Modern Medicine: Collar Bone fractures


A “fracture” is the interruption of a bone’s wholeness. A crack or a break in a bone is the same as a fracture. There are many different types of fractures:

Open or compound fracture: the fracture site is open to air because one end of the bone has broken through the skin.

Closed fracture: neither end of the bone has broken through the skin.

Complete fracture: the broken bone is completely separated at the break.

Incomplete fracture: the broken bone is not completely separated at the break.

Transverse fracture: a straight break across the bone.

Spiral fracture or oblique fracture: usually caused by sudden, violent, rotating movements, such as twisting the leg during a fall. Footballers can get this type of fracture.

Segmental fracture: caused from the three point bending mechanism of fracture.

Comminuted fracture: there are more than two fragments of bone at the fracture.

Compression fracture: the break occurs because of extreme pressure on the bone

Impacted fracture: the broken ends are driven into each other.

Avulsion fracture: the breaking force has been applied in such a way that the tendon pulls a portion of the bone away from where the tendon is normally attached.

Pathological fracture: the fracture occurs in a bone that is weakened or damaged by disease. (Bone mineral disease, metabolic disease and bone metastasis).

Torus fracture or a greenstick or ripple fracture: on one side of the bone. Always a children’s fracture. (Because of high elasticity and thick covering of children’s bones).

Stress fracture: microscopic fractures caused by repeated jarring and overuse of a bone. Joggers without good jogging shoes can get stress fractures. Soldiers can get “March fractures.”

Fractures can be displaced meaning the bone has shifted its position.

Fracture of the Clavicle (Collar Bone)?

Your clavicle connects the scapula bone in your shoulder to your sternum in your chest. Its function is to hold the shoulder upward and backward and maintain the shoulder anatomy.

Clavicle fractures are among the most common bone injuries. A break in the clavicle is usually a closed fracture that normally takes about 6-12 weeks to heal in an adult, 4-6 weeks in a child.

Surgery is rarely needed.

Clavicle fracture causes

At the time of birth, the clavicle may fracture during passage through the birth canal. The fracture is frequently not diagnosed until the healing bone callus is noticed as a hard lump. At this time it needs no treatment and the lump will disappear as the child grows, called the remodeling process.

Accidents such as falls against the shoulder or on an outstretched hand are the most common cause of fractures of the clavicle. These fractures are common with motorcycle riders landing on the shoulder.

Sometimes, a blow from a blunt object or a collision of some sort can cause the clavicle to break.

Symptoms of a Fracture of the Clavicle




Deformity or a “bump” at the site of the fracture

Internal bleeding

If asked to lift their arm, patients cannot do so without extreme pain.

Treatment of a Fracture of the Clavicle

The goal of treating broken bones is to set them in the correct position, making them whole again.

A broken clavicle usually requires a simple arm sling to be worn for about 6 weeks. Children with broken clavicles are often equipped with a figure-8 clavicle strap that keeps their clavicle immobilized until it heals, which is usually 3-to-4 weeks. Most adults with the fracture will use a figure-8 splint or strap and will probably sleep in a chair or in bed with extra pillows because the fracture takes a week or two to get sufficient healing and it’s important to not roll onto the bone while sleeping.

Your doctor will examine the fracture site for neurovascular damage and take x-rays of the injured area, including the joints above and below the primary injury site. He or she will ask for details about how the injury occurred, and will need to know about any previous fractured bones.

Healing is considered complete when there is no motion at the fracture site and x-rays reveal complete bone union.

Patients with broken clavicles will usually be able to mobilize their shoulders after three weeks of immobilization.

And in the future don’t fall!