Florida chiropractic physician and trial lawyer, Guy S. DiMartino, DC, JD discusses collar bone “clavicle” fractures after an accident.
The collar bone or clavicle is frequently fractured in slip and fall and car accidents. The fractured clavicle accounts for about 3% to 5% of all fractures. That is a lot when you look at the number of bones in the human body, which is 206. Being a chiropractor- I just love the bones.
Mechanism of Injury for a Clavicle Fracture
The clients and/or patients that I have seen with clavicle fractures have gotten the fracture through direct trauma. I recently had a client who was t-boned in a crash and the “A – Pillar” bent and hit the clients shoulder. Other clients have fallen onto an outstretched arm and fracture their collar bone.
Signs & Symptoms of a Clavicle Fracture
Many times the injured person will report that they actually heard the collar bone break. They may see a depression or elevation of the collar bone itself. Other symptoms include:
- Pain in the area of the fracture
- Pain when moving the arm
- Swelling or bruising
- Referred pain into the upper arm just below the shoulder
Diagnosis of a Clavicle Fracture
The diagnosis of a broken collar bone is typically made with plain old x-ray. Most of the time, you don't need any fancy tests to diagnose the condition.
Treatment of a Clavicle Fracture
Treatment of a broken collar bone can range from anti-inflammatory and pain medications, to removal of a piece of the clavicle, to open reduction and internal fixation with screws. The type of treatment will depend on whether the fractured bones are in good alignment or not.
Concerns for the person Injured by another person's negligence
Under the collar bone is a bunch of nerves (the brachial plexus) and blood vessels. Because of the close proximity to these structures, if the collar bone injury doesn't heal properly, the client can have significant problems the rest of their live. These problems can include:
- Shoulder mobility issues
- Deformity of the collar bone. Imagine having to wear a dress with a deformed collar bone.
- Numbness and tingling in the arm
- Loss of strength in the arm and/or hand
- Difficulty sleeping
My hope is that all folks who suffer a collar bone fracture heal perfectly within 4 to 6 weeks; however, this is not always the case. If you experience a collar bone fracture make sure you follow your doctor's recommendations to a T, it could mean the difference between an excellent and poor outcome. And if you think you need legal assistance for your case, it is important to retain an attorney that has the knowledge and understanding of the injury as well as the long term consequences so he/she can be a strong advocate for you with the insurance company, judge or jury.
As always, if you have any questions about an injury, you can call me directly on my cell at (352) 267-9168.
photo attribution “a” pillar: scionlife – x-ray: wikipedia.org