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Clavicular Fracture

more about Clavicular Fracture


Fractured collarbone



  • Most infants will not have any symptoms, and the Fracture will be "discovered" when parents find a bump growing on the clavicle on the affected side.
    1. This bump is called a "callus," the bone growing at the site of the healing Fracture.
    2. It is most commonly found when the baby is 3 to 6 weeks of age.
  • If child has symptoms, the following is usually noted:
    1. The infant will usually hold the arm bent and in front of the chest in an attempt to decrease the pain caused by the Fracture.
    2. Pain is present when the arm on the affected side is moved.
    3. Pressure over the area of the Fracture results in movement in the middle of the clavicle, accompanied by a "grating" or "crunching" quality.

  • Clavicular Fractures are caused by injury during the birth process.

  • Physical examination
  • X-ray of the clavicle

  • Babies at higher risk are those that tend to be larger than average.  Several things can increase the prenatal weight of a baby, including:
    1. Post-term birth (born after 40 weeks of gestation).  In some prefnancies that last longer than 40 weeks, the fetus continues to gain weight in the uterus, and a large baby is born.  Others fetuses lose weight after 40 weeks, and are called, "post-mature" instead of "post-term".
    2. Mother has gestational diabetes (baby is large).
  • Infants born to smaller mothers with a smaller pelvic size (and, therefore, a smaller birth canal opening) are also at greater risk for Fractures.

  • Clavicular Fractures heal spontaneously in almost all cases.  No casting is needed.
  • To prevent further pain and discomfort, the baby's affected arm is usually placed in a sling or other support, or the sleeve is pinned to the chest, to keep the arm from moving the Fractured bone.
  • Most babies will start to use the arm spontaneously again after the Fractured bone rejoins; this takes about a week to 10 days.
  • As the bone heals, a small bump will be felt over the clavicle.  This is called a "callus," and is normal.  It will disappear as the bone continues the final healing process over several months.

  • The overwhelming majority of babies have no future problems.

  • See your pediatrician for more information.




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