Collarbone Fracture

Understanding the Collarbone

The collarbone, also known as the clavicle, is a long, thin bone that connects the breastbone to the shoulder blades. It is responsible for keeping the shoulder and arms away from the sternum and thoracic cage, allowing for a full range of motion. Collarbone fractures are common, accounting for 2.6% to 4.0% of all fractures.


Collarbone fractures can occur due to various reasons, including:

  • Direct impact on the collarbone, such as a fall or a blow to the shoulder.
  • Falling hard on the hand or arm, which transfers the force of the impact to the collarbone, causing it to snap.
  • Falling off a bicycle.


A broken collarbone can be pretty obvious, with symptoms such as:

  • Pain and swelling.
  • Trouble moving the arm and shoulder.
  • A grinding feeling when trying to raise the arm.
  • Sagging in the shoulder.
  • A bump around the area of the break.


If you suspect a broken collarbone, it is crucial to seek immediate medical attention. A healthcare provider will perform a physical exam and order X-rays to confirm the break and determine the severity of the injury. In some cases, a CT scan may be necessary for a more detailed image.


Most collarbone fractures can heal on their own with proper care and treatment. Treatment options include:

  • A splint or brace to keep the shoulder from moving.
  • A sling for the arm, which may be used for a few days.
  • Anti-inflammatory painkillers, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen, to ease pain and reduce swelling.
  • Range-of-motion and strengthening exercises.
  • An ice pack on the broken bone for 15-20 minutes every few hours to ease pain and reduce swelling.

In rare cases, surgery may be necessary to mend a collarbone fracture, especially when ligaments are damaged.


The recovery time for a broken collarbone can vary depending on the age and overall health of the individual. In general, it can take 4-5 weeks for young children, 6-8 weeks for older kids, and 10-12 weeks or longer for adults and teens who have stopped growing.


While collarbone fractures can be challenging to prevent, taking precautions can help reduce the risk of injury. These include:

  • Wearing protective gear when playing contact sports.
  • Building strong, flexible muscles with stretching exercises and strength training.
  • Warming up properly before each workout or sports activity.
  • Choosing well-fitting, sports-appropriate footwear that helps maintain balance.
  • Eating a well-balanced diet full of veggies and foods rich in calcium and vitamin D to build strong bones.


Collarbone fractures can be painful and require proper care and treatment to heal correctly. While some fractures may require surgery, most can heal on their own with the use of a sling, brace, and anti-inflammatory painkillers. Physical therapy and exercises can help restore movement and build muscle strength. Taking precautions and following safety guidelines can help prevent collarbone fractures.


Bone Growth Stimulator for Collarbone Fracture

A bone growth stimulator is a medical device that can help promote bone healing in certain cases. It works by emitting low-intensity ultrasonic or electromagnetic waves that stimulate the body's natural healing process.

For collarbone fractures, a bone growth stimulator may be recommended in cases where the fracture is slow to heal or if the individual has a history of slow healing. It may also be recommended for fractures that are at risk of non-union, which is when the bone fragments do not heal properly.

The use of a bone growth stimulator for collarbone fractures is typically reserved for cases where other treatment options have been exhausted or are not feasible. It is important to note that a bone growth stimulator is not a substitute for proper medical care and treatment, and should only be used under the guidance of a healthcare provider.

If you have a collarbone fracture and are considering using a bone growth stimulator, it is important to discuss the potential benefits and risks with your healthcare provider. They can help determine if a bone growth stimulator is right for you and provide guidance on how to use it effectively.

If you are a Medicare beneficiary, your insurance provider can assist you in obtaining a bone stimulator. Complete this contact form, and we will contact you to verify eligibility and offer further details.

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