The collarbone, or clavicle, is a long bone that runs horizontally between the top of the breastbone (sternum) and the shoulder blade (scapula). Due to its location and function, the collarbone is prone to injuries, especially fractures. Collarbone injuries can be painful and may significantly impact an individual’s ability to move their arm and shoulder.
At Alliance Orthopedics, we understand the challenges posed by collarbone injuries. Our dedicated team is committed to providing comprehensive care to help patients recover and regain full function of their shoulder and arm.
Causes of Collarbone Injuries
Collarbone injuries can result from various events, including:
- Falls: Landing on the side of the arm or shoulder can exert pressure on the collarbone, leading to fractures or other injuries.
- Sports injuries: Direct blows to the shoulder, common in sports like football, hockey, or rugby, can cause collarbone injuries.
- Vehicle accidents: The impact from car or motorcycle accidents can lead to trauma to the collarbone.
Engaging in certain activities or having certain conditions can increase the likelihood of sustaining a collarbone injury:
- Sports: Athletes, especially those involved in contact sports or activities with a risk of falling, are at a higher risk.
- Osteoporosis: Individuals with weakened bones due to conditions like osteoporosis are at a higher risk of fractures.
Symptoms of a Collarbone Injury
The symptoms of a collarbone injury can vary based on the severity and type of injury but often include:
- Pain or tenderness over the collarbone
- Swelling or bruising
- Difficulty or inability to lift the arm due to pain
- A grinding sensation when trying to raise the arm
- A visible deformity or bump in the collarbone area
Diagnosing a Collarbone Injury
At Alliance Orthopedics, our approach to diagnosing a collarbone injury begins with a thorough discussion about the symptoms and the events leading to the injury. A physical examination will follow, where our specialists assess any deformities, swelling, or tenderness in the collarbone area.
To confirm the diagnosis and determine the injury’s extent, we may recommend imaging tests such as X-rays or CT scans.
The treatment for a collarbone injury depends on the nature and severity of the injury:
- Rest and Immobilization: Using a sling to keep the arm and shoulder in place, allowing the collarbone to heal.
- Physical therapy: Once the bone starts healing, targeted exercises can restore strength and flexibility to the shoulder.
- Surgery: In cases of displaced fractures or if the bone fragments pierce the skin, surgical intervention might be necessary.
Recovery and Rehabilitation
Recovering from a collarbone injury requires patience and adherence to the treatment plan. It’s essential to avoid activities that might strain the healing bone. Regular follow-up appointments will monitor the healing process, and physical therapy will play a crucial role in regaining full function of the arm and shoulder.
At Alliance Orthopedics, our commitment is to provide world-class care for collarbone injuries. We aim to guide patients through the recovery process, ensuring a swift and safe return to their daily activities and sports.