Fractured clavicle in the newborn

Alternative Names

Fractured collar bone – newborn

Definition of Fractured clavicle in the newborn

A fractured clavicle in the newborn is a broken collar bone in a baby that was just delivered.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

A fracture of a newborn’s collar bone (clavicle) can occur during a difficult vaginal delivery. It is fairly common during difficult births.

Symptoms

The baby will not move the painful, injured arm. Instead, the baby will hold it still against the side of the body. Lifting the baby under the arms causes the child pain. Sometimes the fracture can be felt with the fingers, but usually the problem cannot be seen or felt.

Signs and tests

A chest x-ray will show whether or not there is a broken bone.

Treatment

Generally, there is no treatment other than lifting the child gently to prevent discomfort. Occasionally, the arm on the affected side may be immobilized, most often by simply pinning the sleeve to the clothes.

Expectations (prognosis)

Full recovery occurs without treatment.

Review

Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine; Susan Storck, MD, FACOG, Chief, Eastside Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound, Redmond, Washington; Clinical Teaching Faculty, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 9/2/2009

Fractured clavicle (infant)

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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