A fall onto an outstretched arm, a shoulder, or a direct blow to the clavicle are the usual causes of a fractured clavicle. Depending on the severity of the fracture, a broken clavicle may be treated through nonsurgical methods. Usually, only very severe fractures require surgery for successful treatment.
Marin Orthopedics & Sports Medicine offers evaluation and treatment for a variety of bone injuries, including broken clavicles. The clavicle, also known as the collarbone, lies very close to the skin, which means fractures are often visible to the naked eye. Our orthopedic and sports medicine specialists will be happy to help you find a treatment plan that works for your condition and lifestyle.
Nonoperative Clavicle Treatment
Most of the time, the best treatment for collarbone injuries is rest and support from a sling or splint. Often a figure-eight splint is used to support the clavicle and stabilize the injury while it heals. Gentle exercises may also be prescribed to preserve your range of motion and ensure that your shoulder is functional and strong once your collarbone heals.
The amount of time it takes for the bone to heal completely can vary depending on the complexity and location of the break. The age and health of the patient can also affect healing time, but in general, two to six weeks in the sling is enough for the initial healing to take place. It’s still important to be careful with the bone after this period — athletes in contact sports and other individuals may need to wait as long as three months before resuming sports or other arm-intensive work without restriction.
Surgical Clavicle Treatment
Surgical treatment may be necessary if the break is very severe, such as a bone that has fractured into multiple pieces. Breaks with low chances of reunion or proper healing or fractures that penetrate the skin usually require surgical treatment.
The goal of surgery for a collarbone injury is to stabilize the bone using an ergonomically shaped steel or titanium plate, which will secure the bone in place using tiny biocompatible screws. Your particular injury will largely determine the exact details of your procedure.
Bone Injury Treatment in Marin County, CA
If you experience a broken collarbone, the team at Marin Orthopedics is here to help. Your doctor will be able to help you find a treatment plan that includes pain management, rehabilitation, and more. We work with patients of all ages and activity levels. For more information, feel free to give our office a call at (415) 492-1600.