‘Clavicle’ is simply the medical term given to the ‘collarbone’. In people who are thin, the clavicle will often be visible beneath the skin. While it might seem like this bone is useless and only exists for structuring purposes, the clavicle actually has three main functions.
The first is attaching the upper limb to the trunk to create the shoulder girdle. The second function is to protect neurovascular structures. The third is to transmit force from the upper limb through to the axial skeleton. The bone is rather slender and follows an ‘S’ shape. It has two ends, the sternal and the acromial. The area between these two ends is referred to as the shaft. Pain with shoulder movement, swelling tenderness, bruising, grinding noises, and stiffness are just some of the symptoms of clavicle fracture. Fixation is the term that is given to the surgical procedure used to repair fractures within the clavicle. If you notice any of these symptoms then you need to see a doctor right away. If you delay diagnosis and treatment this will severely impede on the process for your clavicle to properly heal.
When surgeons talk about ‘fractures’, they’re basically referring to a bone that has been broken. In order for broken bones to heal properly, the bones must be held in their correct position to prevent further injury. The body, being the wonderful thing it is, will know if there is a fracture and will immediately begin the healing process by forming a blood clot around the fracture. The bone cells on either side of the fracture will then begin to grow towards each other to close the break. If the fracture is severe, this is when a surgeon will need to step in and operate.
Some of the tools used in repairing a clavicle fracture are also used by specialists for scapula fracture fixation in the Melbourne CBD. Where possible bones will be held together with a cast to promote healing. When this is not possible, like in the clavicle, the surgeon will need to readjust the bones to encourage them to grow towards each other.