How to Tell if Your Clavicle is Fractured?- Dr Andy Weemainadmin
What Is Clavicle Fracture?
Clavicle fracture is a break in your clavicle bone. The clavicle is the collarbone, which connects your upper arm to your sternum (breastbone).
The most common cause of a clavicle fracture is trauma to the shoulder area such as falling on an outstretched hand or being hit by an object. Other causes include:
- sports injuries
- falls from height
- motor vehicle accidents
The most common occupations causing clavicle fracture include:
- Construction work, which involves heavy lifting and carrying materials
- Manufacturing jobs, where workers use machinery with moving parts or repetitive motions that put pressure on their arms and shoulders
- Jobs that require physically demanding tasks such as lifting heavy objects or working at heights
Clavicle Fracture in Singapore
- The average annual number of clavicle fractures in Singapore is about 2,000 cases.
- 70% of these fractures are male and 30% are female.
- The most common age group for this injury to occur is 20-50 years old but it can happen at any time during life if you fall awkwardly or are involved in an accident that causes your shoulder to hit something hard enough to break your collarbone (such as when you’re driving).
Diagnosis of Clavicle Fracture
Clavicle Fracture is a common injury that can be diagnosed by physical examination and image tests.
- The doctor will feel for tenderness over the clavicle in order to locate any fractures or dislocations.
- The patient should be asked to lift his/her arm above their head and then brought down slowly while being examined by the doctor. This test helps determine if there is any pain or discomfort while moving your arms up or down in different positions, which may indicate a problem with your collarbone area.
Risks and Complications of Clavicle Fracture
- Loss of motion in the arm or shoulder
- Instability of the clavicle (the collarbone) due to fracture displacement or deformity.
Treatment Options for Clavicle Fracture
Non-surgical treatment options include:
- A cast is a hard, rigid bandage that’s wrapped around the injured area and held in place with pins or wires. It helps keep your bones in place while they heal.
- Slings support an arm or shoulder by wrapping around it and holding it close to the body, which reduces pain and swelling. Slings may be used for fractures that don’t need surgery but still cause pain or difficulty moving the arm or shoulder because of injury to muscles or tendons near where bone was broken (for example, if there was damage to nerves).
Rehabilitation After Clavicle Fracture
After you have had your clavicle fracture treated, you will need to follow a rehabilitation program. The aim of this is to help you regain full range of motion and strength in your shoulder joint.
Physical therapy may include exercises such as:
- Strengthening exercises for the rotator cuff muscles (which support the shoulder). These are important because they help keep your shoulder stable while moving it through its full range of motion.
- Range-of-motion exercises that stretch and strengthen muscles around your shoulder joint, helping them work better together so they can move more smoothly when you want them too
Prevention of Clavicle Fracture
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Avoid activities that put you at risk for clavicle fractures, such as contact sports, gymnastics and horseback riding.
- Strengthen chest muscles with push-ups and other exercises that engage the pectoralis major muscle group in your upper body.
Dr Andy Wee is skilled in arthroscopy of the shoulder, elbow, hip, knee and ankle, and has performed over two thousand arthroscopic procedures over the last 10 years. He has performed over a thousand ACL Reconstruction and meniscus surgeries alone, and has treated many national athletes with sports related knee, shoulder and elbow injuries with arthroscopic surgery.
Interested to learn more about arthroscopic (keyhole) meniscus repair for your condition? Call us at +65 6247 7958 to make an appointment to see Dr Andy Wee today!