What can be done for a broken collarbone?

Broken collarbones are no laughing matter, except when they totally are. Whether you shattered your clavicle shredding the gnar in a skate park or clipped a fence while trying to chase down that neighborhood ice cream truck, there’s no denying that this particular injury is both painful and frustrating.

But fear not! In this article, we’ll take you through everything you need to know about broken collarbones – from what causes them in the first place and how they can be diagnosed to different treatment options and tips for recovery. So sit tight (or lie down if it hurts too much) and get ready for some collarbone 101!

What is a Broken Collarbone?

First things first – let’s start with the basics. The collarbone (otherwise known as the clavicle) is one of those bones that most people don’t really think about until something goes wrong. Located between the sternum (that flat bone in front of your chest) and your shoulder blade, your collarbone helps anchor your arm securely into its socket.

So what happens when it breaks? Well, depending on the severity of the break it can result in lots of pain (like duh) swelling, bruising(ouch), limited range-of-motion (can’t do any cool dance moves now)and even deformity at times( this part sucks) sometimes resulting in sunken skin above where fracture occurred which looks pretty gross but on hindsight quite fascinating ;).

The good news is there’s plenty you or someone who has damaged their poor clavicle can do to speed up their recovery time

How Does One Break Their Clavicle?

Now here comes the fun part- It doesn’t take much effort Ok maybe just slight effort but certainly less than bench pressing 200kg to break one’s collabone; like most things, it can happen in a variety of ways. Some common causes include:

  • A fall onto the shoulder (I bet you didn’t see that coming)
  • Direct impact to the clavicle (well yes, hitting your collar bone with something may certainly cause injury)
  • An awkward landing while participating on a childish trampoline(sighs…such fun activities)

In other words, if your shoulder does anything it’s not supposed to do- like pop out, bruise easily or feels weird then you’re embarking on broken collarbone territory.

Diagnosing a Broken Collarbone

Now comes an exciting bit! How exactly does one determine if their collarbone is indeed broken? Good question! Here are some signs and symptoms to look out for (which I am sure will make most people squirm):

  • Pain around the clavicle
  • Swelling or tenderness near where neck and shoulders meet
  • Limited range-of-motion in the affected arm/ should especially above 90 degrees(angle) trust me even lifting fork hurts
  • Bruising or discoloration (known as ecchymosis)

If any of these symptoms sound familiar following an incident or for unknown reasons, consulting with Athletic nurse might be necessary.

Usually diagnosis involves taking an x-ray; which highlights how many pieces there are(whether completely snapped,some pieces still attached etc), fracture location along lengthwise axis(collaege students grab that anatomy book); but In rare cases when X-rays don’t reveal clear results needling tests such as MRI’s maybe used(also great options force patients who have claustrophobia).

Treatment Options For Broken Collarbones

So once it’s official that the collabone has indeed given way..the next questions arises.Exactly how does one heal said bones(or at least start towards healing)? The good news is there many effective treatments available! Here are some of the most common:

1. Rest and Ice

Although ice may not make everything better it can definitely help in reducing inflammation, offloading pain as well as keeping injury site cool hence,it good for night sweats.Head over to your local sports store to get yourself one of those fancy cold-therapy pads or simply grab a bag filled with ice cubes wrapped by cloth and apply over collarbone.Do this every hour for 20 minutes at a time.(Pain when removing is reminder that pain has more dominion over you than you had thought) So remember folks “Patience” is key

2.Sleeping comfortably

It’s no secret sleeping is already hard enough without a broken bone.Parents have been using myths like suppressing feathers underneath our pillows so we don’t end up having bad dreams. I mean seriously how on earth was that ever supposed to work?!.Now collabone sufferers might want to know resting properly can actually lead towards being optimal posture while asleep.The key here would be trying out new positions albeit futile attempts will sometimes result (for instance attempting sleep on stomach could be mistaken for plasticine dough figurine).

3.Medications(Not herbal stuff)

Ah! Yes, medication those handy little white pills which we resort too whenever we feel low;well these must stay prescription-based if anything,because only doctor know exactly what doses are right.So taking helped along side other practices helps manage symptoms and potentially keeps swelling from getting worse. Some commonly used drugs include (Don’t pop ‘em all at once,pills need supervision) :

  • Over-the-counter painkillers(in safe amounts!) such as ibuprofen and naproxen
  • Prescription-only narcotics(for cases where level of damage in question requires controlled intake,
    do not turn into Lil Wayne,you ain’t got nothing planned)
  • Depending upon severity,might require injections directly around injury.

Remember don’t go playing house doctor on yourself- check with health provider for managing pain points through medication.


This here is where you draw a line, the point of no return:when non surgical intervention doesn’t work,on rare cases surgery begins to call the shots.

For some severe collarbone fractures, Surgery maybe considered as last resort;Doctors would usually recommend operation when broken shoulder bone badly displaced(basically they need to tinker around your inner mechanics).There’re plenty surgeries available but most common one must be open reduction and internal fixation.ORIF basically involves reconnecting damaged bones using screws or plates(so eat calcium rich food)

Tips for Recovering from a Broken Collarbone

Yes yes injury is unfortunate….but how does one come out all jazzed up after suffering from it? While recovery time varies based completely upon severity,and any other additional complications however there’s lot patients can do themselves in order get boost their healing journey.Let’s dive right into them( if though your arm hurts now)

Exercise routinely

Not possible anymoregasp.Understandable really given clavicle discomfort exercise schedule might have gone topsy-turvy.But doing mobility drills even while still recovering ;such as exercises that stimulate blood flow, range-of-motion and strength around injured area.There are tons of rehab focused workouts nowadays geared towards varying injures like these so worth checking out.

Eat appropriately

Hello Mr/Mrs Calcium, Fiber,Iron keeps our friend. Want what almost every single athlete swears by? Air-dried beef jerky.Yes honestly!Devour those greens as well kale,Yellos vegetables,(cross promotion-Iphone fans) red apples(not going away meme). Whatever promotes quick ideal body balance towards best agility post injury.as These nutrients vital building blocks repairing damaged tissues;

Some great nutritional substitutes:

Nutrient Examples
Iron Red meat, lean pultry,various seafoods(especially Halibut),legumes(e.g.lentils adds dough to your noodles!) & more!
Calcium Broccoli,Tofu,Spinach,bread(sometimes mashed up and on a plate) sea-food
Fiber Beans(such versatility!),whole-wheat bread,pasta(avoids feeling bloated lest you forget injury);Quinoa ,fruits etc.

Get good sleep

Yawn Everyone knows importance of good night’s rest in general but it’s important for injuries as well .When we fall asleep our body magically kicks into repairing function(in short during this time because most muscle movement reduced..).Making sure enough hours logged means keeping energy levels at optimal levels when body is combating fatal collapses.

Avoiding smoking! (Or Drinking)

Yes with all the pain going out like water downstrainspatients may feel inclined towards taking little pleasure(drinking and/or smoking) atleast temporarily till “everything’s back to normal.” Well that patient would be better off waiting longer for everything completely heals from within.Smoking hinders collagen productions which mean slows bone repair;while drinking distracts patients from sticking their recovery routine leading towards missing crucial rehab weeks.

Follow Physical Therapist’s Orders

Not unlike visits to dentists…physical therapist should regularly maintain informed monitors on healing journeys.Treat such visit with serious care.Loosen-up even seek advice where necessary(as in what extra drills can work upon improving arm mobility),This trust could help along journey over tough threshold moments by clearer updates regarding progress made.

When Can One Return To The Real World?

We want nothing else than imagine healed collarbone ready show-off(R.I.P football career)but anytime soon??Realistically doctor note shouldn’t remain main incentives while determining safe getting back into daily routine.activities.Straightforward fractures usually take anywhere between 6-12 weeks to hourglass out so think about that. At least six-week healing process which can then lead towards gradual increase strength exercises to help regain control over the affected arm.Semi-collaege students usually find themselves pressured by academic stresses and it almost alweays at times prolongs recovery periods;if necessary, consult with your university concerning additional help given accreditation…after all we’re stronger when leaning on shoulders of friends or family.

Next Steps

So there you have it folks- everything you need to know about broken collarbones(and maybe more than needed).While recovering is painful,it’s important not just being patient ,it doesn’t mean ceasing efforts where others can be made in helping fractured areas reach optimal potential again.So trust recommended physical therapist routines, get enough rest,eat healthy(beef jerky here I come)and most of all keep faith.

Just keep looking forward to getting back into mainstay world talents even if left-handed for a while(can’t hurt developing those carpal-tunnel writing hand muscles either ha ha).

Disclaimer:This article’s purpose is solely based off information gathered from studies and researched material.It may differ diagnosis or treatment plans specific cases.So please, kindly refer with licensed medical professional before taking any action mentioned herein.