When a person in Washington is involved in a motor vehicle collision, he or she may suffer a shoulder fracture in addition to other possible injuries. Common shoulder fractures resulting from car crashes include fractures of the collarbone, or clavicle, and fractures of the proximal humerus, or the top of the arm bone. Less commonly, a person may also suffer from a fractured scapula, which is the bone at the back of the shoulder.
The three bones of the shoulder all work together, connected by muscles and tendons, to provide the range of motion necessary for the arm via a ball-and-socket connection. In a high-speed collision, trauma to the chest can break the clavicle and sometimes the top of the arm bone. Such fractures normally will require immobilization, using things such as a sling along with physical therapy. If the fractures are compound ones, such as a clavicle which is broken and then extends through the skin, surgery may also be required. Similarly, if the proximal humerus is broken to such an extent that the two pieces are not lined up, surgery may be necessary.
Fractures to the scapula are less common, as the scapula is well protected by the chest wall and the muscles of the back. Normally, it takes significant force to fracture the scapula, such as the force that occurs in a high-speed, violent collisions. If the fracture is severe, plates and screws may be necessary, along with ongoing physical therapy.
Auto injuries such as shoulder fractures can be extremely debilitating, resulting in a loss of function and a lesser quality of life. People who suffer such injuries in accidents caused by others may want to consider filing personal injury lawsuits. Through a lawsuit, people may be able to maximize the damages they recover in order to be compensated for all losses incurred.