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X-ray of a clavicle fracture

Do You Need an Attorney for A Broken Collarbone After a La Porte County Accident?

Guy DiMartino Jan. 24, 2022

Fractures are common after accident injuries in Michigan City and LaPorte. A broken bone can really hurt. Treatment of broken bones can cost a lot of money, and accident victims can experience permanent problems because of the injury. A fractured clavicle (collarbone) is one of the common injuries that we see our clients suffer with after accidents.

If you experienced a broken clavicle due to an accident there are certain things that you must do to protect your rights under Indiana law, to receive compensation for your injuries.

Understanding Clavicle Fractures After an Accident

The clavicle or collar bone is part of the shoulder joint. It helps connect your arm to your body. It is the long bone that runs from the front of the shoulder (acromion) to the breastbone (sternum). In the front, the articulation is called the AC joint or acromioclavicular joint. At the sternum, the articulation is called the SC or sternoclavicular joint.

In addition to being the bone that provides structure and support to the shoulder area, it also has a bunch of blood vessels, nerves and muscles that run in the area. Most of the time, these structures are not injured in an accident; however, if there is severe displacement of the clavicle, nerves or blood vessels can be injured.

Why Does the Clavicle Break in An Accident?

Because the clavicle is long, it can be easily broken. Here are some of the types of accidents that we see clavicle injuries:

  • Bicycle accidents

  • Car crashes

  • Motorcycle wrecks

  • Trip and falls

  • Slip and falls

  • Skating and skateboard accidents

  • Pedestrian accidents

Symptoms of a Broken Clavicle After A LaPorte County Accident

The symptoms of a fractured collarbone depend on the severity and location of the break. Many folks with broken collarbones may experience:

  • Pain and tenderness

  • Deformity of the bone

  • Numbness and tingling that travel down the arm

  • Difficulty or the inability to lift the arm (remember, the collarbone is important for shoulder function)

It is recommended to see a doctor as soon as possible if you think you fractured your clavicle because if the bone is broken and it displaces in can injure the nerves and blood vessels that travel through that area into the shoulder, arm and hand.

Treatment of Fractured Clavicles

After the area is x-rayed and the fracture is diagnosed, the treatment will depend on whether the collarbone is displaced, whether the fracture is comminuted (broken into many pieces) or the area is not stable. If these findings are present, then surgery to stabilize and repair the collarbone will probably be necessary. However, if the collarbone is not displaced and the area is stable, then non-surgical treatment will probably be recommended by the doctor. Whether the condition can be treated conservatively or surgery is required, at some point in time, the injury victim will probably go through physical therapy to strengthen the area and make sure the shoulder doesn’t lose range of motion.

Complications After a Michigan City Accident

Some of the complications that can happen after a broken collarbone or surgical repair are:

  • Chronic displacement

  • Nerve or blood vessel damage

  • Chronic pain associated with the screws, plates and/or wires

  • Infection

  • Blood clots

  • Muscle damage

If you have any questions about a fractured clavicle after an accident, call Guy DiMartino Law at 219-690-8997.