Fracture of Collarbone (Clavicle)
The collarbone (clavicle) runs along the front of the shoulder down to the breastbone or sternum at the front of the chest. A fracture of the collarbone is fairly common compared to other shoulder fractures (see Shoulder Fractures) and is often the result of falling onto an outstretched arm or onto the shoulder itself.
The bone often fractures in it’s middle third and as a result the pain can be acute. In many cases, the outer part of the bone can be pushed down with the inside part displaced upwards.
A distal clavicle fracture where the bone breaks nearer the shoulder at the acromioclavicular joint occurs in 10-20% of injuries. These fractures can take longer to heal and are more prone to long-term difficulties.
Symptoms of a fracture to the collarbone include swelling around the middle of the collarbone, a lump under the skin and a limited painful range of motion in the shoulder.
A fractured or broken collarbone is a common injury, particularly in children and young adults. Causes include falling, contact sports injuries, trauma from road accidents such as cycling or falling from a motorbike, and collision. In some cases.
Most fractured collarbones heal well by with analgesia and initial rest in a sling, you may require physiotherapy afterwards. However, a more complex break may require surgery to realign the broken bones, and in this case a plate and screws is used in order to hold the collarbone in place for it to heal.