Treatments for a clavicle fracture include arm support, medication and physical therapy for the nonsurgical options, with a follow-up by the doctor, states the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Surgical options involve holding the bone fragments in place with plates and screws or pins, followed by rehabilitation exercises.
The clavicle or collarbone is a long bone that lies between the ribcage and the shoulder blade, connecting the arm to the body, explains the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Since it is part of the shoulder, a direct blow to the shoulder, such as during a fall or in a car accident, sometimes causes the clavicle to break. A fractured clavicle is common among people of all ages.
Symptoms of a fractured clavicle include great pain, difficulty in moving the arm, a sagging shoulder, a grinding sensation when attempting to raise the arm and tenderness over the collarbone, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. In addition, there is a bump at the fracture site that becomes painful when gentle pressure is applied to the spot. Irrespective of whether the treatment for the fractured clavicle is surgical or nonsurgical, full recovery takes several months and much longer for those who smoke or chew tobacco or are diabetic. Once the fracture heals completely, the patient can return to regular activities such as sports.