Management of Simple Clavicle Fractures by Primary Care Physicians

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The clavicle is the most commonly fractured bone. Children with simple fractures are often referred to orthopedic surgeons by primary care physician to ensure adequate care. The objective of this study was to show that simple clavicle fractures have excellent outcomes and are within the scope of primary care physician’s practice. We performed a retrospective chart review of 16 adolescents with simple clavicle fractures treated with a sling. Primary outcomes were bony union, pain, and function. The patients with simple clavicle fractures had excellent outcomes with no complications or complaints of pain or restriction of their activities of daily living. The outcomes are similar whether treated by an orthopedic surgeon or a primary care physician. The cost to society and the patient is less when the primary care physician manages the fracture. Therefore, primary care physicians should manage simple clavicle fractures.

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