Collarbone Fracture Treatment & Clavicle Surgery | Midwest Orthopedic Specialty Hospital

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Collarbone Fracture Treatment

The collarbone, or clavicle, is a part of the shoulder structure, connecting to both the sternum and the shoulder joint. Because your clavicle is somewhat exposed and not greatly padded, you have a fair chance of suffering a collarbone fracture in a traumatic injury. It is not only a common sports injury, but can also occur in a car accident, a fall from a bike, a blow to the shoulder or a fall.

Older people with bones that have been weakened by osteoporosis can have a greater chance of suffering a collarbone fracture even without falling. Fractured collarbones are also the most frequent type of fracture in children and adolescents. In fact, babies can suffer collarbone fractures during difficult births. Despite its commonality, with the proper collarbone fracture treatment from our orthopedic specialists, you can experience tremendous pain relief.

Fractured Collarbone Symptoms

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Hearing a snapping sound upon impact
  • Slumping forward of the shoulder
  • Bruising
  • Limited range of motion of shoulder
  • Bump under the skin along the clavicle

Fractured Collarbone Diagnosis

Your Midwest Orthopedic Specialty Hospital doctor will ask you about your physical history and about the injury that preceded your visit. In addition to assessing the above symptoms, checking for nerve damage and listening to your lungs, your doctor will order an X-ray. Occasionally, you might undergo an MRI to ensure soft tissue damage didn’t occur.

Collarbone Fracture Treatment Options

Non-Surgical Treatment

In order to control pain, it's initially helpful to keep the shoulder immobilized, typically in a sling. Adults will typically wear the sling for seven to ten days at which time they made be placed into a clavicle fracture brace that allows for motion of the arms as tolerated by the patient. Kids heal much faster from fractured collarbones.

Pain relief is also a priority, and your doctor will recommend a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory pain reliever such as ibuprofen or naproxen. A fractured collarbone might call for stronger pain medicine. Icing will help reduce swelling and pain.

Clavicle Surgery

Surgical repair of a fractured collarbone is rare. Clavicle surgery is necessary when there is a compound fracture that has broken through the skin, if the bone is severely out of place, or if there are other combined injuries that would require collarbone fixation. It typically involves fixing the fractured collarbone with plates and screws or rods inside the bone.