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Can a broken clavicle be deadly?

Throughout grade school it seems like you broke your collarbone every other year. You were extremely active and between falling out of trees, playing sports, and the occasional stupid dare, you found yourself in the emergency room quite often. As a result of this familiarity, when your wife told you that she had to take your daughter to the hospital for a possible broken collarbone, you weren’t as panicked as she was. Once you joined your family in the waiting room—perhaps you should have been.

When your little girl was being treated for the fracture, her doctor decided to take the opportunity to discuss the possible long-term effects the break could cause, as well as how lucky she was that the fracture wasn’t more severe. As you listened to all of the risks, you started to get nauseous. Not only were you concerned for your daughter—to the point where you were mentally creating safety gear for her in your head—but you were also concerned about your own well-being.

Could your childhood breaks be causing problems now? What other problems could your daughter face?

Clavicle Injury Risks and Complications

The American Academy for Orthopedic Surgeons proclaims that a broken collarbone requires immediate emergency treatment in order to reset the bone, as well as to assess any potential muscular, nerve, or circulatory damage. The following is a list of possible risks and complications:

  • Bone infection. When your clavicle breaks, if any part of the jagged bone breaks the skin, you become susceptible to germs, bacteria, and infections. These foreign invaders can not only infect your blood stream, but can also cause bone deterioration. Immediate medical attention is necessary to prevent deadly infections.
  • Nerve or blood vessel injury. The jagged ends of a broken collarbone or bone chips can puncture or sever nearby nerves and blood vessels. As a result, you could wind up losing feeling in your arm and hand, suffer paralysis, or even excessive internal bleeding.
  • Surgical Complications. If your break requires surgery, you run the risk of infections, bleeding, blood clots, lung injury, and permanent hardware irritations.
  • Deformity. A severely broken collarbone may not heal completely and can even shift unexpectedly during recovery. If the bones do not heal evenly, it could cause the bone to be noticeably shorter than it was before the break, causing your entire arm to be slightly deformed. In addition, lumps and bulges can form during recovery. Much like a seam, during a bone’s healing process the place where the bone knits together becomes thicker than the rest of the bone, forming lumps and bulges if not properly monitored.
  • Osteoarthritis. As with any broken joint, your risk of arthritis drastically increases due to the fact that once a bone is broken, it is never as strong as it was before the break.

Shouldering Your Family’s Future After a Crash

Any type of collision injury can have unforeseen or long-term complications that your insurance company refuses to acknowledge. Don’t allow their inability or unwillingness to see the whole picture affect your family’s future. Call us today for a free consultation and review of your case. We know how confusing, complicated, and frustrating an injury claim can be—especially when you’re forced to handle it on your own. Fortunately, we can help shoulder that responsibility for you and may be able to help you get the appropriate settlement that you and your family need.

 

David Hart
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