Located above the top of the chest between the sternum and scapula, and very close to the skin, the “S”-shaped collarbone, that allows freedom of movement of the arms, is one of the most frequently fractured bones in the human body with breaks often occurring after falls, car crashes, while playing contact sports, especially football and hockey, or from direct blows to the clavical.
With young children accounting for a large percentage of collarbone injuries including newborns who may be harmed during the birthing process, and toddlers because of their tendencies to fall, several symptoms may indicate injuries or breaks of the collarbone have occurred including such things as pain, difficulty of movement of the affected limb, bruising, swelling, dizziness, slumping of the injured shoulder, abnormal collarbone contours, and nausea, and if the bone does not properly heal the patient may suffer from pain for the rest of their life. Patients may also notice a persistent bump for several months where the fracture was located but it should not be bothersome to them and normal activities can usually be resumed as soon as they no longer cause significant pain.
Typically detected by x-rays fractured collarbone treatment options may include resting the injured arm, braces, “figure-of-8” slings, physical therapies, bandages, pain medications, range of motion exercises, and surgeries, and fractured collarbones should heal on their own within three months of the injury.
Possibly involving using a plate and screws to hold the ends of the broken bone together while they heal surgeries for broken collarbones may be performed if an “open fracture” results where the ends of the bone come through the skin, if the break occurs near the A/C joint, if the bones do not grow back together on their own, or if closed reduction procedures become necessary.
Muscles and Ligaments:
Major muscles and ligaments attached to the collarbones include the trapezius muscles that support the arms, the deltoid muscles, a frequent site for vaccines and intra-muscular injections, the subclavious muscles that form part of the underarms, the pectoralis major muscles that provide the bulk of chest muscles, the sternohyoid muscles that depress the hyoid bones, the sternocleidomastoid muscles that flex and rotate the neck, the levator claviculae muscles that lift the clavical, the conoid ligaments that support and strengthen the shoulder joints, and the trapezoid ligaments that attach to the inferior surfaces of the collarbones.
Additional information about fractured collarbones may be obtained by contacting:
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
1 AMS Circle
Bethesda, Maryland 20892-3675
National Rehabilitation Information Center
4200 Forbes Boulevard
Lanham, Maryland 20706-4342
This Article was compiled from several websites that provide much more information about fractured collarbones including: