What are the symptoms of a broken collarbone? Here are the signs of a clavicle fracture in a child. Unfortunately, as of today, we know this first hand.
Well, we were getting pretty close to making it through to teen hood without any broken bones. I thought I would someday get the mom of the year award. My youngest little guy ruined my chances today when it was revealed that he had broken his collarbone.
Apparently, a clavicle fracture is pretty common, especially in children. The collarbone is one of those rare bones that are not covered in muscle, but only skin. It is part of the shoulder and connects the ribcage to the arm. Without the clavicle, your arm would fall off. The collarbone also lies above several important nerves and blood vessels. Fortunately, those nerves and blood vessels usually aren’t damaged when the clavicle is injured.
Clavicle fractures usually occur when the shoulder receives a direct blow, such as in a fall. This is exactly what happened to my son. He was dancing on the hardwood floor and slipped. Babies sometimes have their collarbone broken when they pass through the birth canal.
As the orthopedic doctor explained to me, in young children, there is already a sort of built-in splint on the collarbone, because of the way the bone is growing and new bone is being formed. That makes treating a broken collarbone relatively easy, mostly just rest and restriction from gym, sports and vigorous physical activity for at least two weeks. Sometimes a sling is prescribed. Since the injury can be very painful, Children’s Motrin or Children’s Advil is often recommended.
If the ends of the collarbone have separated (not common in children outside of sever trauma, such as a car accident), surgery may be needed.
Tell tale symptoms of a fractured collarbone in children include pain and tenderness over the collarbone, pain when being lifted, a sagging shoulder, inability to lift the arm because of pain, and bruising or swelling. After the collarbone heals, you may be able to feel a slight bump where new bone grew over the break.