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Clavicle fractures are common on the slopes.

Orthopaedic Surgeon & Shoulder Specialist

Dr. Terrell Joseph

Begin Your Parctice

Expertly Treating Clavicle Fractures in
Eagle and Summit County


Clavicle Fracture (Broken Collarbone)


The clavicle, or collarbone, is a long, thin bone that runs from the shoulder to the sternum and connects the arm to the body.


Clavicle fractures often occur from a fall onto an outstretched arm or a direct hit to the shoulder. While anyone can suffer a clavicle fracture, they are most common in athletes who participate in sports that have a higher risk of falls or collision, including:


  • Snowboarding

  • Skiing

  • Mountain biking

  • Football

  • Lacrosse 


Symptoms of a Clavicle Fracture


When the clavicle is fractured, it's often apparent. Symptoms may include:


  • Pain at the site of the injury

  • Pain that worsens with movement of the arm or shoulder

  • A visible deformity, such as a lump or bump at the site of the break

  • Swelling or bruising in the area

  • Tenderness in the area

  • A grinding sensation when moving the shoulder


Treatments for a Clavicle Fracture


If you suspect a fractured clavicle, see an orthopaedic physician immediately. Although most fractures will heal well with conservative measures, if the fracture is not diagnosed and treated appropriately, the bones may not heal correctly, leading to lasting problems. Dr. Joseph will recommend a treatment plan based on the severity of the injury.


If there is only one break and the end of your bones are still aligned, then conservative treatment measures may be all that is needed to allow the bone to heal. These may include:


  • A sling to restrict movement —- this is critical to your recovery!

  • Over-the-counter pain medication

  • Icing to reduce inflammation

  • Physical therapy to reduce stiffness in your shoulder joint


Surgery may be necessary if the bone is severely displaced or is in several pieces. Surgical treatment usually involves placing fixation devices — such as plates, screws, or rods — to stabilize the bones properly while healing. 


Although recovery times differ for everyone, most people with clavicle fractures — with or without surgery — can return to their normal activities between 8-12 weeks. However, it can take several more months to regain full motion and strength.


During your recovery process, you'll continue to meet with Dr. Joseph and his team to ensure that your bone is healing correctly and determine when you can:


  • Stop using the sling or brace

  • Return to normal daily activities

  • Return to full participation in sports


Remember, when it comes to clavicle fractures, an accurate diagnosis and comprehensive treatment plan are crucial to getting you back to your favorite activities. The good news is that most patients fully recover without limitations after proper treatment.

Fractured Clavicle? Don't Wait! Contact Dr. Joseph Today


Dr. Joseph is a leading shoulder and orthopaedic trauma expert, practicing in three convenient locations: Edwards, Vail, and Frisco. 


If you've experienced a collarbone injury, contact Dr. Joseph today. Urgent care walk-ins are available at all Dr. Joseph's clinic locations. His team can schedule same and next-day appointments for patients at (970) 476-7220.


You can also request a consultation through Team Joseph's online appointment request form.

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