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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Collarbone Fracture: Treatment & Monitoring
      Category : Health Centers > Bones, Joints, and Muscles

Collarbone Fracture

Alternate Names : Clavicle Fracture, Broken Collarbone

Collarbone Fracture | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

What are the treatments for the condition?

Minor to moderate injury may require "RICE" therapy:

  • R = rest or reduced activity
  • I = ice or cold packs applied to the shoulder, for 15 minutes every 2 hours
  • C = compression of the affected area, such as with a special splint called a figure-of-8 splint or a sling
  • E = elevation of the shoulder or affected arm
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, also called NSAIDs, may be recommended to reduce inflammation and discomfort. Examples of NSAIDs are ibuprofen and naproxen.

    After a few days to weeks, the initial pain and swelling will begin to subside, and the bone will start to heal. At this time, physical therapy or strength training exercises may help to increase the strength of the tendons and muscles. Ultrasound may also be used to warm the muscles and improve blood flow.

    If conservative treatment is not successful, surgery may be needed. Sometimes, a bone graft may be needed to promote healing.

    What are the side effects of the treatments?

    There may be stomach upset, ulcers, or an allergic reaction to NSAIDs. Splints or slings can cause muscle tightening as well as skin irritation. Treatments that require surgery pose a risk of bleeding, infection, and allergic reaction to anesthesia.

    What happens after treatment for the condition?

    In some situations, no further treatment is needed. Physical therapy and daily exercises may be advised to strengthen the muscles and help the bone continue to heal. Complete recovery from the fracture may take several months.

    How is the condition monitored?

    Any new or worsening symptoms should be reported to the doctor.

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    Collarbone Fracture: Prevention & Expectations


    Author: Eileen McLaughlin, RN, BSN
    Reviewer: Adam Brochert, MD
    Date Reviewed: 07/05/01

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