Clavicular fracture or also called broken collarbone is a very common injury especially amongst cyclist. It is also common amongst individuals who participate in contact sports such as football, martial arts as well as motor racing.
Clavicle fractures are among the most common broken bone whenever a patient falls on an outstretched hand, either from a cycling or motor vehicle accident or in sports. The severity of the fracture will determine the recommended treatment, and how long it will take for the patient to recover.
The vast majority of these fractures can be treated conservatively, although some of them may need to be reset to improve the alignment of the bones. Those that are severely displaced an involving the dominant hand, requiring early mobilization maybe considered suitable candidates for surgery
What are the types of Clavicle Fractures
Clavicle Fractures are classified as :
Middle third – By far, the most common
Symptoms of Clavicle Fractures
Patients present with pain, swelling and deformity over the shoulder region. This injury, can be associated with neurovascular , pulmonary and cardiac conditions. A careful neurological examination should be performed to exclude any associated brachial plexus injury.
Vascular assessment of the arm and pulses of both arms should be performed as the subclavian artery runs close to the clavicular bone.
heard during the injury
All fractures should be assessed according to the Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) principles to ensure associated and potentially significant injuries are excluded.
How is Clavicle Fracture diagnosed
Standard anterior/ posterior view
CT scan – to look for tracheal impingement or any occult fractures
Treatments of Clavicle Fractures
Conservative Treatment Options
The conservative treatments include:
- Treatment of the underlying conditions with and arm sling or collar and cuff
- Used for 4-6 weeks
- Avoid activities that tend to worsen the symptoms
- Medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and steroid injections
- Physiotherapy to strengthen the arm and hand muscles once symptoms diminish
Surgery- Open Reduction and Internal Fixation of the Fracture
Patients may take up to 3 months to recover
Can a Clavicular Fracture heal on its own?
In many cases, minimally displaced or undisplaced fractures don’t require surgery because the broken ends usually stay close together. This makes it easier for your clavicle fracture to heal on its own. However, you’ll still need to wear an arm sling, to keep your arm from moving and stabilize your shoulder, if needed.
If you are facing any any shoulder pain or you suspect a clavicular issue that you wish to resolve, please do not hesitate to contact our team at Spire Orthopaedics. Book a consultation session with us if you have any questions for our Doctor.