How to avoid clavicle fractures on the ski hill

December 17, 2014

The collarbone is the most commonly fractured bone, and a fall or collision on the ski slopes can result in a clavicle fracture. Discover more about the injury.

How to avoid clavicle fractures on the ski hill

How does it happen?

Common ways that you can fracture your clavicle include landing directly on your collar bone, landing on an outstretched hand, or falling on a twisted arm that could apply a force on the shoulder causing the clavicle to fracture. This is a pretty common injury among skiers and snowboarders because a significant amount of force needs to be applied to the shoulder or arm, something that is less likely to occur if you fall on a simple flat surface.


This injury is quite easy to diagnose. When someone has fractured this bone after a fall on the slopes, the trauma to the injured area will swell and hurt along the bone. X-rays will usually be taken to verify the positioning of the two bone segments as well as to confirm the diagnosis. Most often, the thinnest portion of the bone is where the fracture occurs.


Often only a sling and pain medication will be necessary as a physician monitors the recovery. If the bone is extremely displaced preventing the two ends from joining, surgery will be necessary. A patient who has recovered from a fractured collarbone is unlikely to be affected by the injury in the long term. A small bump may remain where the bone has joined, but mobility is very rarely affected.

What keeps you at risk

Vitamin D and calcium deficiencies can predispose a person to bone fractures, clavicular and other. Certain sports such as skiing, snowboarding, and mountain biking will as well, but all sports come with certain risks of injury. Sedentary people can also find themselves predisposed to this type of injury as they may not have as much muscle mass in the shoulders and arms to protect the bone.

Preventing injury

On the slopes, ensuring you are skiing the right hills for your technical abilities is as important as wearing the right gear. Decrease your risk of any injury by making sure your gear is properly fitted and functioning. That means your skis should pop off your boots in case of a fall. Keeping a healthy diet and exercising regularly will keep those bones strong and keep your shoulder muscles in shape providing additional support to your collarbone.

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