How Long Does It Take For A Broken Collarbone To Heal? Treatment For Clavicle Fractures
Damaged Your Collarbone Recently?
Collarbone injuries are quite common, especially in persons under 25 and athletes. Close to 64 per 100,000 collarbone injuries happen each year. Men are twice as likely as women to experience a fracture. The collarbone or clavicle is the bridge-like bone that connects the breast bone to the shoulder. When fractured or broken, this bone can severely impact the range of motion in the shoulder and arm.
Signs of a broken bridge
Clavicles get fractured relatively frequently. If someone falls on the shoulder, the force can create a break at either the sternum, joint, or midpoint. Signs of a collarbone fracture include pain, stiffness, and swelling. Persons will also get tenderness, bruising, and bulging on or near the shoulder. Snapping or cracking in the shoulder area is another indicator of a fracture. More importantly, someone with a broken clavicle will have difficulty raising the arm or moving the shoulder.
The surprising way to treat clavicle fractures
Anyone suspecting a broken collarbone should see a doctor right away. Doctors can treat most cases non-surgically, especially mid shaft breaks. Healing of a fractured collarbone requires immobilization. The length of the immobilization period depends on the gravity of the injury. Doctors will outfit a sling or figure-of-eight bandage, depending on the location of the break. Cold therapy using ice packs can help reduce swelling. Furthermore, over-the-counter medication and NSAIDs can be used for pain management.
Going under the knife
Physical therapy generally occurs soon after the initial treatment to minimize long-term stiffness and discomfort during the healing process. After the removal of a sling, additional rehabilitation can restore flexibility and muscle strength. For more severe breaks, like bones broken through the skin, or severe displacement, surgery is required. The surgeon will need to put the damaged bone back in place. The surgeon then uses a combination of screws, plates, and rods to hold the bone in place. Based on the injury, the surgeon will advise on which type of surgery will be best. There will be a follow-up session to remove the material.
Bridging the collarbone gap
Once the patient gets the proper treatment, the healing process can start. Complications are rare and may include infection or improper healing. On the bright side, collarbone breaks heal quite quickly. Age and the extent of damage determine the speed of healing. Typically, children heal in 3-6 weeks. Adults, however, range from 4-12 weeks. With the right care, medication, and physical therapy, persons should be back to normal in no time.
Act quickly for quick healing
Doctors can treat most clavicle fractures without surgery. The most significant goals would be to keep the bone in place and to manage pain. If done right, collarbones don't take long to heal, compared to other fractures. In as little as 4 weeks, the splint can be removed. Anyone experiencing a fall, injury, or collision and suspecting a fractured collarbone should see a doctor immediately.
No. Because anesthesia is required for surgeries, we cannot let anyone drive themselves home following a procedure. We ask that you arrange for a family member or close friend to drive you to and from the facility on the day of your appointment. You also need a responsible adult to stay with you for 24 hours after receiving anesthesia.
Our fees cover the use of the facility only. Facility fees do not include laboratory, pathology, surgeon, anesthesiologist or certified nurse anesthetist fees, nor does it include the cost of any implants used for your surgery. You will be billed separately for these fees.
Yes. Before surgery, you and your anesthesia provider will sit down to discuss your medical history and review the anesthesia plan; this is when you’ll be able to voice all of your questions and concerns. Feel free to call our admissions nurse if you have concerns that should be addressed prior to the day of surgery.
No. Your physician, along with the other medical service providers, including anesthesia, radiology or pathology specialists, who use this facility are independent contractors. Because these individuals are not employed by our facility, we are not responsible or liable for their acts or omissions.