Clavicle Fractures
Wednesday, January 7, 2009

One of the most common orthopedic injuries is a broken clavicle. In todayís 60 Second Housecall, Dr. Edward Hill tells us more about these injuries.

The clavicle, or collarbone, is the bone that runs from your shoulder to your breastbone. A clavicle fracture is a crack or break in this bone. It can happen if you fall on your shoulder or get hit directly on the bone.

Shoulder pain and difficulty with arm mobility are typical with a broken clavicle injury. Swelling and bruising around the broken bone are also quite common.

You may need to wear an arm sling for several weeks to stop your arm from pulling on the broken bone. The sling rests on the opposite shoulder and supports the weight of your arm on the injured side. This pulls your shoulders back to help the bone heal in the right position. If the injury is more serious, you may need surgery.

Clavicle fractures should heal completely within 12 weeks, but the pain usually subsides within a few weeks. Often patients are back to full activities before 12 weeks has passed, especially with younger patients.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Iím Dr. Edward Hill.