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Things to know about a broken collarbone

A broken collarbone is a painful injury that makes it difficult to use your shoulder, arms and hands in the manner you're accustomed to. With so many potential complications, this isn't the type of injury you should attempt to treat on your own.

There are many common causes of a broken collarbone, including:

  • Slip-and-fall: For example, if you fall off a ladder at work, you could break your collarbone upon hitting the ground.
  • Motor vehicle accident: Your collarbone is at risk in this type of accident, especially those where there's a lot of force.

Do you have a broken collarbone?

Signs of a broken collarbone typically include:

  • Pain and swelling in the area
  • Bruising
  • Tender to the touch
  • A bump near your shoulder
  • Inability to move your shoulder
  • Grinding sound when using your shoulder

With a broken collarbone, the pain won't go away without treatment. Your medical team will suggest one or more of the following:

  • Rest and restricted movement: To heal completely, you'll want to immobilize the area for a period of eight to twelve weeks. This gives the break time to completely heal.
  • Physical therapy: Once you regain some range of motion in your arm, you can partake in physical therapy to reach your previous level of strength and flexibility.
  • Surgery: It's not typically required with a broken collarbone, but it may be necessary if the bone breaks the skin or the bone has fractured into several pieces. During surgery, your doctor will use screws, rods and/or plates to position your bone and promote proper healing.

Are there possible complications?

While most people make a full recovery, there is the potential for complications. These include:

  • Blood vessel injury
  • Nerve injury
  • Delayed healing
  • Osteoarthritis
  • A lump located in the area of the break

If you suffer a broken collarbone as a result of your employment in Harrisburg, report the incident and your injury to your employer. Once you have a clear idea of your prognosis and treatment schedule, you can decide if you're in position to file a claim for workers' compensation benefits.

If these benefits are available to you, don't hesitate to take advantage.

Visit our website and read our blog for additional information on workplace accidents in Pennsylvania and injuries that typically result in a workers' compensation claim.

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Marzzacco Niven & Associates

Marzzacco Niven & Associates
1909 North Front Street, 2nd Floor, Suite 1
Harrisburg, PA 17102

Toll Free: 866-321-5340
Phone: 717-260-3580
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