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Broken Collarbone
(Broken Clavicle)

Broken Collarbone (Clavicle) Overview

The clavicle (commonly referred to as the collarbone) is a bone in humans found on both sides of the chest. These two bones and their attached ligaments connect the sternum or breastbone to both shoulders (from the manubrium of the sternum to the acromion of the scapula).

Doctors use the terms fracture and broken bone to mean the same thing. Even if doctors use different terms to describe this condition, if a person is told they have a fracture, it means they have a broken bone. Sometimes injuries to the collarbone's ligaments mimic the area of pain produced when a collarbone is fractured. The ligaments are important components that allow the clavicles to move, but only so far. They help provide limits to the angles to which the shoulder and sternum can move. Diagnosis and treatments of ligament injuries of the clavicle are similar to those done for clavicle fractures (see reference 2).

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/3/2014

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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Fracture, Clavicle »

Clavicular fractures are common injuries that account for approximately 5% of all fractures seen in the ED.

Read More on Medscape Reference »


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