The collarbone, or clavicle, is one of the most commonly broken bones, and about 5% of all fractures affect it. It is usually the result of a fall onto an outstretched arm or a direct impact on the shoulder. This condition can lead to long-term pain, stiffness, and loss of function in the shoulder area when left untreated.
Fortunately, many treatment options are available for a broken collarbone. Here are some of your options:
If you break your collarbone, the first thing you should do is rest. Avoid activities that may put additional strain on the affected area.
Also, don’t forget to monitor your pain level. If the pain worsens or physical activity becomes too difficult, it’s best to stop and rest.
During recovery, refrain from doing the following:
- Lifting heavy objects
- Doing activities that involve repetitive movements, such as running
- Participating in contact sports
Ice And Heat Packs
Ice or heat packs may help reduce pain and swelling caused by a broken collarbone. Place ice packs on the affected area for 15 minutes, up to four times a day.
As for heat packs, use warm, moist towels and apply them to the injured collarbone for 15 minutes at a time.
Be careful when using either of these methods, as an improper application may lead to further injury.
Over-the-counter pain medications such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen can help reduce pain associated with a broken collarbone. However, only take them after consulting your doctor.
If over-the-counter options fail to provide relief, your doctor might prescribe more potent alternatives.
Your doctor may recommend using a sling or brace to keep your arm in the correct position and immobilize it. That will help reduce the pain associated with movement and promote the healing of the collarbone.
Wear your splint or sling as your doctor recommends, even while sleeping.
Your doctor may also recommend physical therapy to help you regain strength and mobility. Standard exercises for a broken collarbone include stretching, range of motion exercises, and strengthening activities.
Your therapist will consider your condition and adjust the program accordingly. They will also help you start with light exercises and gradually increase the intensity as you heal.
Aside from physical activities, your therapist may use other modalities to help you recover. That includes the following:
- Ultrasound therapy – produces sound waves that penetrate deep into the affected area, providing heat and improving blood circulation.
- Electrical stimulation – uses small electrical currents to reduce pain and inflammation.
- Traction – involves a pulley system to gently pull the affected area, helping reduce pain and improve mobility.
In some cases, surgery may be necessary to fix a broken collarbone. There are several surgical techniques used to treat this condition. The type of procedure your doctor recommends will depend on the severity of the fracture.
Surgery may involve using metal plates and screws to hold the broken pieces of the collarbone in place. Your surgeon may also remove any loose fragments.
Follow your doctor’s instructions carefully before and after surgery to ensure a successful recovery.
When To See An Orthopedic Doctor
If you’ve broken your collarbone, it’s best to see an orthopedic doctor immediately.
They can assess the severity of your injury and recommend the best course of treatment for you. They may also refer you to a physical therapist or specialist if needed.
When seeking medical care for a broken collarbone, it’s best to get in touch with your doctor as soon as possible. That will ensure accurate diagnosis, prompt treatment, and a smooth recovery.
Broken Collarbone Treatment Near You In San Antonio, TX
Follow your doctor’s instructions carefully, no matter how you treat your broken collarbone. Some of your options include rest, using ice and heat packs, medications, immobilization, physical therapy, or surgery. You can recover from a broken collarbone quickly and safely with an adequate care plan. Keep your doctor informed of any changes in symptoms, and don’t hesitate to call them if you have any questions.
Do you need broken collarbone treatment near you in San Antonio? You can trust the Center for Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine. Our trained and experienced healthcare providers are excited to give you the comprehensive care you need. You may call our helpful staff at (210) 692-7400 to learn about our compassionate services. You may also submit an online form to request a visit with the best orthopedic surgeons in San Antonio.
We look forward to helping you live a pain-free life!