The vast majority of clavicle fractures (collar bone) heal with nonoperative management in a simple shoulder sling. If you choose non-operative management, you can start to move the shoulder with a small amount of pain around 3-4 weeks after the injury. Around 1 out of every 10 fractures however don’t heal and become a problem. We may recommend surgery with fixation of your clavicle if:
- there is significant shortening at the fracture (>2cm)
- the skin appears threatened or distorted by the bone fragments
- you want to or need to get back to shoulder range of movement quickly
Irrespective of our advice, you have a choice of how you want your fracture managing. The main benefit of managing your fracture without surgery is that it avoids the risks of an operation including
- risk of infection
- risk of nerve or blood vessel damage
- painful scar
- failure of fixation or still a chance the fracture doesn’t heal despite surgery
The main benefit of surgery is that one can very quickly return to near normal activities apart from heavy lifting, pushing and contact sports for around 3 months. There is also less chance of bony deformity or a lump on top of the clavicle.
If you have broken your clavicle and want to come and see Mr Vollans for further discussion, as either as a “pay-for-yourself” patient or if you are insured please click here and then “Request an Appointment”.