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Health Information For Teens
Your collarbone (or clavicle) is the bone that runs horizontally between the top of your breastbone (
) and shoulder blade (scapula). You can feel your collarbone by touching the area between your neck and your shoulder. A broken collarbone, also called a clavicle fracture, is when this bone breaks.
Falling hard on a shoulder or an outstretched arm can cause a broken collarbone.
These fractures are common in contact sports like football, wrestling, rugby, lacrosse, and hockey. They also can happen in sports where there is a chance of falling hard, such as biking, skiing, snowboarding, and skateboarding.
A collarbone also can break in a car crash or if someone is hit by a car.
Someone who breaks a collarbone may have:
To diagnose a collarbone fracture, a health care provider will:
Most broken collarbones heal with ice, arm support, pain medicine, and exercises. The arm is supported either by a sling or a shoulder immobilizer. A shoulder immobilizer is like a sling but it also has a strap that goes around the waist.
While the collarbone heals:
For about the first 4–6 weeks:
Call your health care provider if your pain or swelling gets worse.
Even if the broken bones aren’t perfectly lined up, the body usually can make them straight again. That’s because the collarbone has a thick periosteum (outer layer of the bone). The collarbone periosteum doesn’t usually break, so it acts like a sleeve to hold the bone together while it heals. Rarely, the doctor might recommend surgery if the broken bones are very out of line.
Sometimes while the broken collarbone heals, there is a bump where the bone was broken. Sometimes the bump doesn’t fully go away. But it doesn’t hurt or cause other problems with the arm or shoulder.
Your health care provider will see you again and let you know when it’s OK to go back to sports. This is usually when:
Because collarbone fractures happen suddenly and unexpectedly, it can be hard to prevent them. But to decrease your risk:
Most broken collarbones heal quickly and completely. Within a few months, you should be back to doing all the things you enjoyed before the injury.
Bones are tough stuff – but even tough stuff can break. Find out what happens when a bone fractures.
Broken bones have an amazing ability to heal. New bone forms within a few weeks of the injury, although full healing can take longer.
A broken bone requires emergency medical care. Here’s what to do.
You practiced hard and made sure you wore protective gear, but you still got hurt. Read this article to find out how to take care of sports injuries – and how to avoid getting them.
Football is a lot of fun, but since the name of the game is to hit somebody, injuries are common. To keep things as safe as possible, follow these tips.
The sun is shining – why not dust off your bike and go for a ride? Before you hit the trail, though, read these tips on the right type of bike and gear you will need.
Snowboarding is a great way to have fun, but it can also present some very real dangers. Follow these safety tips to learn how to stay safe on the slopes.
Skateboarding is undeniably cool, but it’s also easy to get hurt. Keep it safe while skateboarding with these safety tips.
There’s a lot to love about skiing, but it can also present some very real dangers. Follow these tips to stay safe on the slopes.
As fun as it is, ice hockey carries a very real risk of injury. To find out how to stay as safe as possible, follow these tips.
This site has tips on things like preparing for a new season, handling sports pressure, staying motivated, and dealing with injuries.
When everyone’s moving so fast and using sticks to sling a solid rubber ball around, injuries are bound to happen in lacrosse. Here’s how to avoid them.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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