Did you know that the clavicle (collarbone) takes the top spot on the list of the most commonly fractured bones in the body? This is due to its critical location, which makes the clavicle frequently exposed to trauma or force. Moreover, its middle-third segment, which is the thinnest and outermost part, does not have adequate muscular and ligamentous support.
The symptoms of a broken collarbone include swelling, pain that often worsens with shoulder movement, bruising, stiffness, tenderness, and obvious deformity or bulge on or near the shoulder. If you notice some of these symptoms, see your orthopedic doctor right away. Timely diagnosis and treatment are crucial for ensuring proper healing and reducing your risk for complications.
The information we’ve provided below is aimed at giving you a basic idea of how orthopedic doctors diagnose and treat clavicle fractures.
Your orthopedic doctor will first carry out a physical exam to assess the affected area for deformity, open wound, swelling, and/or tenderness. Your doctor will then order medical imaging (e.g., X-ray and/or CT scan) to help confirm a diagnosis and identify the type and exact location of the fracture.
Treatment Options for Clavicle Fractures
With the results of their evaluation in hand, your orthopedic doctor will determine the appropriate treatment for you.
If your doctor deems conservative treatment is all that is necessary to restore the normal function and mobility of your shoulder, they will likely recommend the following:
o Immobilization- To prevent further damage or complications and ensure proper healing, your orthopedic doctor may have you wear an arm sling to immobilize your collarbone. This also helps alleviate the pain and swelling.
o Pain Medication- Your orthopedic doctor may also prescribe anti-inflammatories to keep you comfortable as your injury heals.
o Physical Therapy- Your orthopedic doctor may also give you a referral to see a physical therapist. Your PT program will include a combination of patient education, therapeutic modalities, and guided exercises; geared toward helping you recover from your injury quickly and successfully.
If your collarbone has broken through your skin or is severely displaced, your orthopedic doctor will likely recommend surgery to place the broken pieces back into position, stabilize them, and facilitate proper healing.
Orthopedic Doctor Near Me in Maryland
At Greater Chesapeake Hand to Shoulder, our board-certified orthopedic surgeons, who are among the most trusted in Maryland, specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of the full range of upper-extremity problems. Should surgery be necessary for your injury or condition, you can count on our providers—with their expertise and sharp clinical acumen— to lead you to the best possible outcome.
Arrange your consultation with one of our orthopedic experts today! Contact our staff at (410) 296-6232. Alternatively, you may send an appointment request, and we will get back to you promptly to confirm your visit. We look forward to serving you at one of our locations: in Lutherville, Bel Air, Clarksville, Eldersburg, Pasadena, Westminster, or Pasadena, MD!