The collarbone also referred to as the clavicle, is one of the most commonly fractured bones in the body. It is located in the upper chest, just below the shoulder.
The clavicle plays an important role in shoulder movement and helps protect the underlying organs.
In this blog post, I will discuss collarbone fractures, including symptoms and treatment options.
How do I know If I have a collarbone fracture?
Collarbone fractures are usually the result of a fall or direct blow to the shoulder. The most common symptom is pain at the site of the injury. Other symptoms may include swelling, bruising, and difficulty moving the arm.
A clicking or grinding sensation may be felt with certain movements.
What should I do when a collarbone injury happens?
If your bones have fractured into two or more pieces, they may have migrated out of place, leading them to potentially heal incorrectly. The term for this is “malunion” and it may lead to longer-term problems which will need to be addressed with more complex surgery.
If you think you have fractured your collarbone, it is best to visit an orthopedic surgeon early.
What is the treatment for a collarbone fracture?
Treatment for a collarbone fracture will depend on the severity of the injury. For most fractures, rest, ice, and pain medication are sufficient. A sling may be utilized to reduce mobility.
More severe fractures may require surgery to realign the bone. In some cases, a metal plate or screw may be used to hold the bone in place during healing.
When should I see a doctor for my fractured collarbone?
If you have any of the symptoms listed above, it is important to see a doctor for an evaluation. A physical examination and X-ray will be used to confirm the diagnosis. Treatment can then be started to promote healing and reduce pain.
How long will it take to heal my collarbone fracture?
Most collarbone fractures will heal within six to eight weeks. However, some may take longer. It is important to follow your doctor’s instructions and attend all scheduled appointments for proper healing.
Collarbone fractures are not always easy to identify on your own. If you think you may have fractured your collarbone, it is important to see a doctor for an evaluation.
With proper treatment, most fractures will heal without complication. However, ignoring the injury can lead to long-term problems.
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact my office for an appointment. I would be happy to meet with you.