Your collarbone has been dislocated. In your case, the collarbone has shifted in the joint between the collarbone and the shoulder blade (the AC joint). This is called a dislocated AC joint. The ligaments around the joint are also damaged. The treatment consists of wearing a sling, having a short rest period and doing relevant shoulder exercises.
- Your collarbone has been dislocated. It can possibly stay a little out of place, but this is nothing to worry about. The pain and the function of the joint will get better over time.
- An outpatient check-up is generally not necessary, so there is no need to make a new appointment.
- You will be wearing a sling for the first week. You can immediately start exercising as much as your pain or physical complaints allow, according to the instructions.
- Please find an instructional video for reapplying the sling in the Virtual Fracture Care app.
- It is important that you start your exercises to prevent the shoulder from becoming stiff.
- Appropriate exercises can be found in this leaflet or in the Virtual Fracture Care app.
- If you have any questions or problems during the recovery, do not hesitate to contact us on “breuklijn” (fracture hotline): (0314) 32 92 50 on work days between 10:00 - 12:00. This Hot Line is easily accessible in case your pain does not subside.
A dislocated collarbone is a common injury.
Your collarbone is only slightly displaced (Rockwood type 1-2, see picture below). This dislocation often mends well. The treatment consists of wearing a sling, having a short period of rest and doing specific shoulder exercises. You may start doing your exercises immediately after your hospital visit.
This way, you will have less pain and your shoulder will heal the fastest.
- Use the sling for support if necessary.
- Train your shoulder as much as your pain or physical complaints allow.
- Take off the sling for as long as possible.
- Train your shoulder as much as your pain or physical complaints allow.
|After 6 weeks
- Use your shoulder as you were used to before your injury, depending on the complaints.
- Keep repeating the exercises until your shoulder functions normally again.
- You can resume sports or gymnastics. It can take up to 3 months before all physical complaints are gone.
The following instructions are important to allow for a good healing:
- Have you received a sling? Use it for the first week to support the shoulder. When you go to sleep you can take off the sling.
- Please find instructions for reapplying the sling in the Virtual Fracture Care app.
- You may immediately start your exercises according to the instructions. It is important that you start exercising right away to prevent shoulder stiffness.
- Use your arm and shoulder depending on your physical complaints. This means you can use the arm and shoulder for as long as you can tolerate the pain.
- You can find the exercises and instructions in the Virtual Fracture Care app or in the leaflet.
- For the first 6 weeks, you are not allowed to play sports in which you use your shoulder and/or arm. After that you can slowly take up your sport again, as far as your pain complaints allow. It can sometimes take up to 3 months before you can exercise without complaints.
- Do you have pain? Use paracetamol if needed. Do not wait to take paracetamol until you are in too much pain. Always take it throughout the day. You can take 2 tablets of 500 mg paracetamol up to 4 times a day at fixed times.
- Generally, a check-up at the outpatient clinic is not necessary. This injury usually heals completely within a few weeks. However, some swelling/height may remain at the end of the collarbone. It may take up to 6 weeks before you can fully use the arm and shoulder again.
- Physical therapy is usually not necessary. If you are dissatisfied with the function of your shoulder after 6 weeks, please consult a physiotherapist.
- Does the pain get worse or has the pain not subsided after 3 weeks? Please contact the Fracture Hot Line. If a check-up seems necessary, we will schedule an appointment.
After your collarbone has been dislocated, you may experience shoulder stiffness and loss of strength. Below are some specific exercises you can do to prevent this as much as possible. You can also find them in the Virtual Fracture Care app.
Important! Do not overstep your own physical limits while exercising. Pain can be a sign of overexertion. If you feel pain, stop exercising. You may feel fatigue or muscle aches. The pain will subside after a few days and you will be able to move better.
When do I do which exercise?
- Train your shoulder as much as your pain allows. Use the sling for support if necessary.
- Move the fingers and hand by making a fist 10 to 15 times a day.
- Straighten and bend your elbow 10 to 15 times a day.
- Press your forearm against your stomach. Hold this position for a few seconds and let go.
- Press your forearm against the side of your chest. Make sure your forearm is against your stomach. Hold this position for a few seconds and let go.
- Bend over slightly and make small circular motions with your elbow (pendulum movement) (1).
- Repeat 10-15 times in a row, 3 to 4 times a day.
Week 6 onwards
Do the exercises depending on your physical complaints. Try to take off the sling for as long as possible. Do not proceed to the next step in the exercise schedule until you are able to perform the previous exercises. Repeat 10-15 times in a row, 3 to 4 times a day. The shoulder may also be fully moved outside the sling if the pain allows it: you cannot damage anything with it.
- Press your stretched forearm against the side of your body. Hold this position for a few seconds and let go (2).
- Bend over slightly and let your arm hang down, stretched. Make small circular motions, clockwise and counter-clockwise (3).
- Bend and stretch the elbow while bent forward (4).
- Move your hand over your chest towards your healthy shoulder and try to tap the shoulder blade. Support your elbow with your other hand (5).
- Place your hands against each other in front of your chest and press them together. You will feel the muscles at the front of your shoulder working (6).
- Stretch your arm. Bring it forward and lift it to shoulder height (7). Try to hold the arm here for a moment.
- Bring your stretched arm sideways up to shoulder height. If necessary, use a wall for some support (8). Try to hold the arm here for a moment.
- Move your arm backwards slowly with a stretched or bent elbow (9).
- Repeat the previous exercises, now gently lifting the arm above shoulder level. You may move your arm as far as the pain allows.
- Alternate the exercises and perform them at a leisurely pace. Repeat 10-15 times in a row, 3 to 4 times a day.
- You may return to full use of the shoulder as before.
- Swimming is a good exercise to get the shoulder function back to normal.
- If you feel that you can do fewer exercises due to less strength or pain, guidance from a physiotherapist is recommended. You can arrange this yourself with or without a referral from your GP.
Virtual Fracture Care app
|You can call us
If there are any questions after reading the information, please contact us or visit www.slingeland.nl.
Breuklijn, (0314) 32 92 50. Please call us on work days between 10:00 - 12:00.
Find more information about your injury in our app. The app also includes exercises that promote your recovery. You can find the app in the App Store (iPhone) or Google Store (Android).
You can also scan the QR code. You will then automatically be redirected to the app.