I just found out my infant has a fractured clavicle. I’m still in shock over the doctor’s discovery. Apparently, she was born with it but has gone undiagnosed because she has been developing properly. She rolls over, reaches for things, and holds her head up. She shows minimal signs of being uncomfortable, and rarely cries. So, you might wonder how we stumbled upon this discovery…
I noticed from even before she was born that her joints would pop- or at least that’s what I thought it was. When I was pregnant, I would often hear popping in my belly when the baby would move or stretch. I researched only to find that it was common and was the baby’s joints popping. Once she was born, I heard the popping each time she stretched. Again, I thought this was normal. She didn’t cry, and only appeared to be uncomfortable when she was cradled in someone’s arms or held under her arms.
A few weeks ago I noticed she was not holding her head straight when I held her upright. I’ve heard that children can have tightening in their neck and was easily fixed with physical therapy. I figured this is what she had and scheduled an appointment with her pediatrician. Initially he didn’t seem concerned, until he touched one specific spot on her collarbone. She screamed from discomfort. He asked me to hold her and he tried again. Once again, she cried in pain. When a doctor starts off a sentence with “not to scare you but….” then that can’t be good. He explained that her clavicle is fractured and this may be due to her position in utero. I’m still not sure how that would happen, but apparently this is common.
This makes so much sense as to why she is so fidgety. She prefers not to be held and loves spending time on a flat surface. She can never get comfortable when held on her right side, so nursing her has been a challenge on that particular side. I think back to the times she would cry for no reason that I could see and realize she may have been in pain.
There is nothing to do at this point but wait it out until it heals itself. I’m much more careful about how I hold her, how she is placed down, and I’m reluctant to let others hold her. The doctor is hoping she will be healed by next month. While a sling to immobilize the arm is generally used for this type of injury, she is too young to keep a sling on. I have found a few suggestions online as to how to keep her arm straight, but as long as she is not in constant pain I don’t think this is necessary right now.