Clavicle fractures often happen when the collarbone experiences forceful pressure from hard falls, sports injuries, and car accidents. In these types of injuries, the collarbone can crack in one place or break into several pieces.
After a clavicle fracture, intense pain and tenderness will be felt in the shoulder, making it difficult to move the arm. Upon impact, a snapping or grinding noise may be experienced. The shoulder may also slump downward or forward because the bone is no longer able to support it. Bruising, swelling, and numbness are also possible.
If a clavicle fracture has occurred, it is important to seek immediate medical attention. A physician will be able to assess symptoms and examine the area for factors such as disfigurement, swelling, and bruising. X-rays will also be used to determine the extent of the injury.
Clavicle fractures are often treated with a sling and medications to help with pain. Once the bone heals, physical therapy may help the arm regain strength and range of motion. In severe injuries where the collarbone has shifted out of position, surgery may be required.