The clavicle is a very fragile bone that rests above your chest and is responsible for lifting your shoulders upwards. It is different from most other bones in the human body in that it is not surrounded by any muscle and you can feel that distinctive bone shape because it is only covered by skin.
Because it is so fragile, breaking off fracturing your collarbone is not hard to do. It can happen to people of all ages and is especially common with newborn babies. Normally to collarbone does not fully develop until the child reaches his or her late teenage years. This makes the clavicle extremely prone to breaking and fracturing.
One of the most common ways to fracture this bone? It can happen easily when you try to break your fall with your outstretched hand. This impact can placed too much pressure on the fragile collarbone. The same goes with receiving impact on the outside of your shoulder.
If the fracture is mild, a person might not even know that this has happened. So what might be the symptoms? If you have fractured your clavicle bone, you would notice almost immediate swelling as well as bruising around the affected area of your shoulder. There will be a sharp pain associated with the injury and you will have a very hard time trying to lift your shoulder or move your arm. Once the swelling goes down, you can actually feel the fracture (depending on its severity) under the skin.
If you suspect that this has occurred, seek immediate advice from your general practitioner. The doctor will normally give you a thorough examination as well as in x-ray to analyze how severe the fracture is.
Most cases require no surgery to be performed. The clavicle bone normally heals itself with sufficient rest as well as immobilization. There are many clavicle slings and braces available to help promote and speed up recovery periods. The only time that one would require surgery is if the bone is actually broken or has been displaced.