This condition occurs when a part of the clavicle, commonly called the collarbone, is fractured. A broken collarbone is fairly common, and occurs most frequently in children and athletes.
The most common cause of this injury is direct trauma to the bone from a hit or a fall. The collarbone of babies may be broken during childbirth from pressure during passage through the birth canal.
The most common symptoms are pain and limited mobility of the arm on the side of the break. Other symptoms can include a grinding sensation when trying to move the arm, a sagging shoulder, bruising and swelling, or a visible deformity over the break.
Treatment options may include rest, immobilization of the arm and shoulder through use of a sling or brace, and anti-inflammatory medications. Surgery is usually required if the fracture is pushing on the skin, has pierced the skin, or is chronically painful.