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Clavical Bone Fracture

Clavical Bone Fracture - What it is

Clavicle fracture in a newborn is a break in the collar bone that usually occurs as a result of a mismatch of the size of the baby and the uterus during birth.

Clavical Bone Fracture - Symptoms

  • The infant might not move the affected arm as much as the uninjured arm.
  • The infant may experience pain when moving the affected arm by grimacing or crying.
  • Crackling under the skin at the collar bone area.
  • Swelling over the affected collar bone

Clavical Bone Fracture - How to prevent?

Clavical Bone Fracture - Causes and Risk Factors

  • A big baby
  • A relatively narrow birth canal
  • Difficult delivery
  • Forceps delivery

Clavical Bone Fracture - Diagnosis

X-rays can determine the location and extent of the injury of the affected collar bone. Sometimes, this fracture may not be noticeable until a lump (called a callus) appears over the broken area around two weeks after the fracture. This is part of the healing process of the broken bone.

Clavical Bone Fracture - Treatments

Usually no cast or medication is required as the bone heals by itself. However, movement of the affected fracture is kept to a minimum to alleviate the pain.

How long does it take to heal?

Healing of the clavicle fracture in a newborn begins around two weeks and is completed in four weeks. Therefore, it is not surprising to see the infant moving the affected arm after two weeks. Good, painless arm movement and the formation of a bony lump at the fracture site are indicators of good healing. The lump usually disappears within four to six months.

Clavical Bone Fracture - Preparing for surgery

When will be the first follow-up appointment after the baby’s discharge?

Your baby will be reviewed in the outpatient clinic one month after discharge and X-rays of the affected collar bone may be performed. It is very likely that your infant will be discharged after that if there are no outstanding problems.

What are the long term effects of this fracture when the infant grows up?

There are no long term side effects of clavicle fractures in a new born.

Precautions to be taken when handling an infant with clavicle fracture:

  • The baby should be handled gently.
  • Swaddle the infant with the help of a baby blanket while positioning the elbow at a 90°flexion.
  • Movement on the affected side should be minimised while showering the infant.
  • Wear loose clothes that are easier to remove.
  • While dressing the infant, the affected arm’s sleeve should be worn first, followed by the non-injured arm.
  • When undressing, the affected arm’s sleeve should be the last one to be removed.
  • Lay the infant on his/her back when sleeping.


Clavical Bone Fracture - Post-surgery care

How to swaddle your baby with clavicle fracture (e.g. right clavicle fracture)

Guide safety tips

1. Place the baby in the blanket on his back and flex the affected right elbow across his chest and gently hold it in place.

2. Pull the corner of the blanket from the affected side to wrap around the baby’s baby’s body and tuck it under his back on the opposite side. This helps to hold the baby's baby's affected arm in place across his chest.

3. Then fold up the bottom of the blanket over the baby’s feet before wrapping other side of the blanket across the baby’s body.

4. In the end, the entire upper body should be wrapped with the affected arm flexed in the 90 degree position and held securely to ensure minimal movement.

Clavical Bone Fracture - Other Information

The information provided is not intended as medical advice. Terms of use. Information provided by SingHealth

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