A broken collarbone, or fractured clavicle, can be painful and make it difficult to move your arm. This type of injury, which can occur with a direct blow to the shoulder or fall onto an outstretched hand, is especially common among cyclists and participants in contact sports like football and hockey. If you believe you might have a broken collarbone, you can consult with the experienced orthopaedic experts at Tampa Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Group. We offer state-of-the-art treatment options for a wide range of sports injuries and musculoskeletal conditions, and we are pleased to see patients from Tampa, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, and the surrounding Florida areas.
Your physician at Tampa Orthopaedic in Tampa, FL, will ask about your symptoms and the circumstances surrounding your injury, and then examine your shoulder to determine whether a broken collarbone is present. The examining physician will also check the sensation and strength in your arm, hand, and fingers, and look for signs of nerve and blood vessel damage. If a broken collarbone is suspected, the doctor might order X-rays or a computerized tomography (CT) scan of your shoulder and the affected area to pinpoint the location of the break and evaluate its severity.
When promptly and accurately diagnosed, a broken collarbone will often heal on its own if the bone has not shifted out of place. Commonly recommended treatments include:
- Arm support – A simple arm sling or figure-eight wrap can be used to support the arm and help keep it in place as it heals.
- Medication – Pain medication, such as acetaminophen, can help relieve discomfort.
- Physical therapy – If a sling is worn, muscle strength might be lost in the shoulder. As the broken collarbone begins to heal, the pain will subside and a doctor might recommend gentle, progressive shoulder and elbow exercises to ease stiffness and prevent weakness.
- Follow-up – A doctor will usually monitor the healing process on a regular basis to ensure that the bone remains in the proper position.
If the fracture is displaced, meaning that manipulation is required to restore the broken collarbone to its normal anatomy, surgery might be recommended. Our Board-certified orthopaedic surgeon, Dr. Daniel Murphy, is experienced in performing shoulder surgery and other orthopaedic procedures.
To learn more about treatment options for a broken collarbone, or to schedule a consultation, please contact Tampa Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Group today. Our sports medicine center is conveniently located at 602 South Howard Avenue, where we see patients from Tampa, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, and all surrounding FL areas.