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Cyclists and Collarbone Injuries

In addition to leg trauma, concussions and knee and tendon problems, hard-core racers and weekend riders alike are often at risk for breaking their collarbones. Accidental falls and collisions with other cyclists are the usual causes.

The collarbone (also called the clavicle), upper arm bone and shoulder blade are the three primary bones that make up the shoulder, a joint that moves every time the arm moves. The collarbone is the bone over the top of the chest between the breast bone and shoulder blade.

Symptoms of shoulder-related injuries include pain, stiffness, swelling, reduced strength, limited range of motion, redness, swelling and bruising.

At the very outset, patients are advised to rest, apply ice and take anti-inflammatory medicines to reduce pain and inflammation. Additional diagnosis and treatment options include:

  • Ultrasound, the use of sound waves to visualize the inside of the body, specifically the collarbone
  • Wearing a strap or sling to immobilize shoulder bones
  • Cortisone injections
  • Surgery. This is rarely necessary, done only when the fracture is severe. Arthroscopic or traditional surgery can repair damage and take pressure off tendons and bursa sacs (small lubricating pouches found over areas where friction may develop).
  • Rehabilitation exercises after other treatment regimens have been completed to regain gradually full range of motion.

Recovery from most collarbone injuries takes about three months, though the pain should subside within a few weeks. Cyclists are strongly advised against engaging in any activity – even normal household duties – that causes the pain to get worse.

Sports medicine has emerged as a medical specialty focusing on problems experienced by professional, amateur and casual athletes as they strive to improve performance and enjoy their favorite pursuits. If you are experiencing continued cyclist-related pain or discomfort, an orthopedic specialist should be consulted so that conditions do not become chronic.

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Velo Club La Grange

Velo Club La Grange is one of California's largest and oldest cycling clubs with over 400 members nationwide. The club was founded by Raymond Fouquet in 1969 and fields one of the top amateur racing teams in the U.S. Past members include a Tour de France stage winner, an Olympic gold medalist, and several U.S. National and California state champions.

Along with the Club's dedication to bicycle racing, the club welcomes new and inexperienced riders with a passion for cycling. La Grange is very active in the cycling and fitness communities. Our continuing public policy work with state and local government has led to major improvements in safety for all users of California roads. In addition, the Club has partnered with the Association of Blind Athletes and Meals on Wheels and sponsors an annual scholarship with the help of the Union Bank of California. La Grange enjoys the financial support of several corporations committed to promoting healthy and active living including Kahala Corporation and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

501(c)(3) California Non-Profit Public Benefit Corporation 95-4000746
United States Cycling Federation Number 1232


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