A broken collarbone or clavicle is common in certain types of auto accidents.
The collarbones are found on each side of the chest, and they are attached to the shoulders and breastbone by ligaments.
Most commonly, these bones will break in car accidents when the upper body suffers trauma in which it is thrown up against an object.
Information on follow-up treatment and care after breaking a collarbone in a car accident is identified below.
Most collarbones can be treated with a sling. In some cases, a figure eight splint may be used.
Patients will be told to wear the sling constantly until pain associated with movement stops.
This is typically 4-8 weeks with adults. Pain medications may be prescribed, but some patients may find that over-the-counter medications work to ease their discomfort.
When Is Surgery Necessary?
In some rare cases, surgery may be needed to correct a broken collarbone. This is needed in only 5-10% of fractures. Some of the following issues or conditions may require surgery to repair a broken collarbone:
- Nonunion of bone where the pieces of fractured bone do not heal together
- Multiple fractures experienced in one collarbone
- Bone loss causing clavicle shortening
- An open fracture where the collarbone actually breaks the skin
- A collarbone break that involves nerve or vascular structures
- A fracture that interferes with the function of normal joints
Set An Appointment With Your Chiropractor For Follow-Up Care
Our Atlanta chiropractors usually see patients with broken collarbones after one week. This is usually to check on their healing progress and to determine whether or not any complications have been experienced.
Patients are generally told to avoid any type of contact sports where trauma could occur for a minimum of six weeks after the injury. Other patients will need extra time before they are able to return to their normal activities. Most physicians will want to see their patients again after their pain has subsided.