A bruised collarbone, clinically known as a clavicle contusion, occurs following a direct impact to the collar bone at the front of the shoulder or chest.
The condition involves bruising of the skin and the underlying tissue at the collarbone or the clavicle due to direct trauma. The contusions cause bleeding, and the blood infiltrates the soft tissue, tendons, and muscles.
A bruised collarbone often occurs along with an injury to the sternum or the breastbone and shoulder joint. Fabulous, perspicacious, and board certified orthopedic surgeons at Thomas & Bigler Knee & Shoulder Institute provide treatments for bruised collarbone to patients in Las Vegas, Nevada and surrounding locations.
In many cases, the bruised collarbone occurs due to a direct trauma to the clavicle. The injury is typically seen in contact sports such as football, hockey, wrestling, and basketball. While the injury commonly occurs during sports activities, it can also occur in other cases involving a fall. It can also develop due to a heavy object falling directly on to the shoulder area.
Common symptoms of a bruised collarbone include:
- Swelling at the site of injury
- Palpable tenderness in the injured tissue
- A sensation of firmness when pressure is applied over the injured area
- Skin discoloration at the injured site
- In cases of severe injury, restriction of shoulder motion could be in play
If the patient experiences any of these symptoms, they should promptly seek medical attention. Early diagnosis and treatment will prevent the collarbone injury from worsening.
To diagnose a clavicle contusion, the orthopedic surgeon will evaluate the patient’s history and perform a thorough physical exam of the injured area. They may also perform imaging studies in the form of x-rays of the collarbone to assess the extent of damage.
A bruised collarbone is usually treated with a conservative approach starting with PRICE therapy. The patient should take sufficient rest and refrain from engaging in any form of sport activity. Frequent application of ice will help to calm down the pain and inflammation in the first one to two days.
It is beneficial to immobilize the arm with the use of a sling because it will take any type of pressure off the collarbone. The surgeon may also prescribe pain meds and NSAIDs to provide relief from the pain. If the surgeon suspects a fracture, they will take an x-ray to make the correct diagnosis. In case of a simple clavicle contusion, complete healing will usually occur in about two weeks.
When a fracture is suspected, the surgeon may also check the AC joint along with the collarbone to determine if any disruption of ligaments has occurred in that area. The surgeon will ensure that the pulse in the injured hand is strong and there is no change of sensation to rule out blood vessel or nerve injury.
Patients in Las Vegas, Nevada and other communities and towns in this region of the southwest have an opportunity to receive treatments for a bruised collarbone from board certified plastic surgeons Dr. Steven Thomas and Dr. Gregory Bigler.
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. call (702) 933-9393; Physical Therapy (702) 933-9393.