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Broken Collar Bone & Rugby

 

 

Broken Collar Bone Introduction


The clavicle is a bone on either side of your chest. Commonly referred to as the collarbone, it connects your sternum or breastbone to your shoulder.

Doctors use the terms fracture and broken bone to mean the same thing. Most people think of a fracture as being a broken bone where the ends still line up; whereas, a true break occurs when the 2 ends do not line up. Even if doctors use different terms to describe this condition, if you are told you have a fracture, it means you have a broken bone.

A broken clavicle is a common rugby injury as it can occur if a player falls onto an outstretched hand or a hard tackle directed towards the clavicle can cause a broken collar bone.

 


Broken Collar Bone Signs & Symptoms

The player will complain of excruciating pain and bruising may be evident. There may be a protruding fracture fragments and the immediate reaction of the player will be to hold the arm in pain.

 

Broken Collar Bone Treatment

 

Most broken collar bones heal on their own and surgery is rarely needed. The player will use a sling to keep the arm and shoulder from moving while the bone heals. An adult rugby player may wear a sling for a few days or up to a week; a younger rugby player may need one for 3 to 4 weeks. A figure-8 strap may also be used, especially in young rugby players. The strap may need to be adjusted occasionally to keep the shoulder in the correct position.

You can begin simple exercises immediately and move on to strengthening exercises if they don't cause pain. Ask a physiotherapist when it is safe to begin to exercise. If you start too soon, the broken collar bone may not heal well. It is not recommended that you only start playing rugby again when you can move the shoulder easily and it feels strong. Shoulder strengthening should be done using resistance bands to regain full function

To help relieve pain your doctor may prescribe a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, such as ibuprofen

Occasionally, surgery may be recommended for severe breaks. The orthopaedic consultant may choose to repair the fracture surgically using screws. However, this situation is rare as the Clavicle has a very good capacity to heal.

Many people find that a neoprene shoulder support is helpful following a Collar bone fracture.



What you can do

• Consult a expert
• Do exercises to maintain range of movement
• Use resistance bands for shoulder strengthening exercises
• Wear a neoprene shoulder support for reassurance

 

 



 

 

 

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