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Michael Salama
Michael Salama,
Category: Orthopedics
Satisfied Customers: 715
Experience:  Medical director at San Miguel Medical Clinic
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I have a broken collar bone and a lesser fracture in my

Customer Question

I have a broken collar bone and a lesser fracture in my shoulder, and no personal insurance. My income unfortunately is not high. Is there a way I can get high quality care relatively cheaply? It is a clean break in the collar bone. What are the advantages and disadvantages of no surgery? Any ideas or tips? Should I run the border to Mexico or go to a University School?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Orthopedics
Expert:  Michael Salama replied 1 year ago.

Hello, I'd be happy to help you.

How old are you and what city are you in?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
62. las vegas.
Expert:  Michael Salama replied 1 year ago.

It sounds like you got an X ray? How do you know it's fractured? Can you describe your injury?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
i got an xray and it showed a clean break in my collar bone and that is what urgent care doctor said. i have another fracture in my shoulder, seems less painful and serious. I am trying to get some sort of idea on treatment options before I walk into a second Dr's office.
Expert:  Michael Salama replied 1 year ago.

The issue with going to Mexico would be if you have a displaced fracture and ultimately need surgery. I would not advise you to pursue this type of surgery in Mexico due to the possible long term effects you may have as a result of a botched surgery. I would apply here to see if you qualify for a free or significantly reduced surgery:

You may also consider reaching out to the clinic nearest to you to inquire about orthopedists who operate on uninsured patients:

Let me know if you have any other questions. If not, please don't forget to leave a positive rating as that's the only way I get credit for answering your question. Thank you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. I appreciate your help.What order of magnitude are we talking about as far as regular cost.?10gs. 20gs. 50 gs. The person who hit me was insured and clearly at fault so there should be some insurance money available, but maybe not full cost. t.Also, the examining doctor at Urgent Care thought it was 50-50 needing surgery. That seems unlikely to me as I have my right shoulder sagging down because of no collar bone to support it. It seems like with no surgery this would be a permanent sag and I kind of suspect could lead to future problems I realize you are not looking at me or my x-rays, and cannot give me an actual diagnosis. But I might be more informed when I see the doctor.Is there some way of putting bone closer to being in pace w/o surgery?
Expert:  Michael Salama replied 1 year ago.

Your train of thought is on the right track. It all depends whether or not your collarbone is displaced. In fact, many clavicular fractures don't require any surgery at all and simply get better with a sling for 6-8 weeks or so. However, if you do need surgery it will also depend on how severe your right shoulder fracture is as well and whether that needs to be operated on. Obviously each surgeon charges a different amount but I would say the ball park is at least $30k. Also keep in mind that insurance companies have negotiated rates with different hospitals and doctors so that amount could be greatly reduced.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
OK. This is VERY helpful. My clavicle is a clean break and part of the bone has moved like an inch down. In the mirror, the right shoulder IS lower as a result. Does this mean the clavicle is displaced? Surgery is painful physically and financially. I have started my own business, and long term prospects are excellent, but have]no available credit or financial reserves.Is it realistically possible to brace the bone back up and heal without surgery?Once again, I realize you cannot realistically diagnose, but I am trying to be informed BEFORE I go see a specialist as much as possible. Also, even if displaced, should the pain be lessening day by day? in what time frame after break should I get surgery, if needed. I only broke it two days ago. I talked to a personal injury lawyer, and he has a doctor who will see me and probably operate on credit based on lawyer's signature and settlement expectations, but this gives lawyer 1/3 of settlement, and minimum automobile insurance liability in Nevada is 15k. So I could wind up with 10k toward a 30k bill. Do you know how this works or how I could get surgery w/o the lawyer??? Realize this is not your area of expertise, but u might know. It might be nice if I could see doctor and Prrogressive pay the bill.
Expert:  Michael Salama replied 1 year ago.

From what you're describing it is displaced but as you said it's very difficult to diagnose it without examining you and looking at the X ray. Yes, the pain will be lessing because the inflammatory response is subsiding and now it's healing even if displaced. To be honest, I don't know how the insurance side along with a lawyer's involvement all works itself out. Being that it's not your fault, your lawyer should do anything and everything to ensure that you are not stuck a significant out of pocket expense.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok. Once again this is very helpful. I am doubtful of getting full payment from insurance. Even is I get 100% of her insurance, it could be half the cost of the operation.Plus insurance companies love to delay. What is I just let it heal as best I can without operation, and get it done in a few months.? II might have the balance of cash then. And perhaps cash from the insurance company. I suspect cash could lower my cost as well. If I let it go without surgery for a while, what would be the likely result medically? Once again,I will see an orthopedist next week, so I am not getting an actual diagnosis from you. But I would like to understand my options.
Expert:  Michael Salama replied 1 year ago.

If you don't get the surgery for a while your shoulders will be misaligned and the right one will continue to be lower than the left. Additionally, you are more likely to to develop arthritis in your right shoulder along with rotator cuff issues in the future. You may also notice that you are not able to participate in the same activities/sports which are dependent on a stable shoulder.

Expert:  Michael Salama replied 1 year ago.

Can I help you with anything else?