Broken collarbones are among the 10 most common fractures seen in Georgia car accidents. This is a painful injury that can have long-lasting implications on the victim.
The collarbone is one of the main bones in the shoulder. This type of fracture accounts for about 5 percent of all broken bones in adults, states OrthoInfo.
Typically, clavicle fractures occur when a fall onto the shoulder or an outstretched arm puts so much pressure on the bone that it snaps or breaks. This fracture can be very painful and can make it difficult to move your arm.
Where is the Clavicle?
The collarbone is located between the ribcage (sternum) and the shoulder blade (scapula). The bone connects the arm to the body.
The clavicle is close to many blood vessels and nerves. Fortunately for the victims of car crashes in Georgia, these vital structures are seldom impacted when a fracture occurs. Broken collarbones are usually caused by a direct blow to the shoulder. If you are rear-ended, your shoulder may be forced against the steering wheel or another part of the car, leading to a fracture.
Broken collarbones are common injuries for cyclists, particularly those who race or take part in mountain biking competitions.
What Are the Symptoms of Broken Collarbones?
It’s usually fairly obvious if you have broken your collarbone in a car wreck. These are painful injuries. They are characterized by:
- An inability to lift your arm due to the pain;
- Sagging of the shoulder forward or downward;
- A grinding feeling when you attempt to raise your arm;
- A deformity or bump over the fracture;
- Bruising, tenderness, or swelling over the clavicle.
What is the Best Treatment for Broken Collarbones?
If you suffer a broken collarbone in a Georgia car accident, the injury may be treated in a number of ways, depending on its seriousness. You may receive:
- Pain medication, including drugs like acetaminophen relieve pain as the fracture heals.
- An arm sling. An arm sling is often used for comfort immediately after the accident to keep your arm and shoulder in the correct position while the injury heals.
- Physical therapy. Although you may experience some pain, it is important to maintain arm motion to prevent stiffness in the arm or the shoulder. Often, patients start exercises for elbow motion immediately after the injury.
You may suffer longer-term consequences after a broken collarbone. It is common for a patient to lose some shoulder and arm strength. Once the bone starts to heal, the pain should decrease and your doctor may begin gentle shoulder exercises. These exercises can help prevent stiffness and weakness in the arm and the shoulder. More strenuous exercises usually start after the fracture heals.
If you sustained a broken collarbone in a Georgia car wreck, you may suffer from considerable pain and miss time off work. It’s important to contact an experienced Georgia accident lawyer when another driver was to blame. Call the Law Office of Michael West at (404) 913-1529.