Sling support should be provided until the patient is sufficiently comfortable to begin shoulder motion, and/or the fracture shows early evidence of healing radiographically.
Once these goals have been achieved, rehabilitative exercises can begin to restore range of motion, strength, and function.
The phases of nonoperative treatment are thus
Passive/assisted range of motion
Active range of motion
Progressive resistance exercises
Usually immobilization is maintained for 3-4 weeks.
This is followed by gentle range of motion exercises.
Non-weight-bearing of the affected upper limb is required for approximately 6 weeks or until radiographic and clinical evidence of progressive healing.
Resistance exercises can generally be started at 6 weeks. Isometric exercises may begin earlier, depending on the injury and patient symptoms. All sporting activity and work requiring forceful use of the arm is withheld until there is evidence of clinical and radiographic union. The clavicle should unite in 8-12 weeks.