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Date of last update: 10/01/2017.

Forum Name: Bone trauma and fractures

Question: When is collarbone broken vs. bruised

 slazinger_7 - Wed Oct 28, 2009 2:58 pm

I fell on my shoulder Sunday afternoon playing soccer - it was pretty painful, but it didn't cause me to exit the game. At halftime I noticed it was sore and I iced a bump along my clavicle. I proceeded to play the second half. My shoulder was very sore that night and I had limited movement/flexibility. The bump is along the clavicle near near the AC joint and was fairly noticeable (you could definitely feel). I continued to ice on/off 20-30 min the rest of Sunday. It was stiff Monday morning and the bump was still there, but the soreness gradually went away throughout the day. I iced it again after work Monday night and it felt very good on Tuesday (most of my range of motion was back - only certain movements like pulling tape from a dispenser caused discomfort). It also looked like the swelling was down. So I decided to play soccer Tuesday evening w/ some discomfort, but not enough to stop playing. Today it is sore again and it seems like the bump is bigger. The bone itself feels connected/consistent (compared to my other should/clavicle), except for the bump. I can press on the bump with some discomfort, but not excruciating pain. I would think if it were broken, I would be in a lot of paint (and wouldn't be able to play soccer). I haven't really noticed any bruising 3 days later. I had a friend who broke his collarbone in high school (almost through the skin) and he was in tears until they numbed it - so maybe I am being paranoid. Should this be the case? Or is it possible the bone is just bruised?
 Tom Plamondon PA-C - Sun Nov 01, 2009 6:30 pm

User avatar Hello,
I would x-ray the shoulder and AC joint and clavicle to see if there is a clavicle fracture and view the AC joint for dislocation.
It probably is a minor AC sprain or dislocation and will resolve with rest, analgesics, ice and gradual return to activity...but have a physician take a look at it for a correct diagnosis.
Take care.

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