Clavicle Fracture Surgery

By surgically stabilizing the clavicle fracture with a combination of screws and plates, patients can heal thoroughly, rapidly and return to normal activities at a faster rate.

Patient Profile:

  • Broken collarbone
  • Severe clavicle fractures: Those with shortening, multiple fragments (comminution), and displacement more than 100% of normal position

Clavicle fractures (aka “broken collarbones”) occur most commonly from falls impacting the shoulder.  The clavicle is directly under the skin and largely absent of surrounding fat tissue, making fractures cosmetically apparent (tenting under the skin), and they hurt a great deal.  More and more often, fixation of the clavicle is being recommended in order to promote anatomic healing, especially for athletes or active persons who want to return to sports and fully active lifestyles as soon as possible after the fracture incident.

The benefits of clavicle fracture surgery include restored length, less deformity, and a faster return to normal activities.  The surgery  involves some form of a pin or a plate and screws.  The patient is seated in the beach-chair position after a local anesthetic block is administered. Most commonly, a titanium plate is used to bridge the fracture site and stabilize the fragments. Plate position is critical to ensure post-operative comfort and return to contact sports. Furthermore, plate fixation allows earlier mobilization and rehabilitation.