Health A-Z

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Treatment

If your collarbone has separated widely at the site of the break, the doctor will carefully move the ends of your fractured clavicle back into their normal position after giving you medications to ease your pain and relax your shoulder muscles. This treatment is called closed reduction. Once the ends of your fractured collarbone are realigned, you will wear a bandage around your shoulders to keep the broken bone in place and allow the fracture site to heal. You also will use a sling to help support your arm on the affected side. Gradually, you will begin a program of physical therapy to restore the normal strength and range of motion in your shoulder joint. After about six to eight weeks, you will stop wearing the bandage, but you probably will need to wear the sling for an additional three to four weeks. If the collarbone has not separated widely, the manipulation (closed reduction) will not be necessary, and only the bandage, sling, medications for pain, and exercises will be recommended.

If your fractured collarbone cannot be treated with closed reduction, your doctor may recommend surgery to repair it.

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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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