Clavicle fracture (Broken Collarbone)

Quick Facts
Carmen Lobitz
Clavicle fracture (Broken Collarbone) – Quick Facts
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Where is the clavicle and how can it fracture? The clavicle is the only bone connecting the bones of the arm to the rest of the skeleton. It is located between the sternum and the acromion. A fracture of the clavicle, also called a broken collarbone, is one of the most frequently occurring bone fractures. This is especially common amongst people in their 30s, caused by sports and traffic accidents.

Most often a fall onto the outstretched hand or onto the shoulder is the cause of a clavicle fracture, thus, an indirect trauma. Horse riding and cycling pose an especially high risk of fracture due to the increased height and speed from which one falls. In very rare cases, the clavicle of a baby can break during a difficult birth.

How to diagnose and treat a fractured clavicle?

Clavicula fractures are often quite painful. Typically, the pain increases with arm or shoulder movements. Sometimes, the fracture is even visible from the outside or one can hear fragments grinding against each another. Bruises and swelling appear above the break.

After the initial diagnosis, an X-ray in two levels is conducted. In most cases this is sufficient. A CT may be advisable when the fracture occurred…

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