Broken Collarbones in a Virginia Car Wreck Are Common
A broken collarbone or clavicle fracture is one of the most common types of break you can suffer in an auto accident. Although broken collarbones in a Virginia car wreck are far from unusual, this injury has many potential complications.
A collarbone fracture is also known as a clavicle fracture. The collarbone is one of the main bones in the shoulder. This break accounts for about 5 percent of all adult fractures. Most clavicle fractures occur when a fall onto an outstretched arm or a shoulder puts enough pressure on the bone that it snaps or breaks. A broken collarbone can be a very painful injury. It may be hard to move your arm.
Any type of fracture can be serious and have many complications. Broken bones often mean weeks off work, operations, long periods of rehabilitation and physiotherapy.
What is the Clavicle?
The clavicle bone is located between the ribcage and the shoulder blade. It connects the arm to the body.
The clavicle is just above several important blood vessels and nerves. In extreme cases, wider damage may be caused.
Where Do Broken Collarbones in a Virginia Car Wreck Occur?
Fractures of the clavicle are fairly common. They are reported in people of all ages. Most fractures occur in the center portion, or shaft, of the bone. On occasions, the break will occur where it attaches at the ribcage or shoulder blade.
Clavicle fractures vary in severity. The bone may crack slightly or fragment into many pieces, known as a comminuted fracture. The broken pieces of bone either line up straight or end up far out of place in a displaced fracture.
What Are the Symptoms of Broken Collar Bones in Virginia Car Wrecks?
A broken collarbone can be very painful. It can be difficult to move your arm for weeks after an injury. Other symptoms of a clavicle fracture may include:
- You are unable to lift your arm due to intense pain;
- Sagging of your shoulder downward and forward;
- A grinding sensation when you attempt to raise your arm;
- A “bump” appearing over the break
- Swelling, tenderness and bruising over the collarbone.
What is the Treatment for a Broken Collar Bone?
Treatment for a broken collarbone may be surgical or non-surgical. If the broken ends of the bones were not shifted out of place significantly you may not need surgery. However, more serious breaks often require surgical intervention.
According to OrthoInfo, the tell-tale sign of a broken collarbone is an obvious deformity, or “bump,” where the fracture occurred. Even gentle pressure over the break results in pain. Although it is rare for a bone fragment to puncture the skin, it may push the skin up like a tent.
After X-rays, a doctor will decide whether you need surgery or non-invasive treatment. If you do not require surgery, a sling will be used to keep the arm in place. People who suffer this injury may also be treated with painkillers and later undergo physical therapy.
Broken collarbones in a Virginia car wreck may require surgery. If the bones were knocked out of place, the patient may undergo open reduction and internal fixation, the procedure most often used to treat clavicle fractures.
The surgeon repositions the bones and puts them back into their normal alignment. The pieces of bone are secured with special metal hardware. Pins or screws may be used after the bone ends have been put back in place
This procedure typically involves plates and screws to hold the bones together. Plates and screws are not usually removed after the collarbone heals. However, some patients experience issues resulting in another procedure to remove the hardware.
Any surgical procedure has potential complications. Here are some.
What Are the Potential Complications of Broken Clavicle Surgery After a Car Wreck?
- Infection of the operation site;
- Blood clots;
- Ongoing pain;
- Damage to nerves or blood vessels;
- A bad reaction to anesthesia;
- Issues and irritation from the hardware;
- Lung complications and injuries.
If you suffer a broken collarbone, you may suffer considerable pain and complications. It typically takes 4-8 weeks to recover from this fracture. You may lose wages and run up massive medical bills. If another driver caused your injury, he or she may be liable for your costs. An experienced Suffolk auto injury lawyer can help you with a claim. You should be wary about dealing with the insurance company without legal help after an injury of this nature. Broken collarbones in a Virginia car wreck may be more common than many other fractures, but there are, nevertheless, serious. Call Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers at (757) 455-0077 for a free consultation.