Fractures about the shoulder girdle occur commonly in both adults and children. Most of these injuries are minimally displaced or nondisplaced and are best treated by a short period of immobilization and early passive range of motion. The more serious counterpart of these injuries is displaced fractures, which often require surgical intervention to optimize results. The burden of recognizing injuries that require surgical repair lies with the surgeon and is based on accurate radiographs and subsequent diagnoses. The surgeon's technical expertise and the patient's ability to comply with a rigorous postoperative rehabilitation program weigh heavily in determining the outcome. In both the nonsurgical and the surgical cases, the goal is to maximize the function of the entire extremity, a goal that is closely linked to the ability to achieve osseous and soft tissue healing, an anatomic stable reduction, and the institution of early passive motion.
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