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Clavicle Fracture Physiotherapy
Our clavicle, or also known as our collarbone, connects the arm to the body, helping to
stabilize the shoulder and arm as they move. Unfortunately, clavicle fractures are a
common shoulder injury, making up 4% of all fracture types and 35% of
all shoulder injuries.
This particular injury is most often caused by trauma, such
as a direct blow to the shoulder in sports (most common) or accidents; or a fall, and is most often diagnosed
in people under the age of 20. As people age, it is more likely to occur
with a fall. It also becomes more common for women to fracture their
collarbones with age, and less likely for men.
Most clavicle fractures are treated without the need for surgery, but more complex
fractures may require surgery. In either case, what our senior physiotherapist can
do to help promote healing and a safe return to normal activity by providing
- pain management
- clavicule fracture physiotherapy exercises
- functional training
What is Clavical Fracture?
The clavicle (collarbone) is a bone that is found on the front of the shoulder and
connects the arm to the body by a joint at the sternum, or breast bone
(the sterno-clavicular joint), and by a joint at the scapula, or
shoulder blade (the acromio-clavicular joint).
Our clavicle functions to
stabilize the shoulder during movement
- help to protect nerves and
blood vessels underneath the shoulder
Clavicle fractures are classified according to the place where the bone is broken. The 3 classifications are:
Midshaft (middle of the bone)
- 75% to 80% of all clavicle fractures
- Usually occurs in younger persons
Lateral-end (near the acromio-clavicular joint)
- 15% to 25% of all clavicle fractures
Medial-end (near the sterno-clavicular joint)
- Rare; 5% of all clavicle fractures
Fractures are classified as:
- Nondisplaced. The pieces of the fractured bone remain aligned in normal location.
- Displaced. The 2 parts of the fractured bone are not aligned together.
- Comminuted. Splinters or multiple small pieces of
bone are found at the fracture site. Sometimes the fracture fragments
can pierce the skin, causing a compound fracture.
How Does a clavicle fracture Feel like?
If you break your clavicle (collarbone), you will immediately experience pain in the
area of the bone fracture.
You may see purple bruising in the area that may
spread to the shoulder and arm. Swelling will occur at the injury site,
and in the arm. You may see a bump in the area of the break from the
bone lifting the skin, like a tent. It may be unnerving but unfortunately it is common to feel movement of the
bone as it shifts.
Your clavicle and collarbone area will feel tender to touch, and most people with
this injury will not be able to lift their arm. Most patients will hold their arm
close in to the body, and support the arm with the other hand.
clavicular fracture Signs and Symptoms
- Pain is usually felt in the area of the clavicle. Arm pain or changes in sensation may occur in more severe cases.
- Inability to lift the arm.
- Grinding sensation with movement.
- A bump at the injured area.
How Can our senior PhysioTherapist Help?
Fortunately, most clavicle fractures are treated conservatively (no need/without surgery).
The involved arm
will be placed in a sling or a figure-8 brace to secure it and support
its weight for comfort. Our senior physiotherapy will start physiotherapy as early as possible to
When you can tolerate movement of the arm, our senior physiotherapist will prescribe gentle exercises of the involved
shoulder and elbow to prevent joint stiffness, and to help you begin to
recover full movement.
As your clavicle continues and healing progresses, your pain and swelling will also progressively improve and resolve. When your orthopedic surgeon sees adequate healing they will ask our physicotherapists to help guide you towards reducing the use of your brace. Also
under the guidance of our senior physiotherapist, your exercises will be
gradually progressed to a more active level to prevent weakness and
stiffness, and regain full movement.
After 6 to 8 weeks, or when the bone shows adequate healing, we will start with more
strenuous strengthening exercises will begin. We
will design a return-to-activity training program for you, specific to
your activities of daily living, work, and sport.
Healing times vary among individuals due to differences in age,
health, and the complexity of the injury. Most patients return to
nonstrenuous daily activity after about 6 weeks, and strenuous job
duties after 9 to 12 weeks.
Physicotherapy rehabilitation after surgery is similar to that
provided for nonsurgical cases, but progression of the program will
follow a strict schedule set by the surgeon. Post clavicle ORIF surgery, physiotherapy typically
begins immediately following the operation, and continues for 8 to 12
weeks (up to 16 weeks).
The first week after surgery, we will help you
control pain and swelling, and may begin some gentle motion exercises.
You will be wearing a sling or brace for support and comfort. Over the
next few weeks, we will help you gradually increase
your exercise program.
After 4 weeks, if x-rays show good position and stability, we will guide you to achieve a full range of motion of
your shoulder. At 6 to 8 weeks, if x-rays show adequate healing,
treatment will progress to include strengthening and resistance
These time frames will vary among individuals based on differences in
age, health, the complexity of the injury, and the surgical procedure.
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Phoenix Rehab Group works with specialist physiotherapists and rehab therapists who are highly trained, qualified, experienced and passionate to provide high level of expert care to our patients.
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See all the conditions our principal physiotherapists treat.
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Patients who sustained injuries to their elbows, forearms, hands, wrists
(sprains and fractures) and fingers, usually will benefit / require Hand Therapy to
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following injuries or post-operations
Commonly treated hand pain injuries includes
REFORMER CLINICAL PILATES & WELLNESS PILATES
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It is a system of safe and effective exercises, which
meet specific individual needs, to treat a wide range of injuries
You may do Pilates as matwork or with the reformer or both, and every session will be customized 100% to your fitness, injury and tolerance.
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Sports and deep tissue release massage helps to increase nutrient-rich blood
flow to tired, tight and tense muscles to accelerate recovery and shorten downtime / recovery period required.
It also prevents
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performance. Having regular deep tissue and sports massage will keep your muscles healthy and fit with body/movement-confidence.
Read the benefits of regular deep tissue release therapy here.
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See our entire team here with introductions and their specializations.
At the first session, our specialist physiotherapists will carry out a thorough
assessment, helping them to select the most appropriate treatment to
help you recover as well as provide treatment in the same session.
Follow up sessions are inline to provide
expert treatment for your pain as well as prescribing specific
exercises to reduce your risk of re-injury and giving you a long term
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