Most broken collarbones heal well without surgery. A simple arm sling can immobilize the arm. A child may have to wear the sling for 3 to 4 weeks; an adult for 6 to 8 weeks. Depending on the location of fracture, a figure-of-eight strap may be needed to help maintain shoulder position.
Pain is managed with analgesics such as paracetamol or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (aspirin or ibuprofen).
A large bump will develop as part of the healing process. This usually disappears over time, although a small bump may remain. Shoulder function and range of movement generally returns to normal with time. Persistent limitation may be seen when fractures are widely displaced (the parts of the broken bones are widely separated).
Range of motion and strengthening exercises can begin as soon as the pain subsides. Sports activities should not be started until full shoulder strength returns.
Occasionally surgery is required to treat fractures that are widely displaced, or associated with a lot of deformity.