Clavicle Fracture (Broken Collarbone): Causes, Symptoms & Treatments

It takes a lot to break a bone in the body and the collarbone is no different. A collarbone fracture can be quite painful and it takes a lot of force, in general, to break the bone that is one of the major ones in your shoulder area. Learning what the causes, symptoms and treatment options for a clavicle fracture can help you to understand what will happen if this injury occurs to you or your loved one.

Causes and Symptoms

How do you break your collarbone? Typically, the clavicle fracture is caused by a direct hit to the bone such as in sports like football, hockey, or even wrestling. It may also happen during a bad fall or car accident. You’ll find that in most cases those who suffer from this type of fracture most are males between the ages of 13 and 20.

The symptoms of a clavicle fracture vary in intensity and type. Most times the person suffering with this injury will find immediate pain in the affected area, there will be a grinding noise when the arm is moved or tried to be lifted, and an inability to lift the arm because of the pain you have.

Treatment Options

Most collarbone fractures will heal themselves with time. In some cases, however, surgery is needed to repair the injury before the patient can go home. In cases where surgery is needed, you will be in a sling for around six weeks after surgery. Most cases are simply treated with a certain type of sling to keep the bone in place and refrain the patient from moving the arm too much until the fracture is healed. The sling is usually worn for a length of three to four weeks. The doctor may suggest you start doing some small movements and exercises immediately to help with the healing process. Strengthening exercises will come in later during the process so that you do not reinjure the shoulder area before it has had a chance to heal.

For those who are dealing with huge amounts of pain, over the counter remedies typically help reduce it long enough to relax and get some rest. Your doctor may prescribe something before you leave to start with to help get through the first few days.

If your collarbone fracture is severe and your younger in age, then surgery may be recommended. If not, then you will most likely leave the hospital with a sling to immobilize the bone and help you to recover.