What Are the Different Treatments for Clavicle Swelling?

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  • Written By: Christina Edwards
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 08 January 2019
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Treatment for clavicle swelling, or collarbone swelling, usually depends on the cause of the swelling. If the swelling is a result of a fracture, the area should be immobilized, and ice should be applied. In some cases, surgery may be required. If the swelling is caused by an infection, antibiotics are usually necessary.

A clavicle fracture is usually the cause of a swollen clavicle. This fracture can be the result of a blow to the clavicle. It can also be caused by landing on the shoulder hard.

Besides clavicle swelling, there are other signs of a fractured clavicle. Pain is one of the most common signs of a fractured clavicle. This pain is usually felt when the clavicle is touched, or when a patient tries to raise his arm. Bruising can also occur after these types of fractures.

If clavicle swelling is caused by a fracture of this sort, it is important to immobilize the arm. This is usually done with a sling that supports the arm in front of the body. Some of these slings also go around both shoulders and cross in the back. Not moving the arm will help the bones heal faster, and it will usually cause the swelling to subside.


In the case of a minor clavicle fracture, ice can be used to minimize swelling. An ice pack should be wrapped in a towel and applied to the skin. The ice should be left on the area for no more than 10 or 15 minutes at a time. Usually, this will also help relieve any pain as well.

Since a clavicle fracture can be very painful, some patients choose to take a pain reliever. Some over-the-counter pain relievers are also anti-inflammatories. These can also help minimize clavicle swelling after a fracture.

Although it is usually rare, surgery is sometimes required after a clavicle fracture. This is usually only necessary if the bones are poking through the skin, or if they are grossly misaligned. Pins and screws are sometimes used to help fuse the bones back together.

Some lymph nodes are located just above the clavicle. When a person gets ill, these lymph nodes may swell. If this happens, it may look as though the clavicle itself is swelling.

Individuals experiencing this type of clavicle swelling will usually not have a bruise in the area. Also, they will typically feel sick, and may have other signs of an illness, like a fever. If an infection is causing clavicle swelling, an antibiotic will usually be prescribed by a doctor.


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Post 4

I am experiencing the same illness as you fify. I had an X-ray, but there were no fractures. I have had this pain for almost six months now. I never went back to the doctor since he said it will heal on its own while I'm taking celecoxib. Is this normal?

Post 3

@fify-- It did happen to me a couple of years ago, very similar to what you described. I agree with your doctor, you must have injured the muscles around your clavicle during your workouts. I know you must be dying to go back to your weight lifting, but you really need to rest because that's the only thing that's going to help.

Since the swelling is still there, I'm guessing that you are still too active, more than what your body can handle right now. So you need to be more careful.

For the swollen collarbone, you can try alternating heat and cold compression. If the pain is so bad that you can't even stand it, cortisone shots

might be an option. I was given cortisone shots when I injured my clavicle. It completely took away the pain. I also put my arm in a sling so that I wouldn't move my shoulder. Even when there isn't a fracture, these slings help the clavicle rest and heal itself.

Hope you feel better soon.

Post 2

@fify-- Has your doctor checked your lymph nodes? I'm suspecting that he did, but if the swelling isn't resolving, you might want to make sure.

I had a swelling above my collarbone too. It turned out to be swollen lymph nodes because of a throat infection. The swelling wasn't anything to worry about. It was harmless but it helped my doctor diagnose the infection in my throat. The swelling continued for some time even though my infection cleared up and eventually went down.

A lot of people think that swollen lymph nodes mean cancer or they just ignore it thinking that it's the clavicle that's swollen. But it doesn't have to be that way. So make sure you go back to the doctor if your lymph nodes weren't checked.

Post 1

What can be done if there is swelling and pain in and around the clavicle but no fracture or other underlying illness?

I've had pain and swelling around my collar bone for over a month. My doctor took x-rays and, he said that everything is fine. He just saw some inflammation around the collarbone. He thinks that I probably overdid my workout. I've been resting as he recommended and have not been weightlifting but the pain and swelling continues.

Ice helps with the swelling, but it doesn't go away entirely. And I still have pain after taking pain relievers. Both the swelling and pain is worse after movement. I really don't know what else I can do.

Has anyone else experienced something like this? Did you find anything that helped relieve your symptoms? Please help!

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