Hot Under The Collar
Visualise a cyclist crashing and you’re bound to picture an outstretched arm trying to cushion the blow. The shock from the impact travels up the arm to the collarbone strut. No wonder then, that fractures to the clavicle or injuries to the acromioclavicular joint (ACJ) and the surrounding ligaments are among the most common traumas seen in cyclists.
Fractures of the clavicle The majority of fractured or broken collarbones can be diagnosed at the crash site. There is, of course, severe pain, and you will immediately need to support your elbow with the opposite hand. Part of the bone may be jutting out at an odd angle, or even breaking through the skin. You will need an X-ray and, if it’s a fracture, orthopaedic management. The bad news is that you may be in a sling for four to six weeks. Certain fractures may require surgical repair. This is to prevent damage to the neurovascular bundle around the fracture site, to avoid shortening
of the clavicle, which could cause rotator cuff damage later on, or to improve the cosmetic appearance of the structure.