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When is a broken bone dangerous?

On Behalf of | Mar 7, 2023 | Personal Injury |

Car accident injuries range from superficial to fatal. One common injury that may run the gamut of this scale is a bone that fractures.

Since there is a degree of bone breaks, several factors determine whether one falls on the serious end of the scale or not. Learn what makes a bone fracture more dangerous and what it may mean to recovery.

What are the different bone break types?

There are two main categories of bone breaks. When someone breaks a bone, a part of the bone has separated. At the low end of the spectrum is a bone fissure or crack that has not widened or gone completely through. The crack may heal without further intervention if doctors intervene and immobilize the leg.

On the more damaging side of the spectrum are fractures where the bone separates and splits into two or more distinct parts. A compound fracture is one such example. This break may require temporary hardware to pin the bones together until they heal. However, the extreme and most dangerous type of break is one where the bone splits and rips through the skin, opening a wound. This open compound fracture requires immediate and persistent medical attention.

Why is a compound fracture more serious?

An open compound fracture is serious because it opens a direct wound into the body. During a car accident, this may prove life-threatening as dirt and debris may enter and cause infection in vulnerable and damaged tissue. An open compound fracture requires several surgeries to cut out damaged tissue and often permanent implantation of rods and pins to secure the bone back together.

Even so, an open compound fracture may lead to a lifetime of change. Depending on the infection, doctors may have to remove a large amount of tissue to protect the body against further infection. The most extreme cases of infection may lead to amputation.

As such, when dealing with a bone break after a crash, it is crucial that patients abide by the doctor’s orders and not rush to dismiss it as a simple broken bone. It may lead to a catastrophic consequence if not attended to properly.