Medical Specialty >> Orthopedics

Doctors Lounge - Orthopedics Answers

Back to Orthopedics Answers List

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. Doctors Lounge ( does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned on the Site.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided on is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her physician. Please read our 'Terms and Conditions of Use' carefully before using this site.

Date of last update: 10/01/2017.

Forum Name: Bone trauma and fractures

Question: a broken clavicle and a "cold shoulder" surgery needed?

 hydraulicheart - Mon Apr 20, 2009 4:41 pm

about a month ago my boyfriend was in a car crash where he broke his left clavicle, (the bone completely broke in half about 2 inches away from his shoulder) they just gave him a fight 8 brace and said it would heal and the pain would stop in about 3 weeks. Well the pain is getting worse and we are starting to think there might be some bad nerve damage because when he moves certain ways it gets jolts of pain in his shoulder and today it started going numb and "cold". Could this be more serious then what the doctors told us or is this normal and should he get the surgery?
 Tom Plamondon PA-C - Sun Apr 26, 2009 10:33 pm

User avatar Hello,
This sounds like a distal clavicle fracture.
Distal clavicle fractures have a higher chance of non union but is usually asymptomatic.
The brachial plexus (the main nerve bundle innervating the upper limbs) can be compromised or damaged with a distal clavicle fracture and can cause sensory changes in the limb. It will therefore be important to evaluate the neurological function. I may recommend a consult with an orthopedist and physiatrist.
Take care and let us know how it goes.

| Check a doctor's response to similar questions

Are you a Doctor, Pharmacist, PA or a Nurse?

Join the Doctors Lounge online medical community

  • Editorial activities: Publish, peer review, edit online articles.

  • Ask a Doctor Teams: Respond to patient questions and discuss challenging presentations with other members.

Doctors Lounge Membership Application

Tools & Services: Follow DoctorsLounge on Twitter Follow us on Twitter | RSS News | Newsletter | Contact us