A broken collarbone is one injury that you may have when involved in a car accident. While most heal with the help of ice, pain relievers, a sling and physical therapy, some of these breaks can be more complicated and may require surgery to repair.
Symptoms of a Broken Collarbone
As would be expected, symptoms of a broken collarbone include pain, swelling, tenderness and bruising in the collarbone area or in the shoulder. You may also see a bulge on or near your shoulder and may hear a grinding or crackling sound when you move your shoulder. If you notice any of these symptoms, medical attention is necessary.
Complications from a Broken Collarbone
Failure to receive proper medical care for a broken collarbone can result in a number of complications. For example, the jagged ends of a broken collarbone may injure nearby nerves and blood vessels. A fracture involving the joints that connect your collarbone to your breastbone or shoulder blade can also increase you risk of developing osteoarthritis. In addition, you may notice a lump in the bone where the broken bone is trying to knit back together. While most lumps disappear over time, some are permanent.
Treating Broken Collarbones
Broken collarbones require immobilization in order to heal. Therefore, treatment typically involves putting the arm in a sling and taking steps to reduce the pain. In more severe cases, surgery may be involved and may require the use of plates, screws or rods to keep the bone in place.