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Shoulder fractures resulting from car accidents

Montana residents who suffer broken shoulder bones in car accidents often have trouble performing basic tasks while they recover from their injuries. Shoulder fractures may keep accident victims from returning to work, particularly if their occupation requires a great deal of physical activity.

The upper arm bone, the collar bone and the shoulder blade make up the shoulder. Car accidents can result in fractures to any of these three bones either from the impact itself or when victims strike structures inside the car as a result of the impact. A driver involved in a car accident may strike the steering wheel and break the collarbone, while a passenger may suffer a broken upper arm from the impact of a car striking the passenger side of the vehicle being ridden in. Collar bone fractures resulting from seat belt use are uncommon but still possible. The shoulder blade is protected by muscle and other structures in the body and is most often fractured in high-velocity accidents.

Car accidents may cause the fragments of broken shoulder bones to shift out of place, often requiring victims to undergo surgery. Surgeons might place screws, rods, pins or plates in the area of the fracture to stabilize the bones. More severe fractures may require shoulder replacement. Patients often need physical therapy to restore their flexibility, muscle tone and range of motion after their fractures heal.

The injuries car crash victims receive and the treatment they often need often result in an inability to work or to care for their families. A personal injury attorney can assist in determining where the responsibility for the accident lies and the courses of action that can be pursued for the recovery of damages.

Source: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, "Shoulder Trauma (Fractures and Dislocations)", accessed on Feb. 9, 2015

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