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Anglais médical - Tout savoir sur la fracture de la clavicule

Régulièrement, cette rubrique animée par Virginia Allum, auteur et consultante EMP (English for Medical Purposes), vous permettra, exercices à l'appui, de parfaire votre anglais médical au travers de situations de soins concrètes. Bon travail à tous ! Corrections en fin d'article...

N'hésitez pas à vous servir du dictionnaire en ligne Wordreference. Vous trouverez à la fin de cet article les corrections des exercices qui vous sont proposés téléchargeables au format pdf.

Activity 1 - The Emergency Department : talking about a fractured clavicle

The bones of the upper body - Label the diagram using the terms below.

  • clavicle
  • sternum
  • acromion
  • scapula
  • xiphoid process
  • rib
  • humerus
  • manubrium

Source : Wikipedia

Activity 2

Match the terms with their meaning.

1. clavicle a) lower part of the breastbone that eventually fuses with it in middle age
2. sternum b) square-shaped upper part of the sternum
3. manubrium c) collarbone: long bone which connects the scapula to the sternum
4. xiphoid process d) breastbone: narrow bone which forms the centre of the chest
5. ribs e) largest bone of the arm and only bone of the upper arm
6. scapula f) long, curved bones which protect the chest organs
7. humerus g) bone at the top of the shoulder which joins the clavicle at the acromioclavicular joint
8. acromion h) shoulder blade: flat, triangular bone on the upper back of the body

Activity 3

Complete the information using the words below to help you.

  • movement
  • outstretched
  • circles
  • scapulae
  • acromion
  • bones
  • broken
  • shape

The clavicles are long (1) ____________ which join the scapula to the sternum. The cylinder-shaped bones are around 15 cm long and curved into an (2) ____________ . The clavicles  form joints with both the sternum and the (3)____________ . The sternoclavicular joint joins with the manubrium and the acromioclavicular (AC) joint joins with the (4)____________ .

The clavicles help to anchor the arms to the trunk without stopping (5) ____________ of the shoulder joints. In fact, the clavicles allow sufficient movement of the shoulders for the arms to move in large (6)____________ .

The clavicle is one of the most commonly (7) ____________ bones in the human body especially after a fall. If the arm is (8) ____________ to try to break the fall, most of the force of the fall results in the shifting of the shoulder. This can easily fracture the clavicle.

Activity 4 - Asking about an accident

Watch the YouTube video

Answer the questions below.

  1. How did the patient injure himself?
  2. What part of his body does he think he has injured?
  3. How did the patient get to the Emergency Department?
  4. What treatment will the patient receive?

Grammar Focus - Talking about the past

The past simple is used to talk about an action in the past. The action is a completed action. Notice that the nurse says Can you tell me what happened?.

The past continuous is used to give background information - to say what was happening at the time of another action. E.g.  I was skateboarding along the path to my house.

Activity 5

Use the correct verb form to complete the sentences.

  1. I was going / went home when I had a car accident.
  2. He didn't notice that his arm was bleeding / bled.
  3. He was tripping over/ tripped over his bag because it was dark.
  4. His shoulder was hurting / hurt a lot after the accident.
  5. She was trying / tried to move her fingers when she felt the pain.

Activity 6

Put the notes in the correct order

  • X-ray of collar bone
  • was skateboarding
  • hit side of head
  • collar bone was sticking out
  • give painkillers
  • was going home after work
  • fell on right side
  • friend brought to Emergency Department

Activity 7 - Asking questions

Watch the video again and complete the dialogue.

  • (a) How did you fall?
  • (b) Did you fall onto outstretched arms?
  • (c) Have you already taken any?
  • (d) Can you tell me what happened?    
  • (e) That's what happened, right?    
  • (f) What happened then?

Nurse: Hello, I'm Valerie. I'm one of the nurses on duty in the Emergency Department today. I can see that you've hurt yourself. (1) _______________________________.

Patient: I was going home after work. I was skateboarding along the path to my house. Someone must have put a metal pole in the middle of the path but it was too dark and I didn't see it. It was very dark last night so I didn't notice it.

Nurse: Oh dear. That's no good. So, you were skateboarding home and you didn't see what was on the path. Then you fell over and hurt your shoulder. (2) _______________________________.

Patient: That's right. I tripped over it and fell. I don't think it's my shoulder, it's my collar bone.

Nurse: (3) _______________________________

Patient: What do you mean?

Nurse: (4) _______________________________

Patient: No, I didn't. I had a can of drink in my hand which was lucky, I suppose. I fell on my right side and hit the side of my head as well.
Nurse: (5) _______________________________

Patient: Well, I tried to sit up..it was really painful. I tried to move my right arm but it wouldn't move much. I could see my collar bone was sticking out a bit. I managed to get home and then a friend brought me to the Emergency Department. What will happen now?

Nurse: You'll have an X-ray of your collar bone soon. Before the X-ray, I'll give you some painkillers. (6) _______________________________

Patient: Painkillers? No, I came straight here. It's hurting a lot now.

Nurse: OK, I'll get you some painkillers now. You should have the X-ray soon.

Patient: Thank you very much.

Activity 8 - Treatment of collar bone injuries

Complete the patient information leaflet below using the verbs below to help you.

  • wear
  • align
  • reduce
  • heal
  • support
  • regain
  • confirms
  • breaks 
  • radio clavicule
  • clavicule traitement

Collarbones usually (1) __________ without the need for surgery. Surgery is only necessary if the collar bone (2) __________ through the skin or if the bones do not (3) ­­­­­- __________ properly.

If an X-ray (4) __________ that you have a broken collar bone or not, you need to use a figure of 8 sling to (5) __________ your arm and hold the collar bones together in their normal positions. You must (6) __________ the sling all day and at night.

Collar bones take between 6 and 8 weeks to heal. It can take much longer to (7) __________ full strength and movement in your shoulder. As the fracture is healing, you may notice a small lump along the collarbone. The lump will often (8) __________ over the following months.

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Author and Consultant in English for Medical Purposes United Kingdom

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