The following article on broken collarbone treatment will provide you some information about this condition along with the treating methods and recovery.
Collarbone is the bone that is right above your chest and is also called the clavicle. It is located between the sternum and the scapula. It is largely covered by skin. A broken collarbone is a common medical injury in babies, children, and athletes. It occurs due to an accident or fall. In this article, we shall learn more about broken collarbone treatment.
Broken clavicle is often seen in patients who fall over their outstretched hand. Sometimes, falling and hitting the shoulder also leads to this condition. In case of babies, they may fracture their soft bone during passage through the birth canal. It is important to understand the symptoms of this disorder to get immediate medical help.
The first and most common symptom is shoulder pain. Other symptoms include protruding fracture fragments through the skin. The patient will develop visible bruising and swelling. The patient will not use the arm at all, and hold it in an immobile position to help reduce the immense pain.
It is very important to seek immediate help. The typical treatment includes:
- The doctor will use a simple arm sling called the ‘figure-of-8’ splint to help make the arm immobile.
- The swelling is reduced by application of an ice pack on the affected part.
- Pain relievers, like aspirin, ibuprofen, acetaminophen, etc., may be advised to help alleviate the clavicle pain.
- The patient will be advised complete cessation of activity of the affected area to avoid aggravation of the injury and pain.
The healing process takes about 2 to 4 weeks in children and 4 to 8 weeks in adults. The sling is kept on during the entire healing process or as need be. The recovery time takes about 12 weeks, and the pain tends to subside within a few weeks. The doctor may recommend reduction in physical activities for the entire recovery time.
The doctor will advise one to carry out certain exercises, like simple range of motion exercises. This will help in building the strength and restoring the function of the affected area.
Most of the treatments include non-surgical processes. Surgery is required only in 5 to 10% of the cases. It is required in complications that include fracture at the lateral end. This increases the risk of non-union of the bone if the fracture is on the shaft. Other complications include open fracture, nervous and vascular trauma, non-union for over 3 to 4 months, etc.
Very rarely, a patient may have problems near the shoulder end of the clavicle. Such patients are referred to an orthopedic surgeon within 2 to 3 days of getting affected with this condition. The procedure will be carried out under general anesthesia. The most common technique is to fix the break with a plate and screws. Be sure to ask your surgeon to explain which technique he will be using, and its advantages and disadvantages.
You need to take care and prevent broken collarbone by avoiding falling on an outstretched arm. If you or someone you know suffers from a bone fracture, seek medical help immediately. I hope this article has helped you understand how to treat this disorder.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.