Recovery from a clavicle fracture is usually long, painful, and disrupts a person’s day-to-day life, resulting in a heavy financial burden.
Imagine you are peacefully driving back home from work, and suddenly a pick-up truck runs a red light and T-bones into you. You notice that the window is shattered into a million pieces and that the passenger side door crumples towards you. As you are thrown against your door, your shoulder gets crushed against the frame, and you experience intense pain in the upper arm that spreads across the shoulder. When you try to ease the pressure and open the door, you are only able to move your hand and forearm. Your shoulder seems paralyzed. This could mean that you have a clavicle fracture.
How the force of a collision can affect the clavicle
According to research conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), almost 8.3 percent of all car accident injuries result in bruised, broken, and battered clavicles. Each year, almost three million people suffer a serious break as a result of car accidents.
Due to the fact that the clavicle is a long bone and lies horizontally, it can suffer an impact fracture at many locations including:
- Outer third fracture: This type of fracture occurs near the tip of the shoulder, and is generally caused by a direct trauma that sends a splintering force to the top or side of the shoulder. Outer third fractures account for almost 15 percent of collision breaks.
- Inner third fractures: These account for five percent of collision breaks. These types of fractures occur when direct force is applied to the middle of the chest. Almost all inner third fractures occur when the steering wheel forcefully presses against the chest in a crash.
- Middle fractures: These type of fractures account for a majority (80 percent) of clavicle breaks. Middle fractures result when direct force is applied to the middle of the bone. Some common symptoms of these fractures include swelling, restraint marks from the shoulder straps of a seatbelt, and bruising.
Have you suffered a clavicle fracture in a St. Louis car accident?
Regardless of the type of fracture the clavicle sustains, recovery is usually long, painful and disrupts a person’s day-to-day life. To help the bone heal, it is set and restrained in a way that restricts movement. The total treatment costs, combined with time off work, can mean a huge financial burden for the victim.