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Broken Collarbone in Skiing Accident

One common injury at Colorado ski resorts is a broken collarbone. This is also referred to as a clavicle fracture. When skiers and or snowboarders collide, a direct impact to the collarbone, shoulder or an outstretched arm can result in a break. The harms resulting from this injury depends on the nature of the break, where it occurs and its severity. Regardless, ski collision victims can pursue compensation from the at-fault party.

Common Types of Collarbone Fractures Sustained in a Skiing Accident

There are three different areas in which fractures occur on the collarbone. A distal clavicle  fracture – the outer third of the collarbone – is common in snowboarding collisions where there is direct impact near the tip of the shoulder. This may happen when the downhill snowboarder or skier is stopped and they are hit on the side. Other injuries to the neck, back and a fractured humerus (the long bone in the arm) might accompany a collarbone fracture. 

The least common is when the collarbone is fractured near the breastbone. A direct blow to the chest during the crash might cause this.

The most common type to sustain, fractures in the middle of the collarbone, are usually caused by falls or when someone overstretches his or her arm; for instance, a snowboarder is struck and attempts to break his/her fall.

In a severe injury, the fractured bone might pierce through the skin (compound fracture) or it could penetrate through blood vessels, nerves or the lungs. This level of injury can be life threatening and require emergency surgery.

Symptoms and Treatment of a Broken Collarbone

The following are signs that could indicate someone has suffered a fractured collarbone:

  • pain;
  • tenderness;
  • swelling;
  • bruising;
  • difficulty moving arm/shoulder;
  • shoulder slumps inward, forward or downward; and
  • abnormal bump or contour of the collarbone (common).

A minor facture may heal without surgery. But it will take a few weeks to restore range of motion in the shoulder. When surgery is required, recovery can take several months. Metal screws, pins and plates are used to reposition the bones so they are properly aligned. The hardware usually isn’t removed but sometimes it becomes necessary if they cause problems.

Other forms of treatment may include a sling to support the arm, medication for pain and physical therapy to strengthen the affected side and improve range of motion. Most people successfully recover from a broken collarbone. However, disfigurement (a lump) may be permanent.

I can ensure that a claim adequately addresses all losses and harms. This may include the medical bills for surgery and physical therapy, missed time from work, pain and suffering, scarring and disfigurement, impairment to function and emotional distress and more.

If you, a family member or a friend has been injured in a collision with another skier or snowboarder give me a call. I will review your claim with you in detail. The consultation is always free. Call (303) 300-5060 or email or fill out a contact form.

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