If you have ever had a broken bone, chances are the memory remains fresh in your mind. Whether you can easily recall the reason your bone was broken or the pain you felt, a fracture is a difficult thing to forget. If you’ve never had a broken bone, consider yourself lucky.
While there are many causes of fractures, they are typically sustained in some type of accident. Whether you have collided with someone on a sports field or been involved in a car accident, a fracture is a very real possibility. Here is a brief overview of bone fractures, their treatment and your recovery.
A fracture is a fairly common injury. A fracture is what medical professionals call a broken bone. They are so common, in fact, that on average, every human will sustain two fractures in their lifetime.
The risk of fracture depends on many factors, such as your age and gender, your activity level and your overall health. There are several types of fractures that a person may sustain, but they are categorized into open, closed, displaced and non-displaced.
When a fracture is categorized as displaced, it means that the bone has moved in such a way that the broken ends no longer line up. If a fracture is non-displaced, the bone is broken but still maintains alignment. A closed fracture does not puncture the skin, while an open fracture does.
Some people feel immediate pain or hear a snapping sound when a bone breaks. In other instances, a person may realize that they are injured in some way, but not that they have broken a bone. Other symptoms include:
It surprises many people to discover that an X-ray will not always detect a bone fracture. Stress fractures and fractures in the wrists or hips can be hard to locate on a traditional X-ray. When this is the case, a doctor may utilize CT or MRI scans to make a proper diagnosis.
In cases where an X-ray does confirm a bone fracture, a doctor may still order further imaging to determine whether tissues surrounding the break have been damaged. If your doctor suspects that you may have fractured your skull, they will typically order a CT scan right away because bleeding or other trauma to the brain is a concern.
When a fracture is diagnosed, they typically need to be set in order to heal properly. The technical name for setting a bone is called reduction. When a bone can be set without surgery, it is a closed reduction. Fractures that are more serious may require surgical intervention to repair. When this is the case, it is called an open reduction.
An open reduction may involve the use of pins, screws, plates, rods or glue to keep the fracture stabilized so that it can heal. Once set, fractures will be immobilized using traction, a cast or a splint. In some cases, people will be prescribed antibiotics to prevent infection from setting in. Rehabilitation is often ordered to help maintain muscle mass and prevent blood clots.
Once the fracture has healed, the cast or splint will be removed. In some cases, screws, pins and rods will be removed as well. The doctor may recommend that the patient begin to use the area slowly, gradually building strength. It typically takes four to six weeks for a patient to feel as strong as they did prior to the break.
Once your cast has come off and the doctor has told you you can use the area again, be sure to understand just how intense that use can be. Your doctor will advise you as to what type of activity and how much of it will be safe. Exercise that is too strenuous too soon after a break can cause the bone to fracture again or not finish healing properly.
Treatment for a fracture can be expensive, depending on how severe the fracture and what type of treatment is necessary. When a person sustains a fractured bone due to a car accident in West Palm Beach, they may have the legal right to seek compensation in a court of law.
If you have been injured in an accident, reach out to our team of experienced personal injury attorneys. We will speak to you at no cost and advise you of your legal options under current state law. We can help you fight to have your medical bills paid for, both those you have already incurred and the ones you may incur in the future, and we will help you secure damages for any other financial loss you have suffered. Call today.