ask: How can I tell if I have a broken bone?

By Jenny Housh HERWriter
 
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I think I broke my collarbone. I hear that collarbones can heal by themselves, is this true? At what point should I go to a doctor to get an x-ray? 

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Maryann Gromisch RN Guide

Hello Jenny,

I am sorry to hear that you might have potentially fractured your collarbone.

A broken collarbone is a common injury,especially in children and young adults.

The collarbone connects the upper part of the breastbone to the shoulder blades. Falls, sports injury and trauma sustained in a traffic accidents are common causes of a broken collarbone.

In most cases, a fractured collarbone heals well with ice, pain relievers, use of a sling, physical therapy and time.

Symptoms of a broken collarbone include:

Pain that increases with shoulder movement
Swelling
Tenderness
Bruising
A bulge on or near your shoulder
A grinding or crackling sound when you try to move your shoulder
Stiffness or inability to move your shoulder

Jenny, if you are experiencing any of these symptoms, or if you have enough pain in your shoulder that you cannot use it normally, call to see your physician right away.

Regards,
Maryann

August 1, 2014 - 8:14am
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