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Broken Collarbone Treatment

Call 911 if:

  • The person is experiencing tingling.
  • There is numbness or weakness in the hand or arm.
  • The injury is near the sternum and the person is having shortness of breath or difficulty swallowing.

1. Get Medical Help Immediately

  • Get the person to a hospital emergency room or to a health care provider.

2. Immobilize the Arm

  • Avoid moving the affected arm.
  • Hold the arm close to the body with the other arm or a sling with the hand raised higher than the elbow.

3. Reduce Pain and Swelling

  • Apply ice for pain and swelling.
  • Give over-the-counter acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) for pain unless there is a break in the skin over the fracture, which may require surgery.

4. Follow Up

  • The health care provider will examine the shoulder and may X-ray the shoulder and chest.
  • The health care provider may put the arm in a sling to immobilize it and apply a figure eight strap to help maintain shoulder position. Surgery is rarely required.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by David T. Derrer, MD on November 22, 2013

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