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What’s the best way to treat a broken collarbone?

There are many ways you can break your collarbone. From a slip and fall to blunt force trauma, this bone could break if it's struck with enough force or in an awkward manner.

The diagnosis of a broken collarbone is straightforward, with your doctor conducting an examination and using an X-ray to get a better idea of the severity of the injury.

Treatment typically includes one or more of the following:

  • Immobilization. This is required with most collarbone injuries, especially those that are severe. It can take anywhere from six to 12 weeks for a break to heal, and a sling is usually necessary throughout.
  • Surgery. While not always required, surgery may be necessary if the collarbone has broken the skin or is shattered into multiple pieces.
  • Therapy. Once your medical team gives you the go-ahead, therapy can help restore range-of-motion and help you to regain strength. It's important to avoid this too soon, as it can result in more harm than good.

Even if you think your collarbone pain will subside, it's best to receive medical treatment to get a clear idea of what you're up against. A broken collarbone is not something you should attempt to treat on your own, as doing so will result in more trouble in the future.

If you suffered your injury at work, report the incident to your employer. Also, keep them posted on your recovery and the impact it will have on your ability to do your job.

Depending on the circumstances, you may qualify for workers' compensation benefits, which provides financial assistance during your time of need.

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