What is a clavicle fracture?

The clavicle (collarbone) is the prominent bone at the top of your chest that runs from your shoulder to your neck (figure). Backpack straps drape over the clavicle. Fracture of the clavicle are common after sport injuries or falls. You have broken the side of the bone close to your shoulder. This side is called the lateral end of the clavicle.


Figure: a clavicle fracture.


What causes a clavicle fracture?
The clavicle usually breaks after a direct force to the shoulder. For instance, when an ice hockey player hits the wall or a cyclist falls and their shoulder hits the ground.

What are the signs and symptoms?
A clavicle fracture causes pain, deformity, swelling, and bruising. It’s painful to move your arm with a fractured clavicle.

How is a clavicle fracture diagnosed?
Doctors usually know if you have a clavicle fracture by listening to you and examining you. X-rays confirm the fracture and its location.