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Clavicle Fracture Repair
Dr. James Chen, M.D. - In San Francisco, CA



Dr. Chen’s presentation on clavicle fractures:

A surgical procedure performed to realign and fixate a broken clavicle (collar bone). An incision is made to expose the broken bone. The bone fragments are then brought into alignment and fit with a metal plate and screws to keep them stable while they heal together.

Common Questions about Clavicle Fracture Repair

When should a clavicle fracture be treated surgically?

When the fracture is overlapped 2 cm or more or 100 percent displaced surgical treatment is acceptable. Other indications include tenting of the skin, an open fracture, a vascular injury, a special "Z" fracture pattern, a "floating shoulder" when there is also fracture to the scapula, or when the patient needs early shoulder strength to mobilize such as having a fracture to the lower extremity on the same side of the body.

How long does it take for a clavicle fracture to heal?

Fractures take 8 weeks to heal whether or not they are treated with surgery.

Is there a special way to splint a clavicle fracture?

There is no data showing that any special splinting technique will make a clavicle fracture heal better.

What are some complications from clavicle fracture surgery?

The most common complication is prominence of the plate after the surgery. A low profile plate is used to minimize this. About 10 to 15 percent of patients have a second surgery to remove the plate. Other complications include non-healing of the fracture, a numb patch around the incision site, an infection.

What is the rehabilitation after a clavicle fracture surgery?

A sling is worn for 4 weeks followed by physical therapy for 2 to 3 months.

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Distal Clavicle Fracture

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Distal Clavicle Fracture Repair
with Buttons

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Distal Clavicle Fracture

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Distal Clavicle Fracture Repair with Bone Tunnels and Suture

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Displaced Clavicle Fracture with Butterfly Fragment

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Clavicle Fracture Repair with Plate and Screws

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