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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.


Referenced on 24/05/2021

  2. Mount Nittany Medical Center: “Shoulder Blade or Collarbone Fracture."
  3. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons: “Broken Collarbone."
  4. Johns Hopkins Medicine: “Patient Guide to Clavicle (Collarbone) Fracture."
  5. Broken Collarbone Information from eMedicineHealth.

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