Clavicle fractures are quite common, accounting for 2-10% of all fractures. Your clavicle (collarbone) also forms part of your shoulder joint, so a fracture often affects your arm and shoulder movement. Brent J. Morris, MD, in Lexington, Kentucky, offers comprehensive care for clavicle fractures, restoring bone alignment and monitoring your treatment to support optimal healing. If you need treatment for a broken collarbone, call the office to schedule a prompt appointment.
The clavicle is your collarbone, the long bone that connects your breastbone with your shoulder blade and forms part of your shoulder joint. Though this type of fracture often happens during a sports accident, especially contact sports, anyone can sustain a broken collarbone.
You may fall on your shoulder, suffer a direct blow to the bone, or sustain a fracture during a traumatic event such as a car accident. Children often break their clavicle at the playground, and a baby’s clavicle can easily break during delivery.
A broken clavicle causes symptoms such as:
You should always seek immediate medical care for a fracture. In the case of a fractured clavicle, prompt attention is essential if your skin is pushed outward by a bony piece.
The collarbone is close to blood vessels and a network of nerves that send signals to your hand, arm, and shoulder. In addition to getting prompt treatment for your broken bone, it’s important to have an evaluation to be sure the nerves and blood vessels weren’t damaged.
Dr. Morris performs X-rays of the clavicle and may order images of your entire shoulder to be sure the joint wasn’t damaged during the injury. If the ends of the broken bone are still in their normal position, you may only need a sling to immobilize your arm and shoulder while the bone heals.
When the broken bones are out of place, Dr. Morris performs surgery to restore their normal position and hold them while the break heals. During this procedure, called open reduction and internal fixation, Dr. Morris uses hardware such as plates and screws to hold the bones in their normal alignment.
After the fracture heals, the hardware may stay in place unless it causes discomfort. Straps from backpacks, purses, and seatbelts may cause irritation by rubbing against the hardware. If that happens, Dr. Morris can remove the metal pieces.
You perform simple exercises to maintain arm motion while your clavicle heals. As soon as the fracture heals, Dr. Morris clears you to start physical therapy so you can relieve stiffness and restore muscle strength and arm movement.
If you suffer a broken clavicle, call Brent J. Morris, MD.