How To Rehab A Broken Collarbone? (TOP 5 Tips)

Guidelines for Clavicle Fracture Rehab

  1. Use ice: Ice the injured shoulder for 15 minutes three times per day or as needed to help reduce pain, swelling, and inflammation.
  2. Use a sling: Keep your injured arm in a sling for three to four weeks post-injury to help support the clavicle as it heals.


What is the fastest way to heal a broken collarbone?

To help speed the healing, you might get:

  1. A splint or brace to keep your shoulder from moving.
  2. A sling for your arm, which you might use for a few days.
  3. Anti-inflammatory painkillers, like aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen, which will help with pain and swelling.
  4. Range-of-motion and strengthening exercises.

How long is rehab for broken collarbone?

Eight to 12 weeks of physical therapy is common after surgery. During the first week after surgery, your physical therapist will help you control pain and swelling. They may begin some gentle motion exercises. You will wear a sling or brace for support and comfort.

How do I regain strength after broken collarbone?

Chest stretch (lying down)

  1. Lie on your back with your elbows bent. Your arms should be out to your sides, and your arms and elbows should be resting on the surface you are lying on, such as the floor.
  2. Raise your hands above your head until you feel a stretch in your chest.
  3. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds.
  4. Repeat 2 to 4 times.

What exercise can you do with a broken collarbone?

Range of Motion Exercises

  • Pendulums: Perform two minutes each of front to back, side to side, and both clockwise/counter clockwise circles.
  • Supine shoulder flexion with cane: Perform 2 x 20 reps staying in a pain-free range of motion.

What should you not do with a broken collarbone?

For about the first 4–6 weeks:

  1. Avoid raising your arms above shoulder level.
  2. Avoid lifting anything that weighs more than 5 pounds (2.3 kg).
  3. Stay out of all sports and physical education.
  4. Do all exercises to prevent elbow and shoulder stiffness and to help with muscle strength.
  5. Go to physical therapy, if needed.

What are the long term effects of a broken collarbone?

A Collarbone Fracture is not life threatening but can impact a patient’s quality of life and function. Short Term – to pain, sleep disturbance and disability. Long Term – to malunion or non-union, that can result in ongoing pain and loss of function.

Can you lift weights with a broken collarbone?

Most people notice some improvement in pain as the fracture begins to heal. We allow movement of the shoulder as tolerated. However, weight lifting restrictions are placed until the bone has healed.

Can I go for walks with a broken collarbone?

Once the fracture has healed, motion is generally not restricted. It may take months before the fracture has healed enough to withstand contact such as in sports. Strengthening of the shoulder and arm should wait until the fracture has healed.

When can you start exercising after a broken collarbone?

Start these exercises 6 weeks after your injury and to do 4-5 times a day. When you have regained full range of movement in the stage 2 exercises without pain you can start to do these exercises without the support of your other hand. This is known as active range of movement.

Can a broken collarbone cause shoulder pain later in life?

Clavicle fracture is commonly treated conservatively. However uncommon complication can arise causing impingement. We report a patient who sustained distal clavicle fracture and was treated conservatively. However he developed persistent shoulder pain that affected his daily life.

How do you tell if a broken collarbone is healing?

You may feel a bump where the fracture healed. The bump may get smaller on its own over time, but it might never go away completely. You may also have less strength in your shoulder and arm. But unless you have other injuries, you can often return to normal activities within a few weeks.

Should you sleep with a sling on with a broken collarbone?

Wear a sling on the affected arm during waking hours. The sling can be removed during sleep (or kept in place if you are more comfortable). 3. Over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen (Tylenol), and naproxen can relieve pain associated with a broken clavicle.

Can you sleep on your side with a broken collarbone?

Sleeping. Sleeping with a broken collarbone may be uncomfortable. Remove the sling at night, and use extra pillows to prop yourself up.

Physical Therapy Exercises for Recovery From a Clavicle Fracture

When a fractured clavicle, also known as a broken collarbone, happens, it is usually caused by a fall onto the shoulder or by applying enough pressure to the bone that it fractures. The fracture may be partial or total, and it is frequently necessary to have it repaired surgically or to be immobilized while it heals. Every fracture is unique in its own way. As a result, it’s critical to collaborate with your healthcare practitioner and physical therapist in order to develop a clavicle fracture rehabilitation program that is tailored to your injury, fitness level, and lifestyle preferences.

This article provides suggestions for developing a clavicle fracture physical therapy treatment plan, as well as dos and don’ts to keep in mind during the process.

Laura Porter’s Verywell is a work of fiction.

Guidelines for Clavicle Fracture Rehab

It is one of the most often broken bones in the body, and the collarbone is among the top three. While recovering from a clavicle fracture, remember to follow these guidelines:


  • To relieve discomfort, swelling, and inflammation, apply ice to the injured shoulder for 15 minutes three times a day or as needed. Sling it up:For the first three to four weeks following your accident, keep your damaged arm strapped up to provide support for the clavicle as it heals. Consult with your health-care provider: Maintain regular visits with your healthcare physician and see your physical therapist on a regular basis.


  • You should refrain from raising your arm until you have received permission from your healthcare practitioner. Don’t lift more than you need to: You should avoid lifting anything with your shattered arm until your healthcare practitioner gives you the go-ahead. While wearing a sling, avoid shrugging, slouching, or letting your shoulders round: Maintaining good bone and muscle alignment, as well as keeping an eye on your body mechanics, is critical for avoiding future difficulties. Make an effort to maintain proper shoulder posture. Inquire with your service provider about how to do it.

Physical Therapy

Three to four weeks following your accident, you may be sent to physical therapy for further treatment. Your physical therapist will review your medical history and conduct an evaluation to determine the particular methods in which they can assist you with your recovery. Your activities may be centered on one or more of the following:

  • Discomfort relief: You may experience pain for additional two to four weeks after your surgery. Your physical therapist may prescribe that you utilize heat, cold, or transcutaneouselectrical nerve stimulation to alleviate your symptoms (calledTENS). In this case, electrical nerve stimulation is used to alleviate the discomfort of the patient. The range of motion (ROM) is the distance between two points. Techniques for restoring joint mobility, such as joint mobilization, can be beneficial. How to perform them at home will be taught to you by your therapist. A variety of exercises are utilized to aid in the restoration of range of motion. If you have a stable fracture, your healthcare practitioner may authorize a therapist to undertake passive range of motion exercises. If the condition is not stable, they may be need to be completely immobilized for a length of time. Strengthening activities will aid in the restoration of muscle and bone strength that has been lost as a result of immobility. After surgery for your fracture, your physical therapist may employ scar tissue mobilization and massage methods on you, as well as educate you how to perform self-massage at home.

Standard Rehab Exercise Program

Your shoulder and arm will benefit from this program, which is designed to increase their functional mobility. Collaborate with your healthcare practitioner and physical therapist to develop an individualized rehabilitation program that is tailored to your specific needs.

Week 1

Routine for daily physical activity is as follows: Every day, you will engage in isometric or static exercises. Isometric exercises are those in which you tense your muscles without moving your body. The following are the kind of exercises you may anticipate to participate in:

  • Exercise with a pendulum: In this exercise, you will lean forward at the waist and allow your damaged arm to dangle down toward the floor. Make little circles with your hand and let the momentum to propel your arm around naturally as you do so. Make circles in both the clockwise and counterclockwise directions. Squeeze a tiny ball (a racquetball works well) many times each day with mild yet even pressure to increase your grip strength and dexterity. Exercises for the triceps that are isometric include: Triceps brachiiis the muscle on the back of the upper arm that is responsible for the majority of the motions associated with reaching for something in front of you. Placing your wounded arm on a table with your elbow at a 90-degree angle will help relieve the pain. Make a fist and push it firmly on the table with your entire forearm, from fist to elbow, until it breaks. Despite the fact that your arm will not move, your triceps muscle will contract
  • Exercises for the rotator cuff: It is common for shoulder injuries to result in damage or tears to the muscles that make up the rotator cuff. Internal and external rotation exercises that are isometric in nature are frequently advised to help restore strength in the rotator cuff. Isometric shoulder exercises: You may also be directed to perform isometric shoulder exercises, which comprise abduction, adduction, extension, and flexion of the shoulder joint. Exercises that include abduction and adduction help to develop the muscles in the rear of your shoulder and upper back. In addition, the latter two exercises train the muscles, with extension concentrating on extending your arms while they’re behind you, and flexion concentrating on moving your arms from your resting posture to nearly any other position.

During this week, your physical therapist may also work on any soft-tissue injuries you may have sustained, such as muscle tears, pulls, or strains, that you may have experienced. In addition to using cross-training and cardiovascular exercises such as walking, stair climbing, and stationary cycling during your rehabilitation program, if you are physically able to do so, you can continue to maintain your overall fitness.

Weeks 2 to 4

Physical therapy will continue to treat your soft-tissue issues while also looking for structural abnormalities that may have been induced by our clavicle fracture. Listed below are some workouts that they may recommend in addition to the normal daily schedule:

  • Start with a passive wall crawl or simple pulley workouts twice a day to increase shoulder range of motion and strength. You just stroll your fingers up a wall as high as you can without experiencing too much soreness in your shoulder to perform the wall crawl. Each day, try to push yourself a bit further. Begin with bending and straightening the elbow and wrist with simple pivots
  • Gradually increase the range of motion in the elbow.

Weeks 4 to 8

It is likely that you will begin increasing your range-of-motion activities and beginning strengthening exercises as your recovery progresses. These can include the following:

  • The range-of-motion exercises for the rotator cuff will continue, but you will be able to incorporate some modest resistance with bands or weights. Allow your discomfort to serve as a guide for how much activity you should undertake. You should, however, avoid elevating your shoulders, rotating your shoulders, or moving your shoulders excessively. If your physical therapist recommends simple shoulder range-of-motion exercises, you can begin doing them right away.

Weeks 8 to 12

Working for a complete range of motion in all directions will be your goal throughout this period of rehabilitation. You should continue to improve in your strengthening training routine, but you should avoid heavy lifting. Light weights and high repetitions are used to repair muscular endurance, rather than increasing it.

Weeks 12 to 16

If your physical therapist determines that you are ready, you will begin a more intense strength-training regiment. If you experience discomfort, instability, or “catches” in joint motions, you should stop. You may choose from the following options:

  • Exercises for strength training should be performed at higher intensities
  • Set up skill drills and routines that are tailored to your sport.
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If you have previously participated in sports training and/or competition, you should exercise extra caution. Your physical therapist may not release you to return to normal activities until testing demonstrates that your damaged side is as strong and flexible as your uninjured side.


It takes around four months to recover from a collarbone fracture. The procedure may appear to take an inordinate amount of time until you realize that it is divided into phases, each of which lasts around four weeks once you reach week four. As you progress through a rehabilitation program, you’ll be required to adhere to a set of dos and don’ts. Additionally, your primary focus will most likely be on pain reduction, range of motion, strength and scar tissue mobility during the whole process of rehabilitation.

A Word From Verywell

Recovery from a fracture requires patience and commitment to your rehabilitation regimen. Walking, stair climbing, or hands-free cycling are all good options for maintaining general fitness while recuperating. It’s understandable that you’re eager to get back into sports, but it’s better to wait until you’ve been approved by your medical team.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What causes the collarbone to fracture so frequently? It is the collarbone that takes the brunt of the force when you fall forward because of its placement. The following characteristics make the bone more prone to breaking:
  • Because the collarbone does not fully develop until the age of 30, fractures occurring before that are more frequent. When it comes to the collarbone, there is minimal muscle or ligament support. The central part of the bone is comparatively thin
  • The rest of the bone is thick.
  • Is it safe to workout if I have a shattered collarbone? Yes. In fact, as long as you do not require surgery, you should be able to begin performing elbow mobility exercises as soon as possible following the injury. As you heal from your injury, a physical therapist can direct you to the appropriate activities. Once your bone has begun to mend, you will need to perform gentle shoulder exercises. You’ll gradually increase the amount of rigorous activities you do
  • How long does it take for a fractured collarbone to heal completely? It takes around four months to fully heal from a fractured collarbone. If you have diabetes or smoke, the process may take longer. Maintaining compliance with your treatment plan is critical
  • Do not engage in physical activity, such as lifting items, until you have recovered entirely. If you rush things, you may find yourself having to start the recovery process over from the beginning.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts! Thank you for taking the time to join up. There was a clerical error. Please try your search again. Verywell Health relies on only high-quality sources, such as peer-reviewed research, to substantiate the information contained in its articles. Read about oureditorial process to discover more about how we fact-check our information and ensure that it is accurate, dependable, and trustworthy.

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  1. An acronym for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. An exercise program to strengthen the rotator cuff and shoulders
  2. Mulligan EP, Huang M, Dickson T, Khazzam M A randomized crossover experiment was conducted to determine the effectiveness of an axioscapular and rotator cuff exercise training sequence in individuals with subacromial impingement syndrome. Int J Sports Phys Ther. 2016
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  9. 77(1):65-70. doi:10.1155/2011/172571. Fracture of the clavicle (broken collarbone)

supplementary readings

  • An acronym for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons defines a clavicle fracture as a shattered collarbone. Conditioning regimen for the rotator cuff and shoulders


The collarbone, also known as the clavicle, is the bone that joins the arm to the rest of the body. It aids in the stabilization of the shoulder and arm when they are in motion. A collarbone fracture is a frequent shoulder injury that occurs in young athletes. It accounts for 4% of all fracture types and 35% of all shoulder injuries, according to statistics. Injury to the shoulder is most typically the result of a traumatic event such as a direct strike to the shoulder or a tumble. It happens most frequently in young males under the age of twenty, and is frequently the result of a sports accident.

  1. Men are more likely than women to fracture their collarbones when they are younger.
  2. The majority of collarbone fractures may be repaired without the need for surgery.
  3. Collarbone fractures are treated by physical therapists both before and after surgery.
  4. Physical therapists are experts in the movement of the body.

For an evaluation, you can make contact with a physical therapist directly. Find a PT is a website that can help you locate a physical therapist in your region. Find a Physical Therapist in Your Area!

What Is a Clavicle Fracture?

In humans, the collarbone (clavicle) is a bony structure that runs along both the front of the chest and shoulder. It has two joints that link the arm to the rest of the body:

  • The junction between the sternum and clavicle. Acromioclavicular joint refers to the point at which the clavicle attaches to the sternum (breast bone). This is the point at which the clavicle attaches to the scapula (shoulder blade), and

During movement, the collarbone aids in stabilizing the shoulder joint. It also aids in the protection of nerves and blood vessels that go from the neck and connect to the upper extremities. Depending on where the bone is shattered, clavicle fractures are classed as either open or closed fractures. They are as follows:

  • Midshaft is a kind of shaft (middle of the bone). This form of fracture is more common in younger people and accounts for around 75 percent to 80 percent of all collarbone fractures. The lateral end of the spectrum (near the acromioclavicular joint). Lateral-end fractures account for around 15 percent to 25 percent of all collarbone fractures
  • Medial-end fractures account for the remaining 75 percent (near the sternoclavicular joint). This form of fracture is extremely uncommon, accounting for about 5% of all collarbone fractures.

Medical professionals also refer to fractures in the following ways:

  • Nondisplaced. The parts of the cracked bone are still arranged in a straight line. Displaced. The two pieces of the shattered bone are not aligned with one another. Comminuted. Splinters or tiny bits of bone are discovered at the site of the fracture. Compound. Whenever a bone pierces (passes through) the skin, this is known as

How Does It Feel?

If you break your collarbone, you will feel discomfort in the location where the break occurred immediately after the break. Other indications and symptoms to look out for include:

  • A generalized aching sensation in the vicinity of the collarbone. Pain or discomfort in the arm (in more severe situations). Itching and bruising that may extend to the shoulder and arm
  • Swelling that develops at the location of the injury as well as the arm
  • Inability to elevate the arm over the head. The majority of people will either keep their arm close to their body or support their arm with the other hand when doing this. When moving the arm, there is a grinding or shifting sensation in the bone. This is a bump over the wounded region. The skin may appear to lift in the area of the fracture, as if it were a tent.

How Is It Diagnosed?

Your physical therapist will do a thorough assessment, regardless of whether or not you will have surgery. The purpose of the examination is to determine the severity of your condition or damage. It also aids in the determination of the cause and any other circumstances that may have had a role. Collarbone fractures are frequently the consequence of a single incident. Your physical therapist will do an interview with you to learn about your medical history, injuries, medical conditions, and activities.

The conversation will become increasingly focused on the symptoms of a collarbone fracture as time goes on.

  • What happened to cause your injury? What steps have you made to manage the problem, such as seeing other health-care professionals? Have you had imaging or other testing and gotten the findings
  • If so, what were they? In what ways have your present symptoms impacted your daily routine and activities, and how have they affected them? Does your body experience any discomfort, and if so, where and how intense is your discomfort. Is your discomfort different throughout the day? Do you have difficulty undertaking any activities? What activities have you been unable to participate in as a result of your injury? What kinds of activities aggravate your symptoms? What methods do you use to alleviate your symptoms?

It is with this information that the physical therapist may have a greater understanding of what you are going through. This information also aids in determining the path of your physical exam. The physical examination will differ based on the results of your interview. The majority of the time, it will begin with a careful observation of the motions described during the interview or any situations that create discomfort. The place where you are experiencing symptoms will be examined. Furthermore, other parts of the body that may have altered as a result of the injury may be considered.

They will evaluate the mobility and strength of your shoulder, as well as any other regions that may be necessary.

Your physical therapist will gently, but expertly, push around your upper arm and shoulder to determine exactly where the discomfort is located and how to relieve it.

They will collaborate with you to design a recovery program that is tailored to your individual needs.

How Can a Physical Therapist Help?

The majority of collarbone fractures may be repaired without the need for surgery. For support and comfort, the injured arm will be wrapped in a sling or a figure-eight brace. Physical therapy is typically initiated early in the process to aid in the reduction of pain and edema. Age, health, and the nature of the damage all influence how long it takes for someone to recover from an accident. After around six weeks, many patients are able to resume mild daily activities. In most cases, people may return to more severe employment responsibilities within nine to twelve weeks.

  • Your physical therapist will instruct you on how to deal with your injuries.
  • You will also be given recommendations from your physical therapist on how to alter these parameters and adapt your regular routines.
  • Your physical therapist will devise a treatment plan to alleviate your discomfort.
  • They may also suggest that you modify some of the activities that are causing you discomfort.
  • They can assist you in reducing or eliminating the need for medications, such as opioids.
  • When you have a collarbone injury, your range of motion may be restricted.
  • Furthermore, a limitation in the area may cause other sections of your neck or arm to work harder as a result of the restriction.

These will aid in the reduction of tension and the restoration of normal mobility to the joints in your upper arm and shoulder.

Hands-on (manual) treatment may be used by your physical therapist to gently manipulate your muscles and joints in order to help you regain mobility.

Your physical therapist may also use their hands to impart resistance to your muscles as you do exercises to strengthen the muscles that have been injured.

Muscle imbalances or impairments might contribute to the persistence of symptoms.

It will very certainly encompass your core (middle portion) as well as your upper arm and shoulder area.

For resistance, they may ask you to make use of elastic bands, tubing, or other equipment.

Training with a purpose.

It is critical to develop safe, regulated motions in order to reduce the amount of stress placed on your clavicle and shoulder.

Braces and other forms of assistive technology Your physical therapist will consult with you and other health-care professionals to evaluate whether bracing may be beneficial for your situation. Braces may be utilized for a brief period of time to relieve pressure on the affected region.

Treatment After Surgery

Physical therapy following surgery is comparable to the type of therapy done for those who do not require surgery. Following surgery, on the other hand, your program will develop according to a rigorous plan established by your surgeon. Following a surgery, it is common for physical rehabilitation to begin shortly following the procedure. Physical therapy is usually required for eight to twelve weeks following surgery. During the first week following surgery, your physical therapist will assist you in controlling pain and inflammation.

  1. For support and comfort, you will wear a sling or brace around your waist.
  2. After around four weeks.
  3. At the age of six to eight weeks.
  4. These time limits will vary depending on your age, health, the severity of your injury, and whether or not you underwent surgery.

Can This Injury or Condition Be Prevented?

The prevention of all collarbone fractures is not possible. You may, however, lower your chance of injury by wearing suitable protective gear when participating in sports, such as correctly fitted shoulder pads for football, when playing sports such as soccer or basketball. In order to enhance athletes’ strength and mobility, physical therapists work with them one on one. They assist you in ensuring that you can safely operate at your highest level. You can also lower your chance of injury by avoiding falls.

It is also critical to eliminate any potential tripping dangers (such as throw rugs, slippery floors).

What Kind of Physical Therapist Do I Need?

Collarbone fractures are treated by physical therapists who have received specialized training and hands-on experience. However, you might want to think about the following:

  • A physical therapist who has had previous expertise treating sports or orthopedic injuries, as well as pediatric illnesses and disorders. Some physical therapists concentrate their practice on sports medicine or orthopedics
  • However, this is not the case for everyone. A physical therapist who is a board-certified clinical specialist or who has completed a residency or fellowship in orthopedics or sports physical therapy is qualified to practice. There are advanced knowledge, expertise, and abilities available to this physical therapist that may be applicable to your situation.
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It is possible to search for and locate physical therapists in your region who have these credentials and clinical skills by using the Find a PT tool, which was developed by the American Physical Therapy Association. When looking for a physical therapist (or any other type of health care practitioner), here are some general guidelines:

  • Consult with family, friends, or other health-care professionals for advice. When you call a physical therapy facility to schedule an appointment, inquire about the physical therapists’ previous expertise in treating clients who have broken their clavicle or collarbone. Prepare yourself to discuss your symptoms in as much detail as possible on your initial visit with your doctor. Keeping track of what makes your symptoms better or worse is a good idea.

Find a Physical Therapist in Your Area!

Is this content helpful?

Thank you very much. Your feedback has been forwarded to the appropriate party. APT believes that consumers should have access to information that will assist them make educated health care decisions and prepare them for their appointment with a health care professional. A selection of the greatest scientific data linked to physical therapy treatment for collarbone fractures can be found in the following resources. 1. They provide the results of recent research and provide an overview of the standards of practice in the United States and throughout the world, respectively.

  • You may either read them or print a copy to bring with you to your health-care provider when you visit him or her.
  • Catapano M, Hoppe D, Henry P, Nam D, Robinson LR, Wasserstein D.
  • PM R.
  • Summary of the article on PubMed.
  • Cochrane Database Syst Rev.
  • Cochrane Database Syst Rev.
  • Summary of the article on PubMed.

Clavicle fracture is a kind of bone fracture (broken collar bone).

December 2016: This document has been reviewed.


Donnelly, R.

Macfarlane, M.

Nagy, P.

Waseem, and others.

Journal of Open Orthopaedics and Trauma, 7(3), 329–333.

PubMed contains millions of citations to biomedical literature, including citations to articles in the MEDLINE database maintained by the National Library of Medicine.

Symptoms Conditions Fracture of the Collarbone Author(s) Mary Kay Zane, PT, is a clinical specialist in orthopaedic physical therapy who has received board certification.

On behalf of the Academy of Orthopaedic Physical Therapy, Stephen F. ReischlPT, DPT, a board-certified clinical specialist in orthopaedic physical therapy, delivered the keynote address.

What Happens When a Collarbone Breaks?

Known medically as a claviclefracture, a fractured collarbone is a break in one of the two long, thin bones that link the breastbone to the shoulder blades. Your collarbones are located towards the top of your chest and go beneath the tops of your shoulders, and you can feel or see them. Collarbone (clavicle) fractures can be classified into three categories:

  • It is most typical for a collarbone to be fractured anywhere in the middle of its length, between the breastbone and the shoulder joint. In the vicinity of the shoulder joint
  • Fractured collarbones that occur at the breastbone (the least frequent form of broken clavicle)

Broken Collarbone Symptoms

The presence of a fractured collarbone is typically rather visible. When this occurs, you may feel a crack or hear a crack as it occurs. Following that, you’ll most likely have:

  • Pain and swelling in your arm and shoulder
  • Difficulty moving your arm and shoulder
  • When you try to raise your arm, you get a grinding sensation. You have a sag in your shoulder
  • There is a hump surrounding the region of the fracture

Broken Collarbone Causes

In most cases, shattered collarbones are the result of an accident. The following are some of the most common reasons of a fractured collarbone:

  • Receiving a blow to the shoulder or landing on it
  • You’ve had a heavy fall and hurt your hand or arm. The power of the hit is transferred to your collarbone, which snaps as a result. Getting knocked off a bicycle

Broken Collarbone Diagnosis

If you believe you have fractured your collarbone, see your doctor or go to the emergency department very soon. This is especially important if you have tingling, numbness, or weakness in your hand or arm. If your damage is near the sternum (breastbone) and you are having difficulty breathing or swallowing, it is possible that you have a more serious injury. Make an effort not to move your arm. Either use your other arm to keep it close to your body or a sling with the hand lifted higher than the elbow to keep it near to you.

You’ll need X-rays to determine the extent of the fracture.

Broken Collarbone Treatment

In most cases, a fractured collarbone will mend on its own over time. All you have to do is give it some time. You may be prescribed the following medications to aid in the healing process:

  • The use of a splint or brace to prevent your shoulder from moving. The use of a sling for your arm, which you may need for a few days
  • Take anti-inflammatory pain relievers, such as ibuprofen or naproxen, to alleviate discomfort and swelling after a surgical procedure. These medications do have certain negative effects, such as an increased risk of bleeding and ulceration. Unless your doctor advises differently, you should only use them for a short period of time. Long-term usage may cause bone healing to be delayed. Exercises that increase range of motion and strength
  • Applying an ice pack to the shattered bone for 15-20 minutes every few hours for pain relief and edema reduction

It is possible to require surgery to repair a collarbone fracture in rare circumstances, particularly when ligaments are affected.

Broken Collarbone Recovery

A fractured collarbone might take anything from a few weeks to many months to recover. Individuals recover at varying rates of speed.

  • A fractured collarbone in a young kid (under the age of 8) may mend in 4-5 weeks
  • However, in older children (beyond the age of 8), it may take longer. In most cases, older children recover in 6-8 weeks. Healing time for a fractured collarbone in an adult or adolescent who has stopped developing can take 10-12 weeks or more

When the following conditions are met, you are ready to resume your prior level of physical activity:

  • You are able to move your arm and shoulder without experiencing any discomfort. The doctor has performed an X-ray and determined that the break has been repaired.

Don’t get back into your hobbies too quickly after taking a break. If you begin working out before your collarbone has fully healed, you run the risk of breaking it again. Inquire with your doctor about whether it is safe to return to sports following a fractured collarbone. If you are planning to participate in any contact sports, such as football or hockey, you should wait 8-12 weeks before doing so.

Preventing a Broken Collarbone

Collarbone fractures are difficult to prevent since they typically occur as a result of an unintentional fall. Even the most well-trained sportsmen may make mistakes from time to time. Nonetheless, you should always take steps to ensure that you exercise safely. In order to avoid a fractured collarbone, you should do the following:

  • When participating in contact sports, always use protective equipment. Stretching activities and weight training can help you develop strong, flexible muscles. Before any workout or sporting activity, make sure you warm up correctly. Choose footwear that is well-fitting and suited for your sport and that will assist you in maintaining your balance. In order to create strong bones, have a well-balanced diet rich in vegetables and foods high in calcium and vitamin D.

Broken collarbone rehab protocol

  • For the first 4 weeks following surgery, do not raise the surgical arm over 90 degrees in any plane
  • Do not lift any things weighing more than 5 pounds with the surgical arm for the first 6 weeks
  • During the first six weeks, refrain from reaching repeatedly. icing should be done on a regular basis during the first two weeks
  • Please refer to the Post-Op Icing brochure for further information. An arm sling is used for the first four weeks following surgery. It is important to maintain proper upright shoulder girdle posture at all times, but especially when wearing a sling. In some cases, an intermittent X-ray is used to check healing. Follow-up appointments with the doctor and a nurse on Day 2, Day 14, Month 1, Month 3, and Year 1 post-operatively

Week 1

  • MD/nurse. Visit the hospital on day 2 post-op to change your dressing
  • Exercises (3 times per day):
  1. Pendulum exercises
  2. Squeeze ball
  3. Triceps with Theraband
  4. Isometric rotator cuff external and internal rotations with arm at side
  5. Isometric shoulder abduction, adduction, extension, and flexion with arm at side. -Soft tissue treatments for associated shoulder and neck musculature for comfort
  6. -soft tissue treatments for associated shoulder and neck musculature for comfort.
  • Physical activity such as well-arm cycling and bike for Active Recovery are examples of cardiovascular exercise.

Weeks 2 – 4

  • For comfort, soft tissue treatments are performed on the related shoulder and neck muscles In restricted ROM90*, use a gentle pulley to increase shoulder range of motion twice day
  • Elbow pivots and wrist PNF
  • Isometric scapular PNF in the mid-range

Weeks 4 – 8

  • At the fourth post-operative week, the patient will typically be moved to a more aggressive range of motion and strength program
  • To begin active and mild resistance exercises in the mid-range of motion (ROM) for the rotator cuff (external and internal rotations) at Week 4 (to 75 percent of ROM as tolerated by the patient’s symptoms), avoid shoulder elevation and avoid excessive end ROM. Attempt to make incremental improvements in active 90-degree shoulder flexion and abduction.

Weeks 8 – 12

  • Active ROM of the shoulder in all planes should be sought. Increase the number of manual mobilizations of soft tissue as well as the glenohumeral and scapulothoracic joints to improve range of motion Until 3 months, no repeated hard resistant activities or lifting is permitted.

Weeks 12 and beyond

  • Begin a more intense strength-training regimen as soon as it is tolerated To facilitate a gradual return to activities and sports, increase the intensity of strength and functional training sessions. The physical therapist determines the patient’s ability to return to certain sports through functional testing that is tailored to the patient’s needs. sports testing and progressive sport-specific training
  • Completion of Sports Test I for first return to sports and progressive sport-specific training

It is important to note that all progressions are estimates, and they should only be used as a guideline. The progression of the patient will be determined by his or her specific presentation, which will be evaluated throughout the therapy procedure.

To learn more about our Shoulder-Saving Procedures, you may download a guide. Consider all of your possibilities. Learn about treatments that can assist you in returning to sports sooner rather than later or avoiding the need for an artificial shoulder replacement.

with follow up at 6 weeks · Virtual Fracture Clinic

This material will serve as a guide for you over the following six weeks of your rehabilitation. Make use of the video or material provided below to obtain a better knowledge of your injury and what can be done to help you heal as quickly as possible.

Healing: This injury normally takes 6-12 weeks to heal.
Pain: Take pain killers as prescribed. You may find it easier to sleep propped up with pillows. Mild pain can continue for up to 3 months.
Using your arm: Use the sling for the first 2 weeks to allow the soft tissues to settle.It is important to keep the shoulder moving to prevent stiffness but not to aggravate the injury.Avoid lifting and overhead movement for 6 weeks.
Follow up: You will see a Shoulder Specialist about 6 weeks after your injury.They may do another x-ray to evaluate the position of the collar bone. The specialist will talk through the next phase of your rehabilitation.If you have not received this appointment within one week of receipt of this letter please contact your hospitals Appointment Line.

The location of your injury If you are concerned that you will be unable to adhere to this rehabilitation plan, or if you have any queries, you should contact the Fracture Care Team for guidance and assistance. Alternatively, if you are suffering pain or symptoms at a location other than the site of the initial injury or the surrounding region, please contact us using the telephone number or email address provided at the top of this letter. What to Expect When You Arrive

Weekssince injury Rehabilitation plan
0-3 Wear the sling during the day, except for exercises and personal hygiene.It is your choice if you wear your sling at night.Start the “Initial Exercises” below straight away.XDo not lift your elbow above shoulder height as this may be painful.
3-6 XTry not to use the sling.Begin normal light activities with the arm and shoulder.Increase movement as shown in the Stage 2 exercises.XAvoid heavy lifting for the full 6 weeks.
6 -12 The injury should be healed.Resume normal day to day activities but be guided by any pain you experience.Start to lift your arm over-head.XHeavy tasks may cause discomfort.

Suggestions for a new injury Packs of ice: A cold pack (such as an ice pack or frozen peas wrapped in a moist towel) might give temporary pain relief for minor injuries. Apply this to the painful region for up to 15 minutes every few hours, making sure that the ice does not come into direct contact with the skin during the application. Rest: Attempt to keep your shoulder as still as possible during the first 24-72 hours. It is critical, however, to keep activity throughout the day. Gentle shoulder movements should be made in accordance with the exercises described.

  • Keeping your shoulder from being stiff can prevent it from becoming stiff and will aid in the healing process.
  • In severe circumstances, it might completely halt the healing process.
  • Stopping smoking throughout the healing phase of your fracture can assist you in achieving the best possible outcome from your injury.
  • ExercisesIf you are experiencing stiffness in your elbow or hand as a result of wearing the sling, you may want to start with these exercises.
  • Exercises to begin with, which should be done 4-5 times a day: Flexion and extension of the fingers and wrists Open and close your hand 10-15 times in the manner indicated.
  • Hold a soft ball or a ball of socks in your hands after a few days.
  • Hold for 5 seconds and then repeat the process 10 times.

You should feel a mild to moderate strain in your elbow when you bend and straighten it.

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Do not force yourself into discomfort.

Make a 90-degree bend in it.

If required, you can use your other arm to lend a helping hand.

If the symptoms do not worsen, repeat the procedure for another 10-15 minutes.

This may be done with or without your sling.

Exercises with a pendulum on the shoulders Stand with one foot on the ground and lean forward, supporting yourself with the other. Try to keep your wounded arm as relaxed as possible and let it to hang down.

  1. In a slow and gentle motion, move your arm forward and backward
  2. Move your arm slowly and softly from one side to another
  3. Move your arm slowly and gently in a clockwise circle
  4. Etc.

Continue for around 1-2 minutes total, assuming no worsening of the symptoms occurs. Remember to attempt to keep your arm as relaxed as possible. Exercises for the second stage Start doing these exercises three weeks after the injury and repeat them 4-5 times a day: Assistive in a proactive manner Shoulder flexion is the bending of the shoulder blades. Lift your arm in front of you with the help of your other hand, as indicated in the photographs. If there is no rise in symptoms, repeat the procedure 10 times.

  • Maintain a tucked-in position with your injured arm’s elbow and a bent position with your other arm.
  • Use your unaffected arm to press your damaged hand outwards until it is no longer painful.
  • Push until you feel a strain in your muscles.
  • Return to the starting position after 5 seconds and then hold for another 5 seconds.
  • Exercices for Stage 3 Start doing these exercises 6 weeks after your accident and do them 4-5 times each day for the rest of your life.
  • This is referred to as the active range of motion.
  • Perform each of these exercises a total of ten times.
  • The movement should be gradual and should not be imposed on the participants.
  • Abduction in Motion Trying to move your arm in a large arc out to the side, with your thumb facing up and outwards, is a good exercise.
  • While keeping your elbow at your side, spin your forearm outwards while keeping your elbow at about 90 degrees in flexion.

Broken Collarbone (Clavicle Fracture): Symptoms, Treatment, Healing

A clavicle fracture is a break in the collarbone that occurs in the upper arm. There are two clavicles in your body, each of which connects a shoulder to the upper chest. Collarbone fractures are common, and they are frequently caused by a fall, sports injury, or vehicle accident. Despite the fact that a fractured clavicle is painful, the majority of individuals do not require surgery. Physical therapy can aid in the reduction of stiffness and the restoration of strength.

  • A brief overview of the disease, its symptoms and causes, diagnostic procedures and tests, management and treatment, prevention, an outlook or prognosis, and living with the disease

Collarbone has been broken (Clavicle Fracture)

  • A brief overview of the disease, its symptoms and causes, diagnostic procedures and tests, management and treatment, prevention, an outlook or prognosis, and living with the disease Return to the top of the page


A clavicle fracture is a break in the collarbone that occurs in the upper arm. You have two clavicles, which are long, thin bones in the form of a S that link the shoulders to the upper chest. Collarbone fractures are frequent, accounting for around 5 percent of all adult bone fractures.

Are there different kinds of clavicle fractures?

A collarbone may crack in a single location or may fracture into multiple fragments (comminuted fracture). Although the fractured pieces may still line up, they may end up in an unexpected location (displaced fracture).

Symptoms and Causes

Force or pressure can cause a clavicle to shatter, resulting in a fracture. The following are some of the most common causes:

  • During sports such as skiing, hockey, football, and other activities, collisions (trauma) can occur while an arm is extended. Direct clavicle injuries, such as those sustained in a vehicle collision
  • The clavicle or an outstretched arm is struck by the object. In the case of a newborn, passing via the birth canal

What are the symptoms of a broken collarbone?

If you break your collarbone, you may suffer the following symptoms:

  • When a bone fractures, there is a snapping or grinding sound. Sharp discomfort that worsens as you move the affected region
  • Shoulder sagging down or forward as a result of the bone’s failure to provide support
  • A grinding sensation may occur when you move or lift your arm
  • Difficulty moving or raising the arm. The affected region may be bruised, swollen, or painful
  • There is a bump that may be seen through the skin
  • Numbness or “pins and needles” (which occurs less frequently)
  • Bone sticking through the skin, occasionally resulting in bleeding

Diagnosis and Tests

Consider seeking medical assistance immediately if you believe you have fractured your collarbone. A healthcare provider will do the following tasks:

  • Ask you to provide a description of what transpired
  • Examine the surrounding area
  • Take X-rays of the wounded region to determine whether or not a bone has been shattered. X-rays can also reveal the specific location of the break, the severity of the break, and whether or not any other bones were broken.

If your healthcare professional believes there is damage to a joint or an artery, you may be subjected to further testing, including:

  • Imaging the arteries using X-rays and dye (arteriography/arteriogram) is a procedure that can be performed. Computed tomography (CT) scans, which produce more detailed images than X-rays
  • Ultrasound is a technique that employs sound waves to produce images of what is going on inside the body.

Management and Treatment

If you believe you have broken your collarbone, perform the following actions as soon as possible:

  • Stop the movement of your arm by putting it in a sling. A piece of cloth, such as a towel or a shirt, can be used to make a sling. In order to maintain the position of your arm, wrap it around it and secure it to the back of your neck. Apply ice to the affected area to relieve discomfort and swelling
  • Take an over-the-counter analgesic to relieve discomfort. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) are one example (NSAIDs). Examples include ibuprofen (Advil®, Motrin®), naproxen (Aleve®), or acetaminophen (Tylenol®) if it does not interfere with your other medications or health issues
  • Ibuprofen (Advil®, Motrin®), naproxen (Aleve®), or acetaminophen (Tylenol®) if it does not interfere with your other medications or health issues To seek medical attention, dial 911 or proceed to the nearest emergency facility.

What does a healthcare provider do to treat a broken collarbone?

The majority of clavicle fractures do not need surgical intervention. Healthcare practitioners may prescribe the following treatments if the shattered pieces of the bone are in a good location to heal:

  • Arm support: Using a sling to support your arms as you heal can make you more comfortable. Moreover, it can prevent fractured bone fragments from moving around. Medication: As the bone heals, over-the-counter drugs can help to ease the discomfort. Occasionally, heavier medicines, such as opioids, may be prescribed by healthcare practitioners for a relatively short length of time. That being said, they come with the danger of drug addiction and should only be taken when absolutely required. Physical therapy: A physical therapist can instruct you on how to perform specific exercises. Performing these exercises can help you increase the range of motion in your arm, strengthen your shoulder, and avoid stiffness. Exercises can be performed in a physical therapist’s office, at home, or a combination of the two.

What if I need surgery?

When you have a broken collarbone, you may need surgery to repair it. For example, if you have:

  • An injury to the blood vessels or nerves occurs. Fractures are holes in the skin that allow bacteria to enter. Broken collarbone fragments are not in a favourable location to mend.

Open reduction and internal fixation is the surgical procedure used to repair a clavicle fracture. It is possible to place shattered collarbone components back where they belong after surgery (reduction). This is followed by the employment of metal mechanisms to retain the components in place (fixation). An orthopaedic surgeon (a doctor who specializes in bone and muscle injuries) may execute the treatment utilizing the following techniques:

  • Plates and screws are used to join the bone’s exterior surfaces together. Even if the bone heals properly, the hardware is typically not removed until the bone becomes uncomfortable (which can occur up to a year or more after the surgery). Pins or screws are driven into the bone. Following healing of the fracture, they are often removed.


Clavicle fractures occur unexpectedly and are difficult to prevent in most cases. However, there are certain things that can help keep your bones safer:

  • When driving or riding in a car, use caution and always wear a seatbelt. Consume a well-balanced diet that is high in calcium to maintain your bones strong and healthy. Whenever you participate in sports or activities (such as biking), use proper technique and body placement. When engaging in sports or pastimes, it is important to wear protective equipment.

Outlook / Prognosis

The majority of collarbone fractures heal without the need for surgery or problems in six to eight weeks. The majority of people are able to resume their usual activities within three months or so, but it may take up to six to twelve months for them to fully recover. It is possible to feel a bump where the fracture was repaired. It is possible that the hump will shrink on its own over time, but it is also possible that it will never totally disappear. You may also notice a decrease in the strength of your shoulder and arm.

What is the outlook for a broken clavicle with surgery?

If you undergo surgery, you may be able to feel the plate or other hardware that has been implanted within your body. In addition, you will have restricted use of your arm for six to eight weeks after the procedure. After that, you may begin utilizing it for your typical everyday activities, such as showering, dressing, and eating, among others. Lifting, tugging, and pushing are all activities that should be avoided until you have received authorization from your healthcare professional. You should also hold off on participating in sports.

In the meanwhile, you should check in with your surgeon or other healthcare practitioner to ensure that you are not experiencing any consequences from your break. Following surgery, there may be a number of complications, including:

  • Medical professionals refer to this condition as a malunion when the bones migrate out of place and repair in the incorrect position. It is possible that surgery will be required. Aches and pains, as well as stiffness: It is possible for the shoulder to become extremely stiff or painful following surgery. Physical therapy or the removal of any aggravating pieces of hardware may be recommended by your healthcare practitioner. Wound complications: The area where the surgeon sliced your skin may have difficulty healing, may get infected, or may bleed.

Living With

Whether you have surgery or not, you should make every effort to attend all of your scheduled visits. Your healthcare practitioner will do the following procedures during those checkups:

  • Check the motion in your shoulder
  • Talk to you about how you’re feeling and whether or not you’re still experiencing discomfort. If necessary, repeat the X-rays.

In addition, you should adhere to any exercise recommendations made by your healthcare professional or physical therapist. Physical therapy can be time-consuming and difficult, but it is necessary if you wish to return to your previous level of activity. The initial few weeks of physical therapy will consist of mild exercises that will aid in the prevention of stiffness and soreness. When you are ready, you will begin doing workouts with light weights and elastic bands. Once the bone pieces have been reunited, you will be able to perform more intensive strength training.

The majority of patients do not require surgery, but some do require an operation to put the fragments of bone back in their proper positions.

Consult with your healthcare practitioner about workouts that will help you to minimize pain and stiffness while also regaining your strength.

More health news + info

Everyone, especially elite athletes, has a varied experience when it comes to returning to physical-contact sports following a fractured collarbone. Chad Kofoed, a physical therapist, shares what it’s like to rehab as a professional athlete, as well as what you may expect during your recovery period.

What is the typical recovery time for a broken collarbone?

Depending on the degree and kind of fracture, the normal healing period for a fractured collarbone might vary significantly. When it comes to little collarbone fractures that do not necessitate surgery, the healing time can be as short as four to six weeks. Stabilization using a plate and screws is required for larger fractures that have been fractured into several fragments. It is possible that this sort of fracture will require three or more months to heal.

For a professional football athlete, what does rehab look like?

Whether an athlete is a professional football player or not, all rehabilitation follows the same general process:

  • Simply Heal: All fractures require time to heal and should be left alone in most cases. Wearing a sling for the first four weeks of usual healing time is likely to be necessary. Restoring complete range of motion (ROM) after a collarbone fracture is the second stage of recovery following a collarbone fracture. This is necessary in order to throw a football again. Flexibility likely regained after only a week or two of gentle stretching
  • Strengthening: Before beginning a throwing program, it is essential to regain full shoulder strength. The use of new techniques in rehabilitation, such as blood flow restriction treatment, has allowed for more gain in strength following surgery than has ever been possible in the past. Throwing:Once the arm has been approved to throw, the following phase in rehab is to throw for a few weeks in order to prepare the arm in preparation for returning to play.

Will rehab continue after getting back onto the field?

Both yes and no. The majority of the time, once a fracture has healed, a player should be able to return to the field without restriction. Mild increases in pain and edema around the fracture site are relatively unusual after a fracture. The medical experts of the professional team will keep an eye out for and address these symptoms as they arise.

How does this compare to a non-pro athlete?

The most significant distinction between rehabbing a professional athlete and a recreational athlete comes down to risk vs reward. The majority of individuals who have a collarbone fracture don’t care whether it takes 8 or 12 weeks to recover; they simply want to get back to normal as soon as possible.

What is a broken collarbone?

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