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Home :: Collarbone Fracture, Outer End

Collarbone Fracture, Outer End

A complete or incomplete break in the outer third of the clavicle (collarbone). Frequently, this fracture extends into the shoulder joint and is associated with rupture of the shoulder ligaments.


  • Clavicle (collarbone).
  • Shoulder joint.
  • Joint between the shoulder and collarbone.
  • Soft tissue surrounding the fracture site, including nerves, tendons, ligaments, blood vessels and bone attached to ligaments.


Direct blow or indirect stress to the bone. Indirect stress may be caused by twisting or a violent muscle contraction. Other causes may include:

  • a tumor in the collarbone
  • conditions that cause weak bones, such as osteoporosis
  • physical abuse , including child abuse or elder abuse

Signs & Symptoms

  • Severe pain at the fracture site.
  • Swelling around the fracture.
  • Visible deformity if the fracture is complete and bone fragments separate enough to distort normal contours.
  • Tenderness to the touch.
  • Numbness or coldness in the shoulder and arm on the affected side, if the blood supply is impaired.
  • Bruising or abrasions along your collarbone, or at the top or side of your shoulder


Follow your doctor's instructions. These instructions are supplemental.

  • Immobilizatlon will be necessary. For this fracture,a sling usually works quite well.
  • Use frequent ice massage. Fill a large styrofoam cup with water and freeze. Tear a small amount of foam from the top so ice protrudes. Massage firmly over the injured area in a circle about the size of a baseball. Do this for 15 minutes at a time, 3 or 4 times a day, and before workouts or competition.
  • After 48 hours, localized heat promotes healing by increasing blood circulation in the injured area. Use a heating pad, hot soaks, hot showers, heating pads, or heat liniments and ointments.

If your fractured collarbone cannot be treated with closed reduction, your doctor will do surgery to repair it with a surgical pin or plate.

Home Diet

  • Drink only water before manipulation or surgery to treat the fracture. Solid food in your stomach makes vomiting while under anesthesia more hazardous.
  • During recovery, eat a well-balanced diet that includes extra protein, such as meat, fish, poultry, cheese, milk and eggs. Increase fiber and fluid intake to prevent constipation that may result from decreased activity.
  • Build adequate muscle strength and achieve good conditioning prior to exercise, athletic practice or competition. Increased muscle mass helps protect bones and underlying tissue.
  • Use protective equipment such as shoulder pads, when appropriate.

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