Clavicle Fracture Surgery

There are two main types of surgery to treat clavicle fractures: Open Reduction and Internal Fixation (ORIF), and Closed Reduction and Percutaneous Pinning.

  1. Open Reduction and Internal Fixation (ORIF): In this procedure, the surgeon repositions (reduces) the fractured bone fragments into their normal alignment, then connects them using special metal hardware, such as plates and screws. This provides stability to the bone, allowing it to heal in the correct position.
  2. Closed Reduction and Percutaneous Pinning: In this less invasive procedure, the surgeon realigns the fractured bones without directly visualising the fracture site (closed reduction), and then secures the bone fragments with pins inserted through the skin (percutaneous pinning).

Expected Surgery Outcome

Successful clavicle surgery can significantly reduce pain and restore shoulder function. Most patients regain a full range of motion and can return to their normal activities following surgery and rehabilitation.

Clavicle Fracture surgery Before and After X-Rays

Before Surgery

Clavicle fracture X-Ray Before Surgery Image

After Surgery

Potential surgery complications and risks

Like any surgery, clavicle surgeries carry potential complications, including infection, blood clots, adverse reactions to anaesthesia, nonunion (failure of the fracture to heal), and hardware complications (problems with the plates, screws, or pins used in surgery).


  • Infection: In rare cases, infections can occur post-surgery, potentially requiring additional surgery for treatment.
  • Blood Clots: Clots can form in the arm veins due to immobility after surgery, posing serious health risks.
  • Nonunion: The fracture may fail to heal properly, leading to ongoing pain and functional limitations.
  • Hardware Complications: The plates, screws, or pins used in surgery may cause discomfort, or in rare cases, break or migrate, necessitating additional procedures.

Recovery after surgery

Post-surgery, patients often start physiotherapy within a few weeks to restore strength and range of motion. Pain management medication is typically prescribed to alleviate post-surgical discomfort. The recovery timeline varies greatly depending on the surgery type and the patient’s overall health, but full recovery generally takes anywhere from several months to a year.