CLAVICLE FRACTURE

Image by NordWood Themes

A broken collarbone is a common injury, particularly in children and young adults. Your collarbone connects the upper part of your breastbone to your shoulder blade. Common causes of a broken collarbone include falls, sports injuries and trauma from traffic accidents. Infants can sometimes break their collarbones during the birth process.

Seek prompt medical attention for a broken collarbone. Most heal well with ice, pain relievers, a sling, physical therapy and time. But a complicated break might require surgery to realign the broken bone and to implant plates, screws or rods into the bone to hold the bone in place during healing.

CLAVICLE ANATOMY

DISEASE EXPLAINED

SYMPTOMS

Pain that increases with shoulder movement

Swelling

Tenderness

Bruising

A bulge on or near your shoulder

A grinding or crackling sound when you try to move your shoulder

Stiffness or inability to move your shoulder

Newborn children will often not move their arm for several days following a birth-related collarbone fracture.

CAUSES & RISK FACTORS

Falls, such as falling onto your shoulder or onto your outstretched hand.

Sports injuries, such as a direct blow to your shoulder on the field, rink or court.

Vehicle trauma from a car, motorcycle or bike accident.

Birth injury from passing through the birth canal.

Your collarbone doesn't harden completely until about age 20. This puts children and teenagers at higher risk of a broken collarbone. The risk decreases after age 20, but then rises again in older people as bone strength decreases with age.

TREATMENT

TREATMENT OPTIONS

NON-SURGICAL OPTIONS
Restricting the movement of any broken bone is critical to healing. To immobilize a broken collarbone, you'll likely need to wear an arm sling.

How long immobilization is needed depends on the severity of the injury. Bone union usually takes three to six weeks for children and six to 12 weeks for adults. A newborn's collarbone that breaks during delivery typically heals with only pain control and careful handling of the baby.

MEDICATIONS
To reduce pain and inflammation, your doctor might recommend an over-the-counter pain reliever. If you have severe pain, you might need a prescription medication that contains a narcotic for a few days.

THERAPY
Rehabilitation begins soon after initial treatment. In most cases, it's important to begin some motion to minimize stiffness in your shoulder while you're still wearing your sling. After your sling is removed, your doctor might recommend additional rehabilitation exercises or physical therapy to restore muscle strength, joint motion and flexibility.

SURGERY
Surgery might be required if the fractured collarbone has broken through your skin, is severely displaced or is in several pieces. Broken collarbone surgery usually includes placing fixation devices — plates, screws or rods — to maintain proper position of your bone during healing. Surgical complications, though rare, can include infection and lack of bone healing.

   DISCLAIMER:

  • All of the opinions expressed within the educational information delivered within the provided links are those of their authors and not necessarily those of either your treating doctor or CRO.

  • This site is for educational purposes only!!

  • Copyright Disclaimer under Section 107 of the copyright act 1976, allowance is made for fair use for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational, or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.