Fractures of the clavicle (collar-bone) usually occur after a heavy fall onto the shoulder, typically after falling off a bike or ladder.
Key Points — Diagnosis and Management
These points will be discussed in more detail when you meet your surgeon.
- Clavicle fractures range from simple, undisplaced injuries that can be managed without surgery, to those that are very displaced.
- The majority of people with this problem can be managed without surgery.
- The clavicle is easier to fix when the injury is ‘fresh’, but if the fracture doesn’t heal this can be done at a later stage.
- People with physical jobs, ongoing pain, or concerns regarding the way the shoulder looks are more likely to undergo surgery.
Key Points — Surgical Treatment
- Most people go home on the same or next day.
- You will have a general anaesthetic (you will be asleep).
- Your shoulder will feel stable and pain free within a few days of surgery in the majority of cases.
- You will be in a sling for 2–3 weeks.
- You will not be driving for 4–6 weeks.
- You cannot do any heavy work or sport for 3 months.
- This is a safe, reliable and effective operation for 90% of people.
- You may need removal of the metal plate from your clavicle 6 months after the surgery. This occurs in around half of all cases and recovery after this surgery only takes a number of days.