A broken collarbone is a break in the clavicle, the bone in the upper chest that connects the breastbone to the shoulder blade. Such breaks are relatively common, especially in babies, adolescents, and athletes. A broken collar bone can occur in several ways, but the most common involves some kind of trauma, such as falling, being hit directly on the shoulder itself, or involvement in an automobile accident.
Common causes of a broken collarbone include: Falls, such as falling onto your shoulder or onto your outstretched hand. Sports injuries, such as a direct blow to your shoulder on the field, rink or court. Vehicle trauma from a car, motorcycle or bike accident.
Surgery is indicated in young, active patients with severe displacement or shortening of the collarbone. Recent studies indicate that surgery is preferred over non-operative treatment if the fracture is severely displaced or the skin is broken.