Reconstructive Surgery Expert Forum
Surgery to correct a past operation?
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Questions in the Reconstructive Surgery Forum are being answered by Dr. Archibald Sanford Miller III, MD,FACS, the Associate Professor at the University of Oklahoma School of Medicine.

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Surgery to correct a past operation?

Long story short (you can get the full version in my profile)... I had sternoclavicular joint repair done in March of 2007. My collarbone would dislocate where it meets the breast bone many times throughout the day for 4 years before I got it fixed.

A cardiovascular surgeon did my surgery since there are main veins and arteries behind the joint and wouldn't want an orthopedic surgeon nicking those veins and arteries. (That decision was not up to me). The doctor took my thin neck muscle in the front (the two muscles you can see in the front of your neck) and tied my collarbone down to my rib to make it a stable joint. The surgery was successful, my joint has been stable for a year and a half now.

Ever since my surgery, I have been in a lot of pain. I still have pain every day in my neck/shoulder region and where the thin muscle ties to my collarbone.The doctor did not want to use bolts and plates since I would lose some flexibility. Well, I already lost some flexibility so no big deal. I went back to the doc (diff doc since my surgeon moved) and he said I may be in pain b/c my muscle seems a bit tight. He took an xray, nothing abnormal. He does not want to do another surgery.

QUESTION:
I am far from a doctor... but in my opinion, I would prefer to have bolts and plates instead of my thin muscle that hurts. I am open for another surgery to fix it because I am tired of being in constant pain. The pain effects my every day life.
Should I try to find a doc that would go in and fix it? Or do you think that no one would do it and it would be a waste of time? The doc did not want to do a second surgery since he doesn't want to go into where I already had surgery... his words were "Having surgery on a joint is going to be always painful, you will have to deal with the pain"  ........ I had surgery in the first place to get RID of the pain!!!!


What do you think? I want to relieve my muscle and put some bolts in... worth a try?
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I have done several operations reconstructing the problems associated with infections in the sternoclavicular area. Essentially, one cannot reproduce the sternoclavicular joint. The pain you are experiencing may actually be the movement of the sternum against the clavicle. It should then be stabilized to stop the movement. It is like having a non-union of a broken bone. The more you move it, the more it hurts. I recommend finding a thoracic surgeon who has experience in plating and ask him to stabilize this area. You will need to get a 3D CT scan to document your problem. I hope this helps,respectfully,

                        arch s miller ms md facs
2 Comments
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I'd definitely go to try and find another doctor. There is a doctor who will do the surgery, even if takes some time to find that surgeon. I was denied by quite a few surgeons who did not feel "comfortable" doing my case, but did find a surgeon in the end who helped me. Good luck with everything.
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