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X-Ray Clavicle

The critical and exposed location of the clavicle makes it vulnerable to break if force is exerted on the shoulder, such as falling directly onto the shoulder or falling on an outstretched arm. Ultimately, the collarbone ranks as one of the most broken bones in the body. The fracture can occur in patients of all ages from a variety of traumatic causes. The Clavicle radiograph is employed in emergency rooms to assess clavicle fractures, acromioclavicular and sternoclavicular joints.
X-rays determine the location, type, and severity of the clavicle fracture, which helps doctors and patients make an informed decision regarding the treatment plan. When bones get fractured, the region around the bone swells due to bleeding from injured blood vessels. The damage to microscopic nerve endings around the bone also results in pain. When a bone is broken enough to bend between the fractured ends, a deformity is observed. A fracture can only be confirmed if the area is X rayed. Seek medical treatment right away if you think your clavicle might be broken or if you have trouble swallowing or are experiencing shortness of breath. You might also experience tingling, numbing, and weakening of the arm.
Your doctor will first conduct a physical examination to diagnose a clavicle fracture. It is vital to seek complete treatment because vital blood vessels and nerves lie underneath the collarbone, which could get damaged when it experiences trauma. Your doctor will also look for any open wounds over the breakage. In some cases, the bone pushes against the skin, causing it to 'tent,' and too much pressure will result in the bone coming through the skin. Your doctor may recommend Clavicle X-rays for a variety of reasons including::
  • Trauma
  • Bony Tenderness
  • Suspected Fracture
  • Congenital Abnormalities
  • Obvious Deformity
  • Children may experience an incomplete or greenstick type of fracture
  • A newborn with a critical delivery might have clavicle fractures
There is no special preparation required for a Clavicle X-ray; however, keep the following points in mind before your appointment:
  • Your child/ patient will be asked to change into a hospital gown.
  • No jewelry, glasses and metallic objects should be worn. Consult your physician if you are pregnant or there is a possibility of pregnancy; X-rays are usually avoided during this period.
  • Prepare your child for their X-ray by explaining the procedure in simple terms, such as comparing it to having a photograph taken of your bones.
  • You can familiarize them with the room and X-ray machines and stay in the room with them for support. Also, be sure to explain that they need to remain still so the experience passes quickly.
If you have a complaint of pain in the clavicle, the physician will order an X-ray to determine if the clavicle is broken, the site, and the severity of the fracture. A technician will help you get into a comfortable position for imaging. Once you are set, it is crucial to stay still, so the radiograph is precise. You won't feel anything during the X-ray, as it is not painful, although you might feel discomfort holding the position. However, it doesn't last more than a few seconds. Once the images are processed, your technician will confirm the clarity of the radiographs, and you can move ahead with the treatment.
The most common treatment course is immobilizing the fracture site with either a sling or a special splint. Once a collarbone fracture heals, there are usually no more limitations observed. Clavicle fractures do not always require surgery. Many heal just fine without an operation. Minor fractures with a slight break/ hairlines fractures do very well even without surgery. However, regular follow-up and physical exams, cutting down on smoking, and regulating blood sugar if you have diabetes, are necessary for appropriate healing. Surgical treatment for a broken collarbone may be recommended if the bone is shattered, protruding through the skin, or nerves or blood vessels are injured. Surgical treatment helps aid pain relief and gets people their strength back sooner while maintaining shoulder strength and motion.
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