The clavicle bone is also known as a collarbone that connects your arms to your body. It is in the horizontal shape between your breastbone and shoulder blades. However, broken collarbones are common, especially in children. It occurs due to several reasons including:
- Sport injuries
- A major accident in the past
- Birth injury
Your collarbone is thinnest and has a lack of support from muscles and ligaments. Thus, it is more vulnerable to injury.
A broken collarbone is common for children between the age of 15 and 24 years. But in people, more than 65 years of age, broken collarbone is more common in females than males. While each fracture is different, it mostly occurs in the middle part of the collarbone.
What Are The Symptoms Of Broken Collarbone?
When you have a clavicle fracture, you may experience a lot of pain in your arm and may struggle to move your arm. You may also have:
- Unable to move the shoulder
- A bump over the break
- Cracking sound when moving your arm
- Forward sagging of the shoulder
- Tenderness, etc.
If you notice the above signs in your child, it is wise to consult the doctor right away. Any delays in the diagnosis and treatment can make the situation worse.
Diagnosis Of A Broken Collarbone
When you first visit your professional doctor, he/she will ask you about the injury. They will also examine your shoulder by moving your arms, hands, and fingers.
Depending on the fracture, the practitioner will also examine whether the nerve or blood vessels are also damaged. Your doctor may also suggest an X-ray to get a deeper insight into whether the collarbone is broken or not.
How To Treat Clavicle Fracture?
Clavicle injury can be of different types, and depending on your condition, your practitioner will suggest the treatment. There are surgical and nonsurgical treatment options available, but it is wise to discuss them with the practitioner in detail before you undergo any treatment.
Some of the non-surgical treatments include:
- Arm support – Your doctor will suggest you wear a clavicle strap to keep the bone in place.
- Medications – Your doctor may suggest you some OTC (Over-The-Counter) products to alleviate the pain.
- Ice – Ice packs can help you get rid of the pain for the first few days.
- Physical therapy – The doctor will prescribe you some exercises to keep your body moving and speed up the healing process.
During the diagnosis, if your doctor finds out that the collarbone is broken, then they may suggest you undergo surgery. In the surgical process, your doctor will insert the pins and screws to hold the bone in place. Once your bone is healed, pins and screws will be removed.
You may also experience some post-surgery complications, such as swelling, irritation from the inserted hardware, infection, etc. You can consult your doctor whenever you experience these symptoms.
Most doctors say that not every fracture requires surgical treatment. However, each case is unique. It is wise to consult a professional doctor if you or your child is having pain in the collarbone. The doctor will properly diagnose the issue and suggest the best treatment for this problem.