What is Clavicle Fracture Surgery as a Broken Collarbone Treatment?
The clavicle (collarbone) can become injured quite easily in athletes, especially those involved in football, basketball, gymnastics and cycling. Many collarbone injuries are caused by a fall or indirectly by impact to the shoulder joint. A clavicle fracture is common in the active population. Even though the injury is so prevalent, no two injures are similar since the clavicle can break in a number of different patterns. Certain patients may experience a simple crack in the bone where both sides of the bone still line up, while other patients may experience a break into multiple fragments, known as a comminution. If a traumatic event causes a patient to experience a clavicle that is completely out of alignment, or if a patient’s fracture does not heal within 10 weeks with conservative measures, Dr. Matthew Provencher, board certified shoulder surgeon, may recommend clavicle fracture surgery. A surgical broken collarbone treatment is generally recommended in Vail, Aspen, Colorado Springs and Denver, Colorado area patients to restore normal length of bone and alignment in cases of a break into multiple fragments.
Do I need Surgery for a Broken Collarbone?
A clavicle fracture surgery does not speed up the healing process of a broken collarbone, but it does ensure the bone heals correctly in the proper position. Dr. Provencher usually performs a broken collarbone treatment using an incision over the top of the shoulder joint. He will use the incision to place the damaged bone back in its original position and then place a plate and screws along the top of the collarbone, causing the bone to heal in an anatomically normal, correct alignment. Dr. Provencher may also recommend the use of a long pin in the center of the broken bone, known as intramedullary nailing.
Certain patients may request to have the hardware (plate and screws) removed, but this will not be performed until the fracture is fully healed if the hardware results in any discomfort.