Treating a Broken Collarbone

Posted by Signature Medical Group on Thursday, March 2, 2017 in Orthopedics

One of the most common type of fractures in our bodies is the collarbone (clavicle), connecting your breastbone and shoulder.

A broken collarbone is often caused by a high energy injury, such as a motor vehicle accident or contact sports collision. Fractures typically cause severe pain, swelling, and bruising at the site.

At Signature Medical Group, our orthopedic and sports medicine specialists offer several nonsurgical options to treat the fracture.

The collarbone is attached to your shoulder blade (scapula). These bones hold your arms in place and help them move. Shoulder blade fractures are much less common. Without treatment, either injury can lead to chronic shoulder problems.

A collarbone doesn’t harden fully until about age 20. As a result, children and teenagers can easily suffer fractures. A baby’s collarbone may fracture during birth. Shoulder blades rarely break. When they do, it’s often the result of violent trauma, such as a car crash.

The symptoms of a fractured collarbone or shoulder blade include:

  • Extreme pain when you move your arm.
  • A shoulder that sags down and forward.
  • A bump over the fracture site.
  • A grinding feeling and extreme pain when you try to lift your arm.
  • Bone protruding from skin, or “tenting” of skin at the fracture site.

Your Signature Medical Group doctor can often treat both types of fractures with an arm sling. The sling holds the bone in place and keeps it from moving during healing. Your doctor may also instruct you to do special exercises to help improve strength and range of motion in your shoulder. Occasionally, surgery is recommended to realign the fracture or hold it in place so that it can heal properly.

At Signature, we'll give you expert care in all injuries related to the shoulder, arm, hand and wrist. Our orthopedic specialists also treat ailments related to your legs, knees, hips, back and neck.

You can often see us the same day you make an appointment. And we offer convenient hours at night and on weekends. Make an appointment today to see one of our specialists.