and numbness at surgery site and also on a hand sized area on chest. Finally 2 months later the burning, tingling, slicing etc pain has mostly gone away. It was so painful for 2 months I could barely wear any shirt. As I type this now I am wearing a tshirt with minimal discomfort. So give your self time mostly, hopefully you will start healing as I am. Also what helped me a lot it seems is lots of gentle stretching - on your own or with a physio's guidance, also massage helped me. Gentle stretching and massage also help my tight/painful muscles, tendons, ligaments etc. Plus I had a bulged out neck muscle until recently it also has healed well and is mostly back to normal.
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Hello people,
I am a S.D. native
I had broken both my shoulders at age 15 and the left one healed but the right one broke regularly and eventually made a socket. I decided to go ahead and have an implant put in at age 23.
  The numbness is perfectly normal and in my case it never went away. I now have severe pain and limited range of motion in my arm and neck. I have no medical coverage now and my doctor who installed it is deceased.
  I now am age 43 I have been right handed and have been a mechanic all my life. I am wondering if it is even worth having it removed after 20 years and if my body is possibly rejecting it now.
  I can n o longer hold tools in my hand and I am not able to move my arm to turn wrenches any more. I hate thinking that disability may be in my near future as the pain and problems are growing rapidly in my entire right side.
  I to have developed a ritualistic way of sleeping over the last 20 years mostly due to favoring my shoulder from the break and surgery which in turn has caused my spine to go crooked and many other parts of my body .
  I can say for those of you who just got the surgery my advice would be make every effort to not favor your broken side if at all possible because down the road it may cause bigger more complicated problems.
I think now after 20 years if I had the chance to go back and choose again....I would most definitely say no to the implant especially if my body is possibly rejecting it 20 years later.
  thnx for letting me share
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My daughter had a shifted pelvic and there is a little  pull out from the joint. the doctor said they have to screw it together i am worried if this is the best solution to it. an whether she can return to normal walk this, also he said the screw can be removed after sometime. i need wick answer before i go ahead
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I had the same problem with pain in my back after collar bone surgery what I was told is you have to try your hardest to stand up and sit up straight and try pinching your shoulder blades together for 5 minutes everyday it will build the muscle so it doesn't hurt that bad. Its because the bond breaking shortened your collar bone so it is pulling the muscle
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I broke my right clavicle on January 23rd. Piece of bone was sticking straight up between the break. Had surgery on February 2nd with a small plate and 6 screws. I'm 53 and it's been a long depressing road. Muscle spasms, ligament pain....beginning mobility PT on Monday, 8 weeks post surgery. Surgeon tells me no chance of work until I'm 3 months post surgery, at best. Not a good time. Constantly feel stabbing pain in my shoulder/neck and still sleeping on my back. Numbness comes and goes. Seems everyone's situation is similar, yet different. Reading the comments on this page helps, as I'm having a particularly bad "when does this crap end" day. Thank you.
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Recently had a clavicle plate installed with 10 screws I too have the hand sized patch of numbness but I'm concerned about the sensitive patch of skin, it's about the size of a fist about 3 cms below the start of the incision going towards the chest centre away from the numb patch... its hypersensitive,  burns to touch seems to randomly radiate a throbbing pain which I can make go away by thinking about something else.....any support or further similar reports would be so helpful I'm 2 1/ 2 weeks post op
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I am 11 weeks post op.  My numbness is hand size and extends from outer edge of scar down into bicep.  I am on Neurontin to control burning (which occurred with or without touch in my case).  Still hypersensitive.  I also have discoloration of my hand which leads me to think vascular issue is in play.  But surgeon still claims just nerve issue that should get better.  Curious if your nerves have healed somewhat since your post.  Hope so.
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Hello friends, I broke my left clavicle in September of 2014 playing football. It was broken in the middle and there was about an inch of separation between the breakpoints. My surgeon recommended surgery but saw that I was afraid of that so he also said there was a chance it could heal on its on. Well I choose not to have surgery and a year later (August 2015) I re broke the same clavicle playing football again!! This time I had no choice and i saw a new surgeon in Arlington Texas. He said he could do it but because the bone really never healed the first time because of the displacement there would be some risk. He explained that the surgery would be more complicated and afterwords it would take much longer to heal vs if I had surgery the first time I broke it. Well i had the surgery a month after I broke it and he put a plate and 8 screws in. It has been 3 weeks and the pain is going away everyday. If you break it and it is displaced I recommend surgery so you wont have to deal with the same problem I have
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hello, I had this surgery on Sep 9, have same issues you described. Was wondering if it got any better, particularly the nerve issue, sensitivity on the skin. Thanks,
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Hi.

I got my clavicle repaired 3 weeks ago after being hit by a car back in May whilst on my bike.

The pain is much better inside my body as I had a non union and mal union.  However, I now have this burning sensation which is akin to being badly sunburnt.  I find keeping it warm and putting E45 cream on it helps.  It is definitely but what I expected to feel.

I can cope with the numbness which is a pretty large area above my right pectoral muscle but the burning is sometimes excruciating.

I will update if I feel any better.  My plate has 6 screws with 3 screws missing where my bone graft went.

I have faith in my surgeon...at the moment!
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I just has a plate and 6 screws Dec 3rd. Everything I have read here seem normal. I have a green light for learning to raise my arm but no lifting with it  (my left) Right now all I want to do is itch, but I am not clear on what topical I can put on... moisturizer, vitamin e, blah blah blah. Please advise.
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I had surgery on my right clavicle in mid November of 2014. Small plate with three screws. I was told few months after the Operation , I won't even bother. Well, its been 16 months already and i feel pain around the plate , when i tighten   and roll my shoulder, pain goes all the way in my elbow as well. To me it seems to be a nerve. Of course, in the beginning, I couldn't sleep on my right side, i had my arm in sling for a few weeks post the surgery. I sleep normally on my right side now. I work out a lot, boxing. I do everything; pull ups, push ups but after i while, when i  reach my limit , my healthy side takes all the load i put. I can feel all my right/surged  side is weaker, even when i lie down flat on my back, i can feel my shoulder blades are not leveled even  with the ground. Surged one has less muscle. Weaknesses part i will most likely build but nerves situation bothers me. I have the feeling, I can't use full capacity of my arm because it somehow created a self protection motion not the get the pain in certain moves , punches bc if it does ,it hurts, like you get nailed with a hammer. I had an x ray, everything looks great, doc said can't be a nerve bc if it was, it would've hurt me when he put a little pressure around the plate, which Doesn't . No pain when we press it. When i tighten my whole arm together and start rolling my shoulder slowly forward and backward, i get that stabbing pain that leads to my mind it could be a nerve touching a screw or the plate. I was really thinking of another surgery in the near future for the plate to be removed but after I read some of the people comments that there was no different when they did that I'm a little confused what to do now. Any suggestions? Thanks and hope all of get better.
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