Broken Collarbone Overview
Collarbone (clavicle) fractures are fairly common in the athletic population, especially athletes involved in contact sports. Even though clavicle fractures are common, no two fractures are similar because of the collarbone’s ability to break in a number of different patterns. The complexity of a fractured clavicle varies for each patient living in the greater Long Island, Brooklyn, Queens & NYC communities. Certain patients may experience a simple break where both sides of the crack line up, while other patients may experience a complex break where the bone breaks into multiple fragments, known as a comminution. Dr. Jonathan Ticker, orthopedic surgeon and shoulder specialist, may recommend a surgical broken collarbone treatment designed to stabilize the clavicle in its proper position in more severe cases. A clavicle fracture surgery has the ability to return patients to the athletic activities they love and regain an active, healthy lifestyle.
Many cases of a broken collarbone heal with non-surgical measures, such as sling use and activity modifications, for approximately 6-10 weeks. If a comminution or other severe fracture pattern occurs, a clavicle fracture surgery is generally recommended to restore the normal alignment and length of the bone. It is important to note a surgical broken collarbone treatment does not speed up the clavicle’s healing process, but rather aligns the bones so they heal in the proper position for normal joint anatomy.
Dr. Ticker will perform clavicle fracture surgery with the use of plates and screws or a long pin in the center of the bone, known as intramedullary nailing. If a fracture requires a plate and screw technique, he will create an incision over the top of the shoulder and place plates and screws along the top of the clavicle to stabilize in the proper position. Intramedullary nailing utilizes smaller incisions; however, the technique is not appropriate for all fractures requiring surgical broken collarbone treatment.
Clavicle Fracture Surgery Recovery and Rehabilitation
Following clavicle fracture surgery, patients will be required to wear a sling for a predetermined amount of time, commonly 4-6 weeks. A detailed physical therapy program will be prescribed by Dr. Ticker aimed at restoring range of motion and strengthening the repaired shoulder joint.
Clavicle Fracture Surgery Recovery Time
Many patients can expect a full return to activities within 2-3 months if the rehabilitation and physical therapy guidelines are strictly followed. Some patients request to have their hardware removed from the collarbone, but this is not allowed until after the fracture has fully healed.
For additional information on clavicle fracture fixation, a surgical broken collarbone treatment, please contact the Long Island, Brooklyn, Queens & NYC orthopedic office of Dr. Jonathan Ticker.