Broken bones are one of the most common types of personal injury. These can occur in car accidents, due to slips, trips, falls, or any type of traumatic event which puts excessive stress or strain on a specific body part. Since they are so common, a broken bone injury is often thought of as being less severe. The fact is, without the proper medical treatment and recovery time, complications associated with broken bones have the potential to result in permanent disabilities.
Common Types of Broken Bones
Broken bones vary in severity, depending on both the location of the break and the type of fracture involved. The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS) advises that the following are among the most common types of broken bones:
- Stable fractures, in which the ends of the broken bone lineup directly with each other
- Compound, open fractures, in which the bone pierces the skin and is exposed
- Transverse fractures, in which the break occurs horizontally
- Oblique fractures, in which the break occurs in an angled pattern
- Comminuted fractures, in which the bone breaks into multiple pieces
The AAOS states that the main goal of treatment for any kind of broken bone involves lining up the pieces up together and keeping them in one place so that it has time to heal back together. For less severe fractures, this may involve the use of a cast or brace. When the break is more complex or pieces of bone have been shattered, surgery may be required, using metal pins, rods, and plates to hold the bone together. Recovery times vary depending on the type of break and location, ranging from six to eight weeks to months or even years.
Broken Bone Complications
Proper healing of broken bones depends on using the right method to align the bone in place while preventing any infections that could occur during this process. Common types of complications include:
- Non-union, in which the bone fails to knit together within six to nine months
- Malunion, in which the bone heals in the wrong position
- Refracturing, in which swelling around the materials used to keep the bone in place causes the bone to splinter or break again.
- Damage to the muscles, tendons, and tissues surrounding the bone, due to improper casting and impaired blood supply, lack of immobilization, or infection
In addition to requiring extensive medical treatments to repair the damage, complications that weaken bones and the surrounding muscles and tendons can cause lasting impairments.
Let Us Help You Today
You may be entitled to compensation due to broken bones you suffered in an accident. However, it is important to be aware that once you accept a settlement, you will be forfeiting your rights to future compensation. Before accepting an amount that may not factor in future complications, contact Shapiro, Appleton, Washburn & Sharp first. We can arrange a free consultation with one of our dedicated North Carolina personal injury attorneys to help make sure you get the compensation you deserve.