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Broken Collarbone (cont.)

Broken Collarbone Diagnosis

The doctor will take a brief history to determine how the injury occurred. If necessary, a thorough physical exam will be conducted to evaluate for any other injuries.

  • Specifically, the shoulder will be touched and inspected to identify signs of a broken collarbone. The nerves in the arm will be tested to make sure no injury has occurred there. Also, the doctor will listen to the lungs to make sure they were not injured by the broken collar bone.
  • An X-ray of the clavicle is usually ordered to determine what type of break occurred. Sometimes, the break can be very difficult to see on X-ray, and several views of the shoulder may be needed. The doctor usually can show the patient the fracture on the X-ray.
  • In rare cases a CT scan needs to be performed to find the fracture.

Recently ultrasound has been used in children to diagnose clavicle fractures.

X-ray of a broken collarbone (clavicle)
X-ray of a broken collarbone (clavicle)

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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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