In continuing the series I have been doing I thought I should move a little further up the body – so I decided that my next two part series is going to be about clavicle fractures. As usual I will explain exactly what it is, the different kinds, and the signs and symptoms so that you are able to recognize if this has happened to you (or if it happens in the future).
What is Clavicle Fracture?
The clavicle (collarbone) is found on the front of the shoulder and connects the arm to the body by a joint at the sternum, or breast bone (the sterno-clavicular joint), and by a joint at the scapula, or shoulder blade (the acromio-clavicular joint). The clavicle helps stabilize the shoulder during movement, and helps to protect nerves and blood vessels underneath the shoulder.
A clavicle fracture is most often caused by trauma like a direct hit to the shoulder or a fall, and is most often happens to males under the age of 20 who participate in competitive organized sports. Side note: clavicle fractures actually become more common for women in general with age, and less likely for men. They are a very common shoulder injury, and make up about 4% of all fractures and 35% of all shoulder injuries specifically.
Clavicle fractures are classified according to the place where the bone is broken.
Clavicle fracture happen in three places…
– Middle of the bone (75% – 80% of all clavicle fractures)
– Lateral-end (15% – 25% of all clavicle fractures)
– Medial-end (5% of all clavicle fractures)
Clavicle fractures are classified as…
– Nondisplaced. The pieces of the fractured bone stay lined up.
– Displaced. The 2 parts of the fractured bone do not line up.
– Comminuted. Splinters or multiple small pieces of bone are found at the fracture site. Sometimes the fracture fragments can pierce the skin which causes a compound fracture.
Do you have a clavicle fracture?
With any injury the most important thing is to be able to recognize when it has happened to you, so please read the following carefully and commit it to memory in case it ever happens to you (or someone you know).
– Pain is usually felt in the area of the clavicle.
– Inability to lift the arm.
– Grinding sensation when you move.
– A bump at the injured area.
If you have recently fallen – or been injured in a sporting event – and fear that you have suffered a clavicle fracture it is important to seek medical attention immediately. A physical therapist can help you determine if this is indeed what happened to you and help you start the proper course of treatment. Of course if there is ever any kind of bone piercing your skin you need to get to an emergency room immediately.
Of course we are happy to help anyone in need so if you don’t currently have a physical therapist please do not hesitate to give us a call. We can be reached at 201-585-7300, or you can fill out our contact us form online.