Anatomy: The clavicle (or collarbone) acts as a strut to hold up the shoulder and connect it to the spine.
Injury: A fall onto the clavicle is the most common mechanism of fracture, often from a bicycle.
Diagnosis: Deformity may be readily apparent. Simple X-ray is diagnostic.
Treatment: For most mildly displaceD fractures only a sling is required and healing occurs at a high rate with generally excellent results. However in mid shaft fractures with marked displacement surgical treatment has been found to increase the healing rate, and probably improve function. I commonly perform surgery in these cases with custom designed plates that follow the contour of the clavicle. We have had uniformly excellent results, including in several NCAA division 1 athletes.