A broken collarbone, also known as a clavicle fracture, is a very common injury among adults. This type of fracture causes severe pain and can make it difficult to move your shoulder and arm since the break happens between the upper part of your breastbone and shoulder blade.
Treatments for a broken collarbone range from nonsurgical to surgical methods, depending on the severity of the break. Generally, here’s what you can expect from broken collarbone treatment.
Nonsurgical Treatment for Broken Collarbone
When it comes to collarbone fractures, it’s risky to hazard a guess as to the severity of the bone break on your own. If your bones have broken into two or more pieces and have moved out of place, they may heal improperly, which is called a malunion. A malunion can cause long-term issues and often has to be addressed with complex surgery.
Therefore, if you are seeing symptoms of a broken collarbone, such as pain, redness, swelling, tenderness, bruising, feeling a bulge, or hearing a sound when moving your shoulder, it’s best to see a doctor as soon as possible. To accurately assess the severity of the injury, image-guided diagnostics, such as X-rays, will need to be used. Once it is determined how serious your injury is, your doctor will recommend the appropriate treatment.
Most collarbone fractures can be treated using nonsurgical treatments, such as rest, ice, pain relievers, and using a sling, provided that the fracture is not a complete fracture that moved pieces of bone out of place.
Surgical Treatment for Broken Collarbone
For severe collarbone fractures in which the bone has broken into several pieces, an orthopedic surgeon will need to perform procedure called an open reduction and internal fixation to realign the bones and fix them with plates, screws, or rods. This will help the bone heal properly and in an aligned position as well as prevent the development of malunions. Depending on the surgeon and your specific injury, your surgeon may remove the hardware once your bone has healed. Along with surgical treatment is regular monitoring of your healing using X-rays to ensure that you are healing properly and that there are no signs of complications.
For mild to severe collarbone fractures, whether it requires nonsurgical or surgical treatment, one thing is consistent — physical therapy. With immobilization comes shoulder and arm weakness, stiffness, and inflexibility. Once your bone heals, physical therapy exercises can begin to restore your strength and range of motion.
Treatment and Rehabilitation for Broken Collarbone in North Dakota
If you suspect a broken collarbone, the orthopedic surgeons at The Bone & Joint Center have the specialized training and experience necessary to treat simple and compound fractures, including broken collarbone injuries.
Our orthopedic surgeons are board-certified and fellowship-trained in elbow and shoulder surgery. Once your bone has healed, we will get you started on physical rehabilitation, so that you can return to normal as soon as possible.
To schedule an appointment with our surgeons, call The Bone & Joint Center at (701) 946-7400 or (866) 900-8650 or request an appointment now.