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Injury Time Out with Capilano Rehab: Connor McDavid and a Fractured Collar Bone

| November 4, 2015 | Reply

Man having shoulder joint pain in his left shoulder.Connor and Broken Collar Bone Recovery

Last night, Edmonton Oilers fans everywhere held our breath as Connor McDavid was crashed into the end-boards by two Broad Street bullies.  While we collectively let our air out as he got up on his own power, we got the bad news this morning.  GM Peter Chiarelli announced that Connor will  need surgery for a broken collar-bone (clavicle) and will be out for an indefinite period of time.  As we don’t know the details of the injury, and as everyone heals at different rates, we can only speculate as to how long McDavid’s rehab will be.  However, being an elite NHL hockey player and knowing the quality of the Oilers medical and training staff, you know he will be get better as soon as possible. 

What Recovery Timeline Can I Expect?

Capilano Rehab Centre has provided rehabilitation treatment for many athletes of varying ages and skill levels who have suffered broken clavicles.  Generally a fractured clavicle will take 6-12 weeks to recover, but there are different factors that can effect recovery rates such as:

  • Location of the fracture-in the middle or end of the clavicle
  • Age-usually the younger you are the faster you heal
  • Life style-people who lead a healthy lifestyle recover faster
  • Physical Therapy-people who are seeing a Therapist tend to recover faster

What Broken Collarbones Treatment Options are Available for Regular People?

I spoke to one of our senior physical therapists, Greg Krook, who has a special interest in shoulder injuries and has treated many of them successfully.  I asked him what he usually recommends as a course of action for his patients that do not have any specific complications.  Initially, and obviously in conjunction with the attending physician and/or specialist, he initially looks to enhance cellular and metabolic healing around the injury by using:

K-Laser: During K-Laser treatment, the infrared laser light interacts with tissues at the cellular level and metabolic activity increases within the cell, improving the transport of nutrients across the cell membrane. This initiates the production of cellular energy (ATP) that leads to a cascade of beneficial effects, increasing cellular function and health.

Magnetic Bio-Stimulation (MBS): MBS, combined with the infrared, stimulates circulation and also the exchange of ions between the inner and outer cell walls of the affected area. The increased energy metabolism appears to allow disrupted nociceptors and nerve axons to operate more efficiently.

Interferential Stimulation (IFC): Swelling can be significant after a fractured clavicle, so we want to get the swelling out of that injury site area.  The IFC increases blood flow to the area to help flush out swelling and helps to decrease the pain that can be associated with swelling. 

In conjunction with the above, and as appropriate, Greg will introduce the following:

Exercises: Maintaining a range of motion (ROM) is vital to recovery.  Early on in recovery ROM would be passive (not contracting muscles to do movement, usually aided by your other arm, or a PT) and likely include: flexion/extension/abduction, shrugs, protraction/retraction of shoulders.  As recovery progresses, swelling has decreased and movements are made with minimal pain, the exercises will progress to include strengthening.  The same movements that were done passively are now done with progressive resistance.  (These exercises are prescribed and monitored by a Physical Therapist or a Kinesiologist).

Graston Technique:  As the recovery progresses, sometimes the scar tissue in the surrounding soft tissue will have to be addressed and Greg prefers a technique known as Graston.  Graston is an innovative physical therapy technique used by physiotherapists to treat soft tissue injuries. It enables physios to address pain management by reducing injury, scar tissue, pain and fascial restrictions.

We are all wishing Connor a speedy recovery!  If you find yourself with a broken clavicle don’t hesitate to call Capilano Rehab Centre, we will get you back in the game!



Capilano Rehab Centre | Physical Therapy Capilano physical therapists have provided state-of-the-art physical therapy, sports physiotherapy, back pain, WCB, accident, whiplash and injury rehab to clients in Edmonton for over 10 years.

5832 Terrace Rd Edmonton, AB. T6A 3Y8

(780) 466-1104


Category: Active Living, Community, Fractures, Graston Technique Therapy, K-Laser Therapy, Physiotherapy, Sports Rehab

About the Author ()

I am Capilano Rehab Centre’s Community Care Coordinator. I have been with Capilano Rehab for 9 years primarily as a Physio Assistant, but also as a Receptionist. I have a Physical Education Degree from the University of Alberta, which I will eventually use when my two young children are grown up. In the mean time I am enjoying helping people in the Community through my role as Community Care Coordinator and bringing awareness to how a Physiotherapist can help you get back to the activities you love the most!

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