A clavicle fracture is a break in the clavicle bone (also called the collarbone). It connects the sternum (breastplate) to the shoulder.
The clavicle can fracture in 3 different places:
- Middle third—the middle portion of the clavicle, which is the most common site for a clavicle fracture
- Distal third—the end of the clavicle connecting to the shoulder
- Medial third—the end of the clavicle connecting to the sternum
|Distal Third Clavicle Fracture|
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A risk factor is something that increases your chance of getting a disease, condition, or injury.
- Increased age, because of the increased risk of falling
- Certain congenital bone conditions
- Participating in contact sports
- Large newborns have a higher risk of fracture during birth
Treatment will depend on the severity of the injury. Treatment may involve:
- Putting the pieces of the bone back in position, which may sometimes require anesthesia and more rarely surgery
- Keeping the pieces together while the bone heals itself
- Newborns and most children do not usually need to have the pieces of the bone put back in position unless the broken ends are very far apart
Brace or Sling
Most clavicle fractures can be treated either with a figure-of-eight strap, which is wrapped around the body and the shoulders, or with the arm in a sling. These devices help hold the shoulder in place while the clavicle heals. The doctor may prescribe pain medication.
Surgery may rarely be needed to set the bone. The doctor may insert pins or a plate and screws in the bone to hold it in place while it heals. A sling or figure-of-eight strap will be needed while you heal.
A physical therapist can help with shoulder range-of-motion and strengthening exercises.
- A child may heal as quickly as 3-4 weeks.
- An adolescent may take 6-8 weeks to heal.
- An adult may require 8-10 weeks to heal.
- A lump at the fracture site may persist for years.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
Edits to original content made by Denver Health.
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a (Broken Collarbone)
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