Arm Numbness and Other Side Effects of a Broken Collarbone
It seemed inevitable from the moment you bought your motorcycle. You hit a pothole, went over the handlebars, and rolled onto the pavement resulting in a horrific motorcycle accident. The minute you hit, you knew something in your chest had snapped—and the emergency room doctor confirmed that you had broken your collarbone. It might be weeks before the pain subsides, but you’re more worried about the healing process. Will you eventually be able to pick up your children, lift weights, or even perform your old job duties?
What to expect when a broken collarbone is healing
After your motorcycle accident, you should be treated for a broken clavicle as soon as possible. An X-ray will confirm that the collarbone is broken. In most cases, patients will suffer extreme pain and tenderness at the site of the break. To understand the side effects and complications of a broken collarbone, patients should understand how the specifics of their injury and treatment affect their recovery.
A typical road to recovery after a collarbone fracture may include the following:
- Surgery. While many clavicle fractures heal without surgery, some victims need to have the bones set and pinned to help them heal properly.
- Sling. To help the collarbone heal properly, patients will have the affected arm restrained in a sling. The splint will also help reduce the pain in your chest and shoulder.
- Rehabilitation. Your doctor may recommend some exercises and arm movements to help rebuild the lost strength in your arm. You may still need to wear your sling, but you may wear it for shorter periods.
- Return to work. Patients returning to work after fracturing their collarbones should ease back into their regular duties, such as avoiding lifting anything over five pounds and taking frequent rest breaks.
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Signs that your collarbone may not be healing properly
Many patients will heal within weeks with few complications; however, some victims will experience potentially life-threatening side effects. You must call your doctor immediately if you show any of the following symptoms:
- The affected arm goes numb. If your arm loses feeling or you begin to have a “pins and needles” tingling, the breakage could have affected blood flow to your arm.
- Your pain persists. If your pain continues and does not improve over several weeks, consult your doctor. You may need additional X-rays or diagnostic testing to see if something is preventing the wound from healing properly.
- You cannot move your fingers. If your fingers begin to swell, become too stiff to move, or turn pale, blue, or black, go to the emergency room immediately and tell the nurse you recently broke your collarbone.
As broken collarbones can cause circulation problems in the fingers, you should avoid wearing rings for at least a month after your accident.
Complications of broken collarbones
Getting medical treatment is vital to recovery efforts, but you can still suffer complications that can stay with you into the future. The Mayo Clinic has found various complications among broken collarbone victims, such as:
- Lump in the bone: you will see bony lumps during the healing process, which can go away with time. If they do not, you must seek medical attention.
- Osteoarthritis: you have an increased risk of arthritis when you break a bone.
- Nerve or blood vessel injury: bones can pinch blood vessels and nerves, leading to numbness, loss of mobility, and coldness down your arm. These are signs of permanent nerve damage.
- Poor or delayed healing: if there is a poor union of the bone, it can shorten them or heal awkwardly. Recovery can also be prolonged.
There are not just physical complications but also financial ones. During your recovery, you are unable to work. If you have a severe case, you will not be able to work permanently. Without work, you cannot provide for yourself financially, which can lead to debt and dependency on your family. The person responsible for your injury must pay for your physical and financial losses. Our Kansas City motorcycle accident lawyers are here to recover payment for your losses.
Ways you can break your collarbone
There are several reasons you can break your collarbone, and you are at a higher risk if you are under the age of 20 because it doesn’t fully develop until that age. Older adults are also at risk of broken collarbones because bone strength decreases with age. Common causes of broken collarbones are:
- Vehicle collisions
- Birth injury
- Sports injuries
Vehicle collisions include car, truck, and motorcycle accidents. Falls often happen at work or on other premises like a grocery store. You can file a premises liability claim if you suffer a broken bone at a grocery store—conversely, injuries at work warrant workers’ compensation claims. You can seek compensation through medical malpractice if your child has a birth defect resulting in a broken collarbone.
Let our attorneys help you through this healing process
If another driver’s negligence caused your broken collarbone, we want to help you. The reason for your broken collarbone will determine the kind of claim you can file, whether it is workers’ compensation, personal injury, or medical malpractice. Schedule a consultation with a Kansas City personal injury lawyer to determine the cause and type of claim that best suits you. You are entitled to compensation for medical bills and the time you miss from work.
Did you sustain a broken collarbone after an accident?
If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident, you need to speak with an experienced motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us or call our Kansas City office directly to schedule your free consultation. We also have offices in St. Joseph, Parkville, and Lee’s Summit in Missouri, and in Overland Park, Kansas City, and Olathe in Kansas, by appointment only.