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Clavicle Fracture
(Broken Collarbone)


The collarbone is known as the clavicle. It connects the ribcage (sternum) and the shoulder blade (scapula). Injuries are most commonly caused by a direct blow and are common in all age groups.

Symptoms

Symptoms of a clavicle fracture include pain, deformity, bruising, and inability to lift the arm.

Evaluation & Treatment

Evaluation begins with a history of the injury, physical examination, and X-rays. Attention is paid to ensure the integrity of the skin over the break.

Treatment of a clavicle fracture depends on location, patient age, and amount of displacement. Most clavicle fractures can be treated without surgery. An arm sling is used in this case for immobilization for 6 weeks. In cases with significant displacement surgical fixation is considered. In these cases a plate and screws are used to align the bones in the correct position. After surgery a sling is worn for 6 weeks with regular x-ray follow up and most people return to regular activities within 3 months of their injury.