A clavicle fracture is a common injury to the shoulder. It is usually due to trauma in a younger individual. Clavicle fractures are among the most common broken bone injuries.
Most common injury is a fall from a bicycle.
- Pain at the clavicle
- Obvious deformity at clavicle
- Bruising and swelling
- Grinding, clicking or popping at the clavicle
Most often, clavicle fractures are not badly displaced, and will heal with simple management in sling. It is not possible to cast these fractures.
In more severe or badly displaced fractures, surgery may be necessary. In surgery, the fracture pieces are put back together and held in position with a plate and screws.
Wear your sling at all times except showering and getting dressed. Ice the shoulder for the first week, at least 2 times a day for 20 minutes to decrease swelling and inflammation. Squeeze a ball 3-5 times a day to keep strength in your hand and decrease swelling. You may still use your hand to type and write as tolerated.
How long will it take to heal?
Your age and health do affect your healing rate. It will take anywhere between 4 and 12 weeks to heal. Smoking or drinking alcohol in excess may increase your healing time. Make sure you are getting protein and calcium in your diet or you will need to supplement.