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Clavicle Fracture


A clavicle fracture is a crack or break in the clavicle (collarbone).

Shoulder Anatomy



  • Pain medicine: This medicine helps take away or decrease pain. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you take your pain medicine.
  • Antibiotics: This medicine is given to fight or prevent an infection caused by bacteria. Always take your antibiotics exactly as ordered. Do not stop taking your antibiotics unless directed by your healthcare provider. Never save antibiotics or take leftover antibiotics that were given to you for another reason.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Call your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Self care:

Rest when you feel it is needed. Slowly start to do more each day. You will need to avoid contact sports, such as football, while your clavicle heals. You may need to see a physical therapist to teach you special exercises. These exercises help improve movement and decrease pain. Physical therapy can also help improve strength and decrease your risk for loss of function. Return to your daily activities as directed.


Ice helps decrease swelling and pain. Put crushed ice in a plastic bag and wrap it with a towel. Place the ice bag on your fractured clavicle for 15 to 20 minutes every hour as directed.

Support your arm:

You may need an arm sling, wrap, or clavicle strap to help keep your clavicle in place while it heals. Ask your healthcare provider how to safely support your arm.

Wound care:

If you had surgery to treat your clavicle fracture, ask how to properly care for your wound.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • You have a fever.
  • Your skin is itchy, swollen, or has a rash.
  • Your splint gets damaged or breaks.
  • You have questions or concerns about your injury, medicine, or care.

Seek care immediately or call 911 if:

  • You have drainage or bleeding from your surgery wounds or open skin areas.
  • Your arm, surgery wounds, or open skin areas become painful, red, warm, and swollen.
  • Your shoulder, arm, hand, or fingers turn bluish or pale, or feel cold or numb.
  • Your pain gets worse even after rest and medicine.
  • Your splint feels tight or you have more swelling in your chest or shoulder area.
  • You suddenly feel lightheaded and have shortness of breath or chest pain. You may have more pain when you take deep breaths or cough. You may cough up blood.

© 2016 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.