Most broken collarbones heal without difficulty. Complications, when they occur, might include:

  • Nerve or blood vessel injury. The jagged ends of a broken collarbone may injure nearby nerves and blood vessels. Seek immediate medical attention if you notice numbness or coldness in your arm or hand.
  • Poor or delayed healing. A severely broken collarbone might heal slowly or incompletely. Poor union of the bones during healing can shorten the bone.
  • A lump in the bone. As part of the healing process, the place where the bone knits together forms a bony lump. This lump is easy to see because it's close to the skin. Most lumps disappear over time, but some are permanent.
  • Osteoarthritis. A fracture that involves the joints that connect your collarbone to your shoulder blade or your breastbone might increase your risk of eventually developing arthritis in that joint.
Oct. 23, 2015