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The shoulder is the most mobile joint in the human body; however, the extreme range of its potential 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, thin, and located at the base 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. It is common practice to apply a sling to stabilize the fracture, allowing it to mend. Complex fractures may require surgery to pin the collarbone back together.

Written and medically reviewed by the Healthline Editorial Team
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In Depth: Clavicle

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