A broken bone may result in life-altering damage. Depending on the cause of your injury and the extent of the fracture, you may have more than a cast to contend with.
Bone breaks may fall into the severe category after a car crash or construction accident. Learn more about what makes a fracture more than a nuisance injury and elevates it into a catastrophic one.
What happens when a bone breaks?
The force of a car collision may result in a transfer of energy from the vehicle through the body. The steering wheel and the foot pedals are the most common places drivers experience this phenomenon. When a bone breaks, it may crack, shatter or separate. A compound fracture is one in which the bones separate, requiring surgery to re-join the bones.
What is an open fracture?
An open fracture is the most severe type of bone break. It involves a compound fracture that pierces the skin. Many compound fractures caused by car crashes occur in the shin or tibia. What makes an open feature so bad? The open wound complicates recovery and requires the removal of tissue that may carry bacteria into the exposed bone. If an open fracture becomes infected, it may result in a loss of bone, muscle and even the limb.
How long does recovery take?
Recovery from an open compound fracture depends on the severity of damage to surrounding tissue and whether bacteria entered the wound. Doctors often must leave the wound open to revisit the site and repeat surgical cleanings and removal of infected tissue as needed. Recovery depends on the extent of damage and body part.
An accident that results in a bone piercing the skin is a serious event. The damage left behind may require lengthy medical procedures and recovery.