What is a Clavicle Fracture?

The clavicle is a long bone that connects the upper arm to the trunk of the body. When the clavicle, otherwise known as the “collarbone,” cracks or breaks, this injury is described as a clavicle fracture. During a clavicle fracture, bones may shift and place strain upon surrounding nerves and blood vessels. This fracture is very common in people of all ages. Located between the ribcage and shoulder blade, these fractures almost always occur due to a hard, direct blow to the area.

Causes

Although clavicle fractures may occur where the bone attaches to the ribcage or shoulder blade, the clavicle is most frequently broken in its middle. A clavicle fracture may be caused by:

  • Receiving a direct hit or blow to the shoulder
  • Experiencing an unexpected fall or a car crash
  • Landing on your hand or shoulder
  • An injury incurred during sports or at work
  • In babies, clavicle fractures can happen as birth injuries

Symptoms

Symptoms of a broken collarbone include:

  • Pain that increases with movement
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Tenderness
  • A protrusion on or near your shoulder
  • A grinding or cracking sound when you move your shoulder
  • Shoulder stiffness
  • One shoulder that sags considerably
  • Limited range of motion in one or both arms

The OrthoCARE Treatment Approach

If you suspect you may be suffering from a clavicle fracture, it is imperative that you seek immediate medical attention. Delaying treatment can prevent adequate healing and lead to chronic, long-term complications.

The experienced orthopedic experts at OrthoCARE Institute, a division of the vertically-integrated Lumin Health system, are dedicated to efficiently and compassionately diagnosing and correcting your fractured collarbone. We will carefully examine your injury to ensure that your clavicle fracture has not affected surrounding tissues and ligaments. Then, our team will create a personalized treatment plan to address your unique needs, physical state and the severity of your injury.

Sometimes, broken collarbones can heal without surgery if the shattered areas are properly aligned. Conservative treatments, such as arm support, medication, physical therapy and follow-up appointments to determine progress can be extremely effective. However, for patients with severe fractures, surgical treatment may be necessary.

Please call us directly at 972-573-7802 or fill out the form on our Contact Us page to learn more about clavicle fractures, OrthoCARE Institute and the advanced, individualized care we offer. We look forward to speaking with you and aiding in your seamless recovery!

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