One of the most important bones of the body is the collar bone and its
function is to secure our arms to our bodies by connecting the shoulder
blade or scapula to the breastbone or sternum. Most of the strength and
range of motion, which all of us expect from our shoulder joint, is possible
largely due to the collar bone. Even a simple activity like raising the
hands involves the use of the collar bone. Needless to say, any kind of
injury to the collar bone can potentially take away a lot of strength
and stability from your shoulder joint and remarkably reduce its range
Collar bone fractures are particularly painful and debilitating. The collar bone being long
is vulnerable to enduring a fracture is the middle. In rare cases, collar
bone fractures might also occur at the inner third or outer third regions
of the collar bone.
There are a number of factors which can contribute to a case of collar
bone fracture. The most common ones are –
- Any strong impact directly to the middle of the collar bone, which causes
a fracture in the middle third region of the bone.
- Any strong impact to the breastbone or sternum, which causes an inner third
collar bone fracture.
- Any strong impact on the side or top of the shoulder joint, which results
in outer third collar bone fracture.
- Falls from a height or physical injuries can also cause the collar bone
The usual symptoms which are found in people affected by collar bone fracture
include swelling and a feeling of tenderness to touch at the affected
region. Movement of the shoulder or arm usually results in acute pain
and a significant amount of localized bruising can also be spotted. In
severe cases, the collar bone might visually look deformed from the outside.
Diagnosis starts with a physical examination, accompanied with diagnostic
tests like x-rays. With complete rest and effectively immobilization of
the affected regions, healing can occur naturally over a period of time.
Orthopedic doctors often tend to fully diagnose the problem by asking the patient about the
history and nature of pain to determine the exact cause and severity of
the problem. For extreme cases, there can be the need to carry out express
surgical repair. In these cases, the surgical procedure is followed by
a period of targeted physical therapy to restore the range of motion.