Cowboys' Tony Romo Suffers Broken Clavicle During Monday Night Football

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In the Monday Night Football loss to the New York Giants, quarterback Tony Romo suffered a broken left clavicle (collarbone) after a hit by linebacker Michael Boley. More tests are scheduled, but Romo is expected to miss at least 6 to 8 weeks and possibly the remainder of the season.

Boley said. "When he hit the ground I heard he let out a little scream, so I knew something was up but I didn't think he was going to lay down. I thought it was just a normal hit." Romo, in fact, attempted to go back into the game. “I thought it was a bad sprain,” he said.

The clavicle is the long, prominent bone over the top of the chest, between the breastbone (sternum) and the shoulder blade (scapula). Fractures of the collarbone are extremely common in athletes because of hits or falls. Most often, patients have shoulder pain, swelling and bruising, and difficulty moving their arm. Romo described difficulty breathing as well.

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Clavicular fractures are classified into three types, with approximately 80% being class A – occurring in the middle third of the bone. Class B fractures which involve the distal or lateral third occur in about 15% of cases (closest to the shoulder blade) and around 5% occur in the proximal or medial third (near the sternum).

Treatment of a collarbone fracture commonly involves a sling or brace that holds the arm and shoulders still while the bone heals. Surgery is uncommon unless the skin is broken or in cases where the bone is severely displaced.

Athletes usually recover completely from a broken collarbone. Patients are often back to full normal activities in about 12 weeks.

Replacing Romo as starting quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys is backup Jon Kitna.

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