Fractures of the collar bone (Clavicle) can occur at any age and are usual as a result of a fall or accident. Some fractures can be managed in a broad arm sling while some fractures of the clavicle require surgery.
Trauma Surgeons at Victorian Bone and Joint Specialists will assess your injury and organise x-rays and scans if required. If surgery is needed, our specialists will help guide you through the process as a successful outcome will require recovery and rehabilitation often with physiotherapists close to your home location in Melbourne.
A simple crack in the bone, while painful, will normally heal well. For children, surgery can nearly always be avoidable due to the amazing healing potential of this bone. If surgery is not required for your clavicle fracture then surgeons at Victorian Bone and Joint Specialists may organise for a sling to help hold the shoulder high and in place. Follow up x-rays will normally be required.
A broad arm sling is fitted, this holds the weight of the arm allowing the clavicle to heal.
If the broken bone has moved too much or if the fracture is unstable or causing issues with the skin, then surgery to lock the bone back in place may be the best option. Your surgeon at Bone and Joint will discuss this with you.
Fractured Clavicle bone
Surgery to hold the bone in place
Once fixed, you can begin to gently move the shoulder under the instruction of your surgeon. Placing weight through the arm will depend on the type of fracture you have and how it has been fixed.
There are risks with surgery. These include infection, delayed healing or no healing of the bone. Because the collar bone is so close to the skin, surgery to remove plate and screws maybe required once the bone has healed. Damage to nerve or blood vessels may have occurred as a result of the injury or when fixing the fracture. Great care is taken during your surgery to ensure all of the important structures such large veins and arteries to the arm and the lungs are protected as best as possible. Damage to these structures could cause serious injury or even death. Your surgeon will discuss these risks with you at your consultation.