Most broken collarbones heal without difficulty. Complications, when they occur, might include:
Oct. 23, 2015
- 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.
- Clavicle fracture (broken collarbone). American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00072. Accessed Sept. 30, 2015.
- Hatch RL, et al. Clavicle fractures. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Sept. 30, 2015.
- Peters MDJ. Surgical versus conservative interventions for treating broken collarbones in adolescents and adults. Orthopedic Nursing. 2014;33:171.
- McKee-Garrett TM. Neonatal birth injuries. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Sept. 30, 2015.