Clavicle fixation

Open reduction with internal fixation (ORIF) for a broken collarbone

Clavicle reduction and fixation is a surgical procedure to stabilise a broken collar bone, helping it to heal correctly

About a broken collarbone

Although a broken collarbone (clavicle) can be a painful injury, it will often heal on its own without surgery. However, for some more serious fractures, surgery is required to reset and stabilise the bones so they can heal in the correct position.

Need to know

  • What happens during clavical fixation? icon plus

    Surgery to repair a fractured collarbone is performed under general anaesthetic, meaning you'll be asleep throughout the procedure. A nerve block may also be used to numb the area and minimise your discomfort when you wake up after surgery.

    Your surgeon will make a cut along your collarbone to realign the fractured bone. They will use a metal plate and screws to reconnect the collarbone and hold it in place as it heals. They may need to remove some bone fragments to help the fractured bone fuse in the correct position. They will then close the cut with stitches and stabilise your arm in a sling.
  • How to prepare for surgery icon plus

    Your consultant will explain the procedure to you and answer any questions you may have. You may have an X-ray taken before the procedure to help your consultant plan the best approach for your surgery.

    They will let you know what to expect and how to prepare, including how long you should avoid eating and drinking beforehand. Like all procedures, there may be some risks and side effects involved. Your consultant will explain these to you.
  • After surgery icon plus

    You should be able to go home the same day as your procedure. You'll need to wear the sling for several weeks afterwards and it usually takes up to eight weeks to make a full recovery.

    Your consultant will let you know what to expect and how to care for your collarbone as it heals, including advice on pain management and when you should be able to get back to your usual routine.

    They may also recommend some gentle physiotherapy exercises to help you improve your flexibility and regain strength in your shoulders.

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This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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