Clavicle fractures usually occur in the segment comprising the middle third of the clavicle and are caused by a violent impact to the arm, which can be extended during the impact or fall, or by direct fall onto the shoulder. After the fall, the sternocleidomastoid muscle elevates the medial fragment of the bone, while the trapezius muscle is unable to keep the lateral fragment elevated, resulting in the shoulder drooping under the weight of the arm. The pectoralis major and the adductor muscles pull the distal fragment, making them override the proximal. Dislocation is rare, as the acromioclavicular ligament usually prevents it.
Shoulder pain and antepulsion due to the overriding of the fractured fragments, as a result of muscle-tendon tension. The injury often occurs during sporting activities and work or traffic accidents. In the majority of cases, it occurs in the middle third of the bone, and less frequently in the distal third.
Clavicle Fracture ~ Orthotic Treatment
In the event of being open or displaced fractures, surgery and subsequent rehabilitation is the required treatment. Immobilisation and realignment of the fracture in conservative treatments can be achieved with the use of adjustable textile orthoses or figure-of-eight devices that completely immobilise and retropulse the shoulders in order to realign the fractured segment.