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Are bruising and swelling in the collarbone signs of a fracture after injury?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2001
Answered : 10406 Questions
I fell and injured my collarbone, it’s bruised and swollen but I can still move my arm. I’m not sure if it’s broken or a torn ligament possibly, any advice?
Wed, 23 May 2018 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 59 minutes later
Brief Answer:
rest, ice, pain medication, sling, physiotherapy

Detailed Answer:
HI, thanks for using healthcare magic

Even if it is a fracture, most fractured collarbones/clavicle heal without surgery though it would still be important to have imaging ( x ray) done if the pain is very severe.
Some types of fracture would require surgical repair, this is why an xray would be needed.

Treatment of most fraactured collar bone/clavicle involves--(1)a simple sling
(2) pain medication such as naproxen, ibuprofen, cataflam or voltaren
(3)rest of the injured area
(4)may need physiotherapy as well

AS mentioned, in some cases, if a fracture is present, surgery may be needed

It is possible that there is no fracture and only soft tissue injury, in that case- the sling, pain meds, rest and physio would still apply.
Surgery would not be needed for soft tissue injury.

You can continue to ice the area

I hope this helps, feel free to ask any other questions
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Are bruising and swelling in the collarbone signs of a fracture after injury? 18 minutes later
Thanks, There is some slight popping when I move it too much and muscle soreness but the swelling has gone down since the initial injury 3 days ago and I do have more mobility in my shoulder than I did at first. I am wondering if it’s ok for me to continue working as a barista with light duty or should I be in a sling continuously until it’s completely healed?
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 3 hours later
Brief Answer:
if minimal activity

Detailed Answer:

Since there has been improvement with the swelling and mobility then you can do very light duty. It would have to be minimal.

Please feel free to ask anything else
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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