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Quick Facts

Broken Collarbone

(Clavicle Fracture; Collarbone Fracture)


The Manual's Editorial Staff

Last full review/revision Feb 2021| Content last modified Feb 2021
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Your collarbones are the long bones that run from the top of your breastbone out to each of your shoulders. All broken bones are considered fractures. For more information, see Overview of Broken Bones.

Fracturing the Collarbone

Fracturing the Collarbone
  • A broken collarbone is a common injury, especially in children

  • Collarbones usually break near the middle of the bone

  • Usually you'll just need a sling, but sometimes doctors do surgery

What causes the collarbone to break?

Your collarbone can break from:

  • Falling on your outstretched arm or your shoulder

  • A hard, direct hit to your collarbone

What are the symptoms of a broken collarbone?

Symptoms include:

  • Pain and swelling in your collarbone area and shoulder

  • Your collarbone feels like it’s moving

  • A bump on your skin where the bone is broken underneath

How can doctors tell if my collarbone is broken?

Doctors do:

How do doctors treat a broken collarbone?

Doctors treat a broken collarbone by:

  • Having you wear a sling for 4 to 6 weeks to keep your collarbone from moving

  • If the break is very severe, doing surgery

Most of the time, the ends of the broken collarbone are lined up close enough that doctors don't have to move them back into place.

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