The shoulder is the most freely moveable joint in the body. The extreme range of its possible movements makes the shoulder joint susceptible to dislocation. One of the bones that meet at the shoulder is the clavicle, which is also known as the collarbone. The collarbone is long, curvy, and located at the root of the neck. One of the main functions of the collarbone is to hold the arms freely and supported, away from the trunk. Fractures of the collarbone are common. A fracture is easy to detect because the clavicle lies directly under the skin, making any deformity immediately visible. Symptoms of a fractured collarbone include tenderness, swelling, and an inability to move the arm because of pain. The victim may also have the desire to hold the arm against the chest to stabilize it. It is common practice to apply a sling to stabilize the fracture, allowing it to mend. Extreme fractures may require surgery to pin the collarbone back together.
Written and medically reviewed by the Healthline Editorial Team
In Depth: Clavicle