Disease: Broken collarbone


    A broken collarbone is a common injury, particularly in children and young adults. Your collarbone connects the upper part of your breastbone to your shoulder blade. Common causes of a broken collarbone include falls, sports injuries and trauma from traffic accidents. Infants can sometimes break their collarbones during the birth process.

    Seek prompt medical attention for a broken collarbone. Most heal well with ice, pain relievers, a sling, physical therapy and time. But a complicated break might require surgery to realign the broken bone and to implant plates, screws or rods into the bone to hold the bone in place during healing.

    Source: http://www.mayoclinic.com


    Signs and symptoms of a broken collarbone include:

    • Pain that increases with shoulder movement
    • Swelling
    • Tenderness
    • Bruising
    • A bulge on or near your shoulder
    • A grinding or crackling sound when you try to move your shoulder
    • Stiffness or inability to move your shoulder
    • Newborn children will often not move their arm for several days following a birth-related collarbone fracture.

    When to see a doctor

    If you notice signs or symptoms of a broken collarbone in you or your child, or if there's enough pain to prevent normal use, see a doctor right away. Delays in diagnosis and treatment can lead to poor healing.

    Source: http://www.mayoclinic.com


    Common causes of a broken collarbone include:

    • Falls, such as falling onto your shoulder or onto your outstretched hand.
    • Sports injuries, such as a direct blow to your shoulder on the field, rink or court.
    • Vehicle trauma from a car, motorcycle or bike accident.
    • Birth injury from passing through the birth canal.

    Source: http://www.mayoclinic.com


    During the physical exam, your doctor will inspect the affected area for tenderness, swelling, deformity or an open wound. X-rays determine the extent of a broken collarbone, pinpoint its location and determine if there's injury to the joints. Your doctor might also recommend a CT scan to get more-detailed images.

    Source: http://www.mayoclinic.com


    Most broken collarbones heal without difficulty. Complications, when they occur, might include:

    • Nerve or blood vessel injury. The jagged ends of a broken collarbone may injure nearby nerves and blood vessels. Seek immediate medical attention if you notice numbness or coldness in your arm or hand.
    • Poor or delayed healing. A severely broken collarbone might heal slowly or incompletely. Poor union of the bones during healing can shorten the bone.
    • A lump in the bone. As part of the healing process, the place where the bone knits together forms a bony lump. This lump is easy to see because it's close to the skin. Most lumps disappear over time, but some are permanent.
    • Osteoarthritis. A fracture that involves the joints that connect your collarbone to your shoulder blade or your breastbone might increase your risk of eventually developing arthritis in that joint.

    Source: http://www.mayoclinic.com

    Lifestyle and home remedies

    Applying ice to the affected area for 20 to 30 minutes every few hours during the first two to three days after a collarbone break can help control pain and swelling.

    Source: http://www.mayoclinic.com

    Risk factors

    Your collarbone doesn't harden completely until about age 20. This puts children and teenagers at higher risk of a broken collarbone. The risk decreases after age 20, but then rises again in older people as bone strength decreases with age.

    Source: http://www.mayoclinic.com

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