Broken Clavicle

(Collar Bone)

Broken Clavicle (Collar Bone) Overview

The clavicle or collar bone is one of the main shoulder bones. A clavicle break is a serious injury that requires medical treatment. An appointment with a Carolina Orthopaedic and Neurosurgical Associates’ (CONA) shoulder specialist should be made as soon as possible.

Symptoms & Causes

Clavicle break symptoms include:

  • A visible bony bump
  • Bruising
  • Difficulty raising the arm
  • Grinding when moving the arm
  • Pain
  • Shoulder sagging
  • Swelling
  • Tenderness

Common clavicle break causes are:

  • Direct blows to the shoulder
  • Falls
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Sports injuries

Common Treatments:

Nonsurgical treatment options treat most clavicle breaks. After a thorough evaluation, a CONA shoulder specialist may recommend:

  • Immobilization is a shoulder sling
  • Pain and anti-inflammatory medication
  • Physical therapy

Surgery may be recommended to treat severe clavicle breaks. During an open reduction internal fixation (ORIF), a CONA specialist aligns and fixates the clavicle.  

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