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Clavicle fractures are often seen in contact sports. The purpose of this study was to determine (1) return-to-sport (RTS) rate of National Football League (NFL) players following nonoperative treatment of clavicle fractures, (2) posttreatment career length and games per season, (3) pre- and posttreatment performance, and (4) posttreatment performance compared with control players matched by position, age, years of experience, and performance. Public records were used to identify NFL players who underwent nonoperative treatment of clavicle fractures. Demographic and performance data were collected for each player. Matched controls (position, age, experience, and performance) were identified. Control and case performance scores were calculated using a standardized scoring system. Return to sport was defined as playing a minimum of 1 game after treatment. Comparisons between the 2 groups and pre- and posttreatment time points were made using paired-samples Student's t tests. Thirty players (32 fractures) were analyzed. Two players fractured their contralateral clavicle. Of the players analyzed, 96.9% were able to RTS at a mean of 244.6±119.6 days. Eight players (27.6%) returned within the same season as their injury. Overall 1-year survival rate posttreatment was 93.5%. Players with nonoperative treatment had career lengths similar to those of controls (P>.05). No significant (P>.05) differences existed in demographic, performance, or games per season data between position groups for cases and matched controls pretreatment and preindex and in posttreatment compared with pretreatment performance scores. Wide receivers played fewer games per season (P=.043) following treatment. No position group had significantly worse posttreatment performance scores when compared with postindex matched controls. [Orthopedics. 2017; 40(5):e836-e843.].

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





e836 - e843


Adult, Athletic Performance, Case-Control Studies, Clavicle, Football, Humans, Male, Recovery of Function, Return to Sport, Shoulder Fractures