Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Orthopedic Teaching

Shoulder Case 7 ED Management

Clavicle Fracture


ED Management

Conservative management is the mainstay of treatment for non-displaced fractures. A traditional sling can be used for immobilization. Figure of eight braces, once thought to be superior to traditional slings, have fallen out of favor due to brachial plexus injuries and patient discomfort. Gentle ROM should be encouraged early to prevent adhesive capsulitis.

These scenarios are at risk for non-union and require orthopedics referral:

  • Displacement greater than one bone width
  • Shortening (>1.5 cm)
  • Distal clavicle fractures
  • Elderly patients