A clavicle (collarbone) fracture occurs in the middle of the bone. Though fractures might have a bend, they usually heal well, and the bones would rest themselves in the proper position with enough time and rest.
This type of injury is generally treated with a supportive arm sling for about four to six weeks. This reduces your child’s shoulder movement and minimizes their discomfort.
Let’s find out all you need to know about this type of injury.
Signs Of A Broken Collarbone
When a Clavicle Fracture occurs, your child might likely experience a lot of pain and will have problems moving their arm without causing more pain.
Additionally, your child might have pains or numbness if the arm nerves are injured, bleeding when the bone causes damage to the skin or tissue, skin bruising, and tenderness or swelling around the injured area.
Treatment For Broken Collarbone
Broken collarbone treatments usually depend on the injury’s severity and type. There are benefits and risks to both surgical and non-surgical treatments. However, it would be best if you spoke with your doctor to get professional input.
1. Surgical treatment
When the fractured collarbone is fragmented, the fracture could occur in several places or be badly aligned so that surgery might be recommended. In such cases, the treatment can involve:
- Repositioning the collarbone.
- Metal plates or metal screws Or using screws and pins alone to hold down the bone in its place so it heals.
- Undergoing X-rays to monitor healing.
- Wearing a sling after the surgery for arm immobilization for some weeks.
- Using painkillers as the doctor prescribes after the surgery.
Usually, the screws and pins will be removed when the bone heals. But, metal plates are not usually removed till an irritation of the overlying skin. Also, there might be surgical complications like bone healing issues, infection, lung injury, and irritation from the hardware inserted.
2. Non-surgical or conservative treatment
With non-surgical treatment, you can expect several things. So let’s find out some.
● Pain Medication
The doctor might prescribe over-the-counter drugs like acetaminophen, naproxen, or ibuprofen.
● Arm Support
The doctor will immobilize your child’s injured arm in a wrap or sling to ensure the one is kept in place. You must restrict your child’s movement until the bone heals.
Recovery Of Broken Collarbone
A broken collarbone usually takes three to six weeks for children to heal, while it might take about six to eight weeks for adults. The healing time is typically dependent on the individual fracture.
Within the first three weeks, ensure your child does not move strenuously or lift his hands above shoulder level. When the bone is healed, you can conduct physical therapy to get the shoulder and arm back to their normal functions. This might take weeks.
Broken collar bones are common orthopaedic injuries that can affect any age group. Usually, doctors treat most of these injuries with non-surgical means like a simple sling. However, surgical treatment might benefit when the injury is badly displaced.
There are, however, treatment options. So it would be best if you always discussed with your doctor the advantages and disadvantages of the treatment method.