Not everything always requires surgery! Oswaldo fractured his clavicle completely in half. His mom was very anxious about the best treatment. We discussed at length the natural history of clavicle fractures, and their remarkable ability to heal in adolescents. For Oswaldo, in less than 4 weeks we could see robust callus formation surrounding the fracture site with complete resolution of his symptoms. For good measure we waited a full 6 weeks until we began full unrestricted physical activities.
The clavicle is a very interesting bone. It is the first bone to start ossification at around 5th-6th weeks of gestation. It is also the last ossification center to fuse, around 22-25 years of age. I am always amazed at how quickly such fractures heal in growing teenagers. Greater than 90 percent of clavicle fractures in skeletally immature kids heal uneventfully with non-operative treatment. Bottom line is the clavicle has a lot of healing and remodeling potential!