Of All the Bones in Your Body, This Is the One You’re Most Likely to Break

Of All the Bones in Your Body, This Is the One You’re Most Likely to Break

Lets imagine a very strange, evil sort of wager. Say youre sitting at a crossroads, minding your own business, playing with bits of cat bones and sulfur. Suddenly, to your surprise, a demon emerges from down under. First, he asks if youre looking to sell your soul, which you are not. Good move, by the way. That usually backfires. Sighing with boredom, he instead turns to his second passion: gambling. He wonders if you might want to make a wager on the next bone youll break in your life. Youre not allowed to do it yourself with a hammer, of course, thats in the contract. Has to be pure happenstance. He offers you, if you win, an incredibly cool ring.

What bone should you choose, based on pure probability? There is an answer, according to all of medical history. That answer is: the clavicle.

You probably know the clavicle by its street name: the collarbone. Unlike many other bones, you can easily give it a tap right now and feel it almost in its entirety, as it spans from your shoulder to the base of your neck. Turns out, thats part of the problem. The fact that theyre right there on the outside, and that they have very little muscle padding around them as opposed to something like a femur thats got a whole thigh packed around it, means they're not very well protected.

A clavicle, as seen on a skeleton thats apparently having a great time.

The other reason theyre so likely to snap at some point during your life, which I can attest to, having broken my own, is that if you take a strong impact to the shoulder area, theyre stuck with the majority of that force. Falls where you land on a shoulder or an outstretched arm will send a whole bunch of unpleasant physics rocketing directly into what isnt a particularly strong bone.

If you really want to juice your odds, take up cycling. Given that in many bike accidents, you find yourself hurtling headfirst over the handlebars in an inadvisable sort of vault, youre often landing with significant force on your side, shoulder or arm. As we just covered, that svelte little bit of ivory is the one that’s going to be in charge of handling gravity from there. Theres a reason a broken collarbone is called a rite of passage for regular cyclists.

Hey, its unpleasant, but its better than breaking your face.

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