Collar Bone or Clavicle

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Slide your hand from your shoulder to the lower, front of your neck. You should feel a bone connecting between your shoulder and your breast bone. This is your clavicle or collar bone. Read on to learn more about your clavicle.

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Collar Bone or Clavicle - Anterior or Front View
Collar Bone or Clavicle - Anterior or Front View

The clavicle or collar bone is part of the shoulder girdle that connects the arm to the trunk of the body. There is one clavicle in each shoulder. The clavicle is classified as a long bone, even though it is a relatively short, curved bone.

The clavicle is physically connected between the shoulder blade (scapula) and the breastbone (sternum) just above the first rib. It is easy to feel the clavicle. Unlike other bones that are covered with muscle, much of the clavicle is only covered with skin.

The clavicle serves several purposes. It keeps the scapula in position so the arm hangs freely away from the trunk of the body. This allows maximum range of movement of the arm. The clavicle protects the passageway between the neck and arm. It also distributes physical impact on the shoulder or arm to the trunk of the body. For example, when a football player blocks an opponent using his shoulder, the clavicle passes the force of this impact onto the trunk of his body, through the legs, onto the ground.

Breaking a clavicle or collar bone is quite common. Sometimes a clavicle can be broken during child birth. Athletes often break a clavicle when they are hit or fall. Clavicles can also be broken while playing or during accidents, such as falling off a swing or bicycle.


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