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Health A-Z

Medical Content Created by the Faculty of the
Harvard Medical School

Diagnosis

Your doctor will examine your collarbone, shoulder and upper chest for swelling, deformity, abrasions, bruising and tenderness along the length of your collarbone. Your doctor also will press and feel the injured area gently to determine the position of any broken bone fragments under the skin.

To determine whether blood vessels or nerves were injured by the fractured collarbone, the doctor will check the strength of your pulse at your wrist and elbow, and will check the feeling and strength in your arm, hand and fingers. The doctor will also check your upper chest with a stethoscope to determine if your lungs have been damaged.

If the results of your physical examination suggest that that you have a fractured clavicle, your doctor will order X-rays to confirm the diagnosis.

Page 3 of 9     Next Page:  Collarbone (Clavicle) Fracture Expected Duration
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From Health A-Z, Harvard Health Publications. Copyright 2007 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. Written permission is required to reproduce, in any manner, in whole or in part, the material contained herein. To make a reprint request, contact Harvard Health Publications. Used with permission of StayWell.

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