The clavicle, also known as the collar bone, is an S-shaped bone that connects to the sternum
The clavicle, also known as the collar bone, is an S-shaped bone that connects to the sternum medially and to the scapula laterally. Traditionally, clavicle fractures (collar bone fractures) were managed conservatively, and still are in cases where the fracture is nondisplaced or minimally displaced. However, more recent studies have shown that operative intervention may allow patients to return to activities more quickly with less pain during recovery and better outcome overall. Without surgery, a clavicle malunion may form and is usually the result of clavicle shortening and displacement. A malunion can potentially alter the kinematics of the scapula, leading to scapular dyskinesis and malrotation. Studies have shown that clavicular malunion in skeletally mature patients causes decrease in strength and velocity with certain movements of the upper arm, and it is thought that this may be true in adolescent patients as well.
Plain x-rays are used to evaluate the clavicle fracture and assess the fracture pattern, displacement, angulation, comminution, and shortening. After the fracture is assessed, appropriate management is decided upon by your surgeon. Typically, pediatric clavicle fractures with little displacement and minimal shortening can be treated nonsurgically by immobilizing the arm in a sling for 4 weeks. After that point the patient can begin range of motion exercises and will generally be ready to return to full activities 8-12 weeks after the fracture.
Every patient receives an in-depth consultation to devise a treatment plan that is right for their problem. Our specialists prefer non-operative and non-invasive treatments whenever possible, including physical therapy, medications, and/or injections. When we require surgery, we will then use minimally invasive surgical techniques to fix your problem, whether it is fixing a broken bone or repairing a tendon. Our goal is always to get you back to living your life normally as soon as possible.