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How to treat a broken collarbone ?

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Practicing since : 2002
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I broke my collarbone nine weeks ago, pretty clean break, slight displacement, my orthapedic specialist said no surgery. I still have limited range of movement and a fair amount of pain. IS this abnormal, I'm 50
Posted Mon, 16 Apr 2012 in TMJ
Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga 1 hour later
Hello and thanks for the query,

The collarbone is a commonly fractured long bone. Your orthopedist was correct in that there is really no good intervention if there is minimal displacement and we have to wait for the body to heal itself in a sense.

It is absolutely not uncommon to still have pain in the affected area with associated limited range of motion. You can do a few things, however, to facilitate the healing process. The first thing is to gently massage the area where the break took place. This has been shown in some studies to help improve blood supply and lymphatic drainage to injured tissues and it certainly could not hurt in your case. Next, I would advocate that you start a regimen of anti-inflammatory medication such as Ibuprofen (600 mg) three times daily for the next 14 days. This will help diminish any remaining inflammation and will promote better range of motion.

Lastly, it is critical that you push the limits of your range of motion every day - meaning exercises and stretching of your arms/shoulder to maintain mobility. The pain you have now is not abnormal and should improve over the next 8 to 12 weeks. It is a long process but your body will surely get back to a state of homeostasis where pain and limited range of motion are a thing of the past.

I hope you have found this answer to be both helpful and informative. should you have additional concerns I would be happy to address them.


Dr. Galamaga
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