Broken Collarbone Treatment
Broken collarbone or a clavicle fracture is one of the most common fractures. It usually occurs after the individual suffers a serious accident or fall. Most collarbones heal with the help of a sling. However, surgical treatments may be required in certain rare and serious cases where the bone has moved too far out to heal without medical intervention.
Thomas & Bigler Knee and Shoulder Institute, led by board certified orthopedic surgeons Dr. Steven C. Thomas and Dr. Gregory T. Bigler, provides orthopedic surgery to patients in Las Vegas, Nevada, while also serving areas such as greater Pahrump, Bullhead City, Lake Havasu, and Mesquite, NV.
Understanding Broken Collarbones
Collarbones can break at any age. Almost 5% of adult fractures are broken collarbones. These fractures can be as severe as a full break or something minor like a slight crack. There can be comminuted fracture as well, which refers to multiple breaks.
Car accidents, hard falls and other things can cause the collarbone to break. Babies can suffer from broken collarbones while passing through the birthing canal. Middle portion of the bone is where most fractures take place. The bone may also break at the shoulder blade or where it meets the ribcage in certain rare cases.
The severity of your fracture will determine if the broken bones line up out of place or straight. Out of place healing or displaced fracture is a sign of serious fracture.
Treatments and Procedures for Broken Collarbone
Your orthopedic surgeon will recommend a surgery where the fracture is severe. This normally entails placing the broken pieces back into the correct position. This can help ensure you regain your lost strength.
Open reduction and internal fixation is a common procedure for treating broken collarbones. Fragments or pieces are positioned in place and held together using special metal hardware. These are a few options for internal fixation:
- Plates and screws: Metal plates and surgical screws are used for holding the bone fragments in place. They are then attached to the bone’s outer surface. You may experience slight numbness, which will go away after a few weeks. Plates and screws are rarely removed unless they cause discomfort.
- Pins or screws: Pins and screws can be used to hold the fracture in place once the bone ends have been repositioned. Pins and screws tend to irritate the skin and are usually removed on healing.
Your surgeon will suggest non-prescription medications and ice packs to help with the pain following surgery. You may be prescribed a prescription strength pain killer as well for a few days if the pain is severe or persistent. You should understand that rehabilitation is necessary for complete restoration and recovery of your shoulder.
Your surgeon will discuss whether you require home therapies or not. They may recommend a professional therapist as well to help you recover quickly. You will be advised to start off slowly with the physiotherapy exercises. Don’t hesitate to stop completely if there is pain or discomfort. You should also speak with your surgeon about persistent pain.
Orthopedic surgeons Dr. Thomas and Dr. Bigler receive patients from Las Vegas, Nevada as well as greater Pahrump, Bullhead City, Lake Havasu, and Mesquite, NV for orthopedic surgery.
Contact Board Certified Surgeons Dr. Bigler or Dr. Thomas at the Knee and Shoulder Institute in Las Vegas, NV to Schedule an Appointment:
If you would like to schedule an appointment or learn more about the Knee and Shoulder Institute procedures & treatments performed by Las Vegas, Nevada board-certified surgeons Steven C. Thomas, MD and Gregory T. Bigler, MD. Contact the office today click here.
Serving patients from and around greater Las Vegas, Lake Havasu, Bullhead City, Mesquite, Pahrump, Nevada