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clavicle fracture

A broken or fractured collarbone (clavicle) often occurs as a result of falls onto the shoulder. Prompt treatment is important to prevent further damage.

Image by Harlie Raethel

A fracture of the clavicle, or collarbone, occurs when this bone breaks due to trauma or stress. The most common causes of a clavicle fracture are falls onto the arm or shoulder, sports injuries, and car accidents.


Clavicle fractures are typically diagnosed through a physical examination and imaging tests such as X-rays. X-rays help determine the location and severity of the fracture.


The treatment of clavicle fractures depends on the severity of the fracture. For a non-displaced fracture, where the bones are not displaced from their normal position, conservative treatment with pain medication and immobilization of the arm and shoulder using a sling or brace may be sufficient.

For a displaced fracture, where the bones are displaced, or for severe fractures, surgery may be necessary. During surgery, screws, wires, or plates may be used to hold the bones in the correct position and promote healing.


After treatment, rehabilitation is necessary to strengthen the shoulder and arm and improve mobility. This can be achieved through physiotherapy exercises and activities to improve arm and shoulder function and reduce pain. Typically, it takes several weeks to months to achieve full recovery.

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