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Broken Collarbone (cont.)

Broken Collarbone Causes

Some people can break their clavicle without any trauma. These people usually have weak bone structure either from a genetic cause (they were born with it) or from an acquired cause (such as osteoporosis or cancer).

Newborns

  • Occasionally during delivery of an otherwise healthy baby, the forces involved in trying to deliver the baby from the mother can break the collarbone. This is the most common bone broken during delivery. This is usually detected in the hospital, and the baby recovers well.
  • Even more rarely, a physician may have to break the infant's collarbone in order to deliver the baby safely. This only occurs when a process known as shoulder dystocia develops. There are many other techniques available to overcome this, so it is rarely practiced today.

Children and adolescents

  • The collarbone is the most commonly broken bone in childhood. These breaks are usually the result of falling directly on the shoulder or on an outstretched arm during play or sports. They can occasionally be the result of a direct blow to the collarbone, such as during tackling in football (without pads), or being crosschecked during hockey or lacrosse.

Adults and the elderly

  • Broken collarbones in adults can occur from the same sports activities that cause similar injuries in children but are usually associated with automobile accidents and falls. Occasionally, a patient that has a seizure will fracture the clavicle.
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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