A broken collarbone is not often a serious injury, as most collarbone injuries heal completely. However, there are times when a collarbone injury can leave an individual with a more serious complication. Meanwhile, as highly effective as keeping one safe, car safety or seat belts can cause collar bones to break.
Automotive safety regulations require you to use your safety belt when driving; it helps keep you safe, especially in an accident. Moreover, nearly half of the deaths caused by accidents that occurred in 2017 were a result of not wearing seat belts. Nevertheless, while your seat belt can keep you from dying in an accident, it can also result in a broken collarbone.
Your collarbones (two of them) connect your shoulder blades to the midsection of your chest. If broken, your collarbone may heal completely, or it’ll result in the following complications.
1. Scarred Bone
One of the complications of a broken collarbone is bone scarring, where you need to grow a new bone for your collarbone to heal. Although it does not technically leave a scar, if the bone grows excessively, it may cause a bulge in your upper torso.
The bump does not always cause pain, but it does leave an unsightly bulge that can result in body image issues later. Even worse, you can develop depression, body dysphoria, or other psychological disorders.
2. Improper Collarbone Healing
Broken collarbones, more often than not, heal completely – unlike other bones. However, sometimes, a collarbone may not heal completely or heal slowly, especially when severely broken. The broken bones are supposed to fuse back together, which is part of the healing process.
However, the challenge is that the bones do not always fuse perfectly – or appropriately. Thus, a fusion of a fractured part of the bone may leave your collarbone shortened, which limits your range of motion. You may also experience ongoing soreness and related headaches, and even if the collarbone heals completely, recovery time is usually long.
3. Vein, Artery, And Nerve Damage
Considering how close your collarbone is to your artery, vein, and nerves, damage to it can put these tissues at risk. When involved and your collar bone gets broken, there may be damage to delicate neuro fibers and vital blood vessels.
The jagged end can injure nearby blood vessels and nerves when collarbone fractures occur. Damage to these important fibers and vessels can lead to several more serious medical emergencies like paralysis and blood loss.
A broken collarbone, if not treated and healed completely, can lead to osteoarthritis – a serious chronic health condition of the joints. The connection of your collarbone to your shoulder blade and breastbone is at risk when there is a fracture in the collarbone. It can result in osteoarthritis, where you may experience loss of motion, pervasive joint pain, or general weakness.
Bone injuries are always painful, and the associated recovery time is usually long. Collarbone injuries are also painful and take a longer time to heal, but healing is almost certain, unlike many other bone injuries. However, there are times when a collarbone does not heal properly, and even if it does, the recovery time is long.
When collarbone injuries result in other severe complications, the individual’s life does not always remain the same. Do not fret; “you may be able to receive compensation from the person that caused the crash resulting in your collarbone injury,” says, Lin McCraw of the McCraw Law Group.