This is a common injury, which usually happens due to thefall onto the shoulder, which is particularly common among sportsmen, or due tosome trauma. It occurs in children and adults equally, and it definitely requiresimmediate medical attention.
How is broken collarbone treated?
Apart from the symptoms that indicate that the collarbone isprobably broken, the doctor will have to order X-rays in order to get theinsight into the extent and the exact location. Also, in this way it is possibleto determine whether the joints are injured as well. In cases in which moredetailed images are necessary, CT scan will have to be performed. Once it hasbeen determined whether the fracture is open, closed, displayed or combined andonce the location of the fracture is determined, the doctor can suggest the righttreatment.
The treatment of collarbone fractures which are not serious includes immobilization and medications which relieve the pain and reduce inflammation. Ifpain is too severe, the doctors prescribe narcotics. Immobilization is aninevitable part, because the movement of any broken bone has to be restricted. Otherwise,the process of healing can be disrupted and the condition might complicatebecause the bones will not heal properly if they move. This is why an arm slingis the best solution, while it is very likely that the person in question willhave to wear the so-called figure-eight strap as well. For how long thecollarbone will have to be immobilized depends on the severity of the case, butthe average time is six weeks for children and twelve weeks for adults. Surgeryis necessary in severe cases in which the broken bone has penetrated throughthe skin or it is severely displaced. Cases in which the bone is broken into morethan two pieces also calls for surgery, and screws, rods or some other fixationdevices will have to be placed.
Rehabilitation is also a part of the treatment, and it takesplace after the initial treatment. Since stiffness will probably be presentbecause of wearing a sling, the person will have to begin with some movementsin order to minimize this problem. When the sling is removed, additionalexercises of physical therapy are usually suggested so that the patient regainsthe strength of the muscles primarily, and then to improve flexibility andrange of motion of the joint in question.
It happens that the baby’s collarbone is broken duringdelivery, but these cases usually do not require any treatment because thebones heal on their own. Still, it is necessary to handle the baby carefully.