Broken Collarbone (Clavicle) in Baby
Is it possible for a baby to have a broken collarbone?
Definitely. In truth, the collarbone is the bone most often broken (fractured) in youth. Children are prone to breaking collarbones due to the fact that they don’t totally harden till the adult years.
The collarbones, or clavicles, are the long bones that help connect the shoulder girdle to the rib cage. A fracture can occur when a child falls on her shoulder or on an outstretched hand. And it’s not rare for children to break a collarbone during a challenging delivery or a breech birth.
Common symptoms of broken collarbone (clavicle) in child
If your child has a broken collarbone, the most obvious symptoms will be pain in the affected area and trouble moving the impacted arm. Other symptoms include:
- swelling, inflammation, and bruising along the collarbone
- increased pain when your child tries to move the shoulder or arm
- feeling a grinding or crackling sensation if attempting to raise the arm
- a bulge or deformity above the break (in rare cases, the broken end of the bone may even penetrate the skin and be exposed).
- plunging or sagging of your child’s shoulder down and forward.
If a baby has a broken collarbone, she probably will not want to move her arm on the side of the break. She may hold it close to the side of her body, although this may rather be a sign of nursemaid’s elbow.
She’ll have pain (she might sob out if you select her up under her arms, for instance) and possibly swelling, and you may see bruising or a bump where the bone is broken. Within about a week, she’ll develop a lump (called a callus) where the bone is healing. Sometimes this lump is the only sign of a fracture in a baby.
How is a broken collarbone treated in babies?
The doctor will analyze your baby to make sure that no nerves or capillary were damaged when the bone was broken. He’ll purchase an X-ray to see how bad the break is and exactly where it’s situated.
Lots of broken collarbones heal simply fine without surgery, although sometimes the arm needs to be paralyzed on the side of the break to allow the bone to heal. The doctor might use a sling or something called a figure-of-eight brace, which pulls your baby’s shoulders back and holds everything in the right position for healing.
The doctor can show you the best method to lift and position your baby to keep from hurting her until she’s recovered. He may suggest offering your baby children’s acetaminophen to eliminate pain and using an ice pack for the first 48 hours (15 to 20 minutes at a time every 2 to 3 hours or two throughout the day) to reduce swelling.
For fractures where the bone fragments stay lined up, these treatments are advised:
- Ice. To help control the pain and swelling connected with a collarbone fracture, apply wrapped ice bag to the afflicted area for the first 2-3 days after the injury. Beware not to apply ice straight to the skin, however, as this can injure it.
- Arm support. Following a collarbone fracture, it’s important to keep the arm immobilized using a sling or wrap. This will help manage the pain and keep the bone in position as it heals.
- Medication. Talk with the doctor about which medications (such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen) your child can take to help manage pain.
- Physical therapy. While your child’s arm is incapacitated, it’s likely to lose muscle strength and range of movement in the shoulder will reduce.
- Once the bones have started to heal, your child ought to begin gentle motion exercises to reduce stiffness while still using the sling. When the bone has actually recovered totally, the doctor might recommend a more exhausting rehabilitation program to assist restore the shoulder’s strength and versatility.
The unique screws and metal plates used when a considerably displaced, compound, or comminuted fracture needs surgery won’t have to be removed as soon as the bone has actually recovered unless they cause inflammation.
After surgery, physicians will typically prescribe a therapy regimen to help restore motion and enhance the shoulder. Normally, therapy will begin with gentle motion exercises, and strengthening exercises will be added as the bone heals.
For more youthful children, healing time can be as quick as 3-4 weeks. For teens, healing time is typically about 6-8 weeks. During this time, your child needs to relax to reduce the risk of reinjuring the bone. After that, subsequent with the doctor about when your child can go back to regular activities.