Among the symptoms of a broken clavicle are : failure to raise the member due to pain, sense of friction when trying to raise the affected limb, strong pain after the direct injury. Sometimes the shoulder seems detached and if it is deformed, it has the appearance of a bump along the clavicle. A clavicle fracture is not usually serious.
A clavicle fracture can be diagnosed by physical examination. The doctor will check the affected area and seek bone deformities. damage at the nerves or blood vessels level, muscle strength in the affected limb, peripheral circulation in the arm by looking for the pulse and observing skin color and temperature. Though the diagnose is rather a simple procedure some additional test are more than welcomed. The doctor may perform a complete neurovascular examination and a radiography.
Most clavicle fractures heal without any intervention. The arm is immobilized to reduce shoulder movements during healing. An adult will have the arm immobilized for a few days to a week, a child may need up to 3-4 weeks. If the patient is an athlete or has an active lifestyle is recommended to not start work until the shoulder will work properly. To relieve pain may be administered anti inflammatories including aspirin, ibuprofen or naproxen. But aspirin is not recommended not before the age of 20 years due to the risk of Reye’s syndrome. During the non operative treatment, the patient is gas to make slow motions back and forth for the shoulder.
If the clavicle fracture needs surgery in order to fix back the doctor has to choose between two methods. This methods have in common the reduction of the fracture after which follows either fixation with screws or insertion of a device. After a surgery the thoracic outlet syndrome may appear as a complication.
Most of the clavicle fractures are healing without operation, the only problem is that some of them may look a little bit awkward. But surgery is not recommended only for esthetic reasons because the scars that remain after it are also visible.
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