July 18, 2021

Paul Nielsen, MD

Orthopaedic Surgeon

What Are Common Symptoms of a Clavicle Fracture?

  • Pain in the in the shoulder or collarbone after a fall or injury
  • Some patients notice a prominence or angle of the bone

What Are Common Causes of Clavicle Fractures?

  • Falls onto the shoulder 
  • Car or motorcycle accidents
  • Sports injuries with a blow to the shoulder such as football or skiing

What Are the Treatment Options for Clavicle Fractures?

  • Non-displaced or minimally displaced fractures are treated with a sling
    • This typically involves limits for about 6 weeks while slowly adding movement
  • Displaced fractures with a significant angle, gap, or fracture ends overlapping can benefit from surgery
    • A plate and screws is typically placed to hold the bone lined up
    • This is typically an outpatient, same-day surgery

What Is Recovery Like After Surgery?

  • Patients use a sling after surgery and start shoulder range of motion within a few days 
  • Restrictions on use of the arm last for about 6 weeks
    • Sports or contact activities typically require 8-12 weeks
  • The plate typically stays in place permanently
  • Most patients regain normal function of their shoulder

Worried about a clavicle fracture? Call 308-865-2570 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Nielsen. Same day appointments are typically available. No referral required.


About the Author

Paul Nielsen, MD is an orthopedic surgeon specializing in hand, elbow, and shoulder surgery at New West Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Surgery in Kearney, NE.

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