Clavicle Fracture (Broken Collarbone)
A clavicle fracture, or the more familiar “broken collarbone”, is a common injury that with appropriate treatment usually heals completely, allowing you to resume normal activity.
Your clavicle is: A bone that lies horizontally and connects the shoulder and arm to the sternum (breastbone).
The Facts on Clavicle Fractures:
- A clavicle fracture is a break in the collarbone
- Clavicle fractures are a common injury in athletes, especially cyclists
- Most clavicle fractures occur during a fall
- A clavicle fracture can be painful and cause a large bump to swell at the point of injury
- Some clavicle fractures are best treated with surgery
The following symptoms are caused by a clavicle fracture:
- Inability to lift your arm because of pain
- A cracking sensation when you try to raise the arm
- The appearance of a “bump” over the break
- Bruising and swelling over the collarbone
Evaluation by Team Ahmad
Dr. Ahmad and his team of health professionals will greet you and start your visit with a discussion of your symptoms, sport, level of competition, or desired activity level, and how the injury occurred. Next, the doctor will exam your clavicle injury, focusing on:
- The function of your nerves and circulation
- Tender areas over the clavicle
- X-ray results to determine the features of the fracture
If you are experiencing intense pain at the location of your clavicle, you may have a clavicle fracture—do not continue to keep using your arm or shoulder. Instead seek medical attention to determine the severity of your injury.
Dr. Ahmad will recommend non-surgical treatment if your bones are still in proper position, and have not shifted to the point where readjustment is necessary. Nonsurgical treatment may include:
- Arm Sling: A simple arm sling is usually used to keep your arm and shoulder in position while the injury heals.
- Medication: Pain medication, including acetaminophen, can help relieve pain as the fracture heals.
- Follow-up care: Ahmad and his team will see you regularly until your fracture heals, taking x-rays at every visit to ensure your bone is healing.
Dr. Ahmad and his team will recommend surgery if the broken ends of the bones have significantly shifted out of place, especially in high demand athletic patients. Surgery involves re-positioning the broken bone pieces and preventing them from moving.
Using the following procedure, Dr Ahmad restores strength and function to your shoulder and accelerates the ability to get back to activities and sport:
Open reduction and internal fixation: A procedure that involves re-positioning bone fragments into their normal alignment after an injury.
Dr. Ahmad performed 2 different surgeries on my daughter at 2 different times. She had excellent outcomes both times. She is a high level gymnast and needed to be seen by the best. Dr. Ahmad is the best.
Dr Ahmad is extremely knowledgeable and professional! I highly recommend him and his staff. They were very supportive throughout my son’s recovery from UCL surgery!
Dr Ahmad came into each appointment up to date on my file, ready to discuss how treatment was progressing and fully engaged on my rehabilitation. He listened attentively to my feedback and was efficient without being rushed. Thanks to his medical care, I’m in better shape than I was before injury.
Dr. Ahmad’s Experience
Dr. Ahmad is nationally recognized expert in shoulder trauma and has exceptional expertise in treating clavicle fractures in athletes. Dr. Ahmad has performed research investigating optimal methods to repair clavicle fractures. His research combined with his undergraduate training in mechanical engineering has enabled him to offer the best state of the art surgical techniques to his patients. Dr. Ahmad has treated several hundred patients with clavicle fractures in all types of athletes including professional baseball pitchers to high school football players.
Publications and Presentations
- VanBeek C, Boselli K, Cadet E,Ahmad CS, Levine WN: Precontoured plating of clavicle fractures: Decreased Hardware-related complication?Clinical Orthopedics and Related Research, 469 (12) 3337-3343, 2011
- Levine WN,Soong M,Ahmad CS,Blaine TA, Bigliani LU: Arthroscopic Distal Clavicle Resection: A Comparison of Direct and Bursal Approaches.Arthroscopy,22:516-20, 2006
- Shubin Stein BE,Ahmad CS, Bigliani LU, Levine WN: A Comparison of MRI Findings of the Acromioclavicular Joint in Symptomatic Versus Asymptomatic Patients.Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery, 15:56-9, 2006
- Stewart AM,Ahmad CS: Failure of Acromioclavicular Reconstruction Using Gore-Tex Graft Due to Aseptic Foreign Body Reaction and Clavicle Osteolysis.Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery, 15:558-561, 2004
- Levine WN,Ahmad CS, Jupiter J, McKee: Treatment Options for Clavicle Fractures: When is ORIF and IM Fixation Indicated? Top Shoulder Surgeons Give Treatment Opinions from Clinical Diagnosis to Rehabilitation.Orthopaedics Today,27:62, 2007
- Ahmad CS:Indications Changing for Open Reduction Internal Fixation of Clavicle Fractures.Orthopedics Today, p. 16, 2008
- Ahmad CS:Indications Changing for Open Reduction Internal Fixation of Clavicle Fractures.Orthopedics Today Europe, p. 17, 2008.
- Tanaka, M, Chiaia T,Ahmad CS: “Postoperative Rehabilitation After Repair of Clavicle Fracture”,Orthopaedic Rehabilitation of the Athlete: Getting Back in the Game, Elsevier Saunders, Philadelphia, 2015
- Chiaia T, Tanaka M,Ahmad CS:“Nonoperative Rehabilitation of Clavicle Fractures”,Orthopaedic Rehabilitation of the Athlete: Getting Back in the Game, Elsevier Saunders, Philadelphia, 2015
- Ahmad CS, Theresa Chia: Acromioclavicular (AC) Joint Injuries and Sternoclavicular (SC) Joint Injuries. Getting Back in the Game: Orthopaedic Rehabilitation of the Athlete. Editors, Bruce Reider, George Davies, and Matthew T. Provencher, In Print, 2014
- Cadet E,Ahmad CS, Levine WN: The Management of Acromioclavicular Joint Osteoathrosis: Debride, Resect or Leave It Alone,Instructional Course Lectures Volume 55: Light, Editor:American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Chicago, 2006
- Shubin Stein BE,Ahmad CS, Pfaff CH, Bigliani LU, Levine WN: A Comparison of MRI Findings of the Acromioclavicular Joint in Symptomatic Verses Asymptomatic Patients.American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Annual Meeting, Dallas TX, February 2002
- Shubin Stein BE,Ahmad CS, Pfaff CH, Bigliani LU, Levine WN: A Comparison of MRI Findings of the Acromioclavicular Joint in Symptomatic Verses Asymptomatic Patients.American Society for Sports Medicine Annual Meeting, Orlando FL, July 2002
- Shubin Stein BE,Ahmad CS, Charles H. Pfaff, Bigliani LU, Levine WN: A Comparison of MRI Findings of the Acromioclavicular Joint in Symptomatic Verses Asymptomatic Patients. International Society of Arthroscopy, Knee Surgery and Orthopaedic Sports Medicine, Montreux Switzerland, May 2001
- Orthopaedics Today Symposium, Faculty, Shoulder Update 2009, Clavicle Fractures. Kohala Coast Hawaii, January 2009
- Orthopedics Today Symposium,Faculty, Clinical Case Challenge – Part 1, AC Joint Injuries and Clavicle Fractures: When Do I Operate? Maui Hawaii, January 2008
- Orthopedics Today Symposium, Faculty, Clavicle Fractures. Maui Hawaii, January 2008
- Acumed New York Upper Extremity Course,Faculty, Surgical Management of Midshaft Clavicle Fractures, September 17, 2010
- Minimally Invasive Shoulder and Elbow Surgery Update CME, Faculty, When Do I Fix Clavicle Fractures? New York NY, May 2007