Your newborn has a broken (fractured) collarbone (clavicle). About 1 out of every 50 babies is born with a broken collarbone, which usually happens during a vaginal delivery.
The broken collarbone is usually noticed at birth. Sometimes it’s not diagnosed for days or even weeks, depending on the type of break.
You may notice that your baby:
Although an x-ray or ultrasound may be ordered, they aren’t usually used to diagnose a broken collarbone.
A non-displaced fracture means the broken bone is still lined up (aligned). If your baby doesn’t have any of the problems listed above, you may not even know that your baby’s collarbone is broken until you notice a lump (called a callous) over the broken area 7 to 10 days later. This lump forms where the broken bone is healing.
A displaced fracture means that the collarbone isn’t lined up. It’s often noticed earlier because of other symptoms like:
It takes 1 to 2 months for the broken bone to heal. If your baby has a callous over the area that’s healing, the callous can take up to 6 months to go away.
Your baby should start to move his or her arm more 1 to 2 weeks after birth, as the break starts to heal.
Your baby won’t move the injured side as much for 7 to 10 days, until it’s healing. While there’s no treatment for a broken collarbone, there are things you can do when caring for your baby:
The broken collarbone usually heals on its own without any problems. Remember that healing will take 1 to 2 months. The callous will take up to 6 months to go away.
See your healthcare provider for your baby’s regular newborn check-up.
Call your healthcare provider if:
Current as of: January 20, 2017
Author: Pediatrics, Alberta Health Services
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