Broken Bones and Associated Complications
We’ve all heard of breaking a bone – maybe even had a fracture or two – but how does a bone break and what kind of complications and or problems can arise after a fracture?
A broken bone or bone fracture occurs when a force exerted against a bone is stronger than the bone can bear. This disturbs the structure and strength of the bone, and leads to pain, loss of function and sometimes bleeding and injury around the site. In personal injury cases, a bone typically breaks from the forces exerted upon it in an automobile crash or in a slip and fall.
There are different types of bone fractures. Some are more severe than others, depending on the strength and direction of the force, the particular bone involved, and the person’s age and general health.
When you break a bone you will likely experience pain, swelling, and bruising. You may also experience deformity and an inability to use the limb associated with the fracture.
Depending on the location of the fracture, it is also possible that the broken bone itself can cause injury to the surrounding tissue such as internal organs from fractured ribs or brain injury from a skull fracture. In children, if the bone breaks close to the grown plate, the child can end up with stunted growth in the broken bone.
Possible complications of a bone fracture may include poor alignment of the limb, infection, and nerve damage and other injury from improper cast placement.
A more severe complication is known as compartment syndrome which occurs when there is insufficient blood supply to muscles and nerves due to increased pressure within one of the body’s compartments, such as an arm, leg or other enclosed space within the body. If uncorrected, the lack of blood supply leads to injury in the affected muscles and nerves and can sometimes lead to amputation of the affected limb.
Sometimes, fractures require the placement of hardware such as plates and screws and/or metal rods to keep the bones in alignment and aid the healing process. The placement of this hardware can bring along a host of other complications and potential problems and sometimes requires additional surgery for removal of the hardware.
If you, or someone you love, has suffered a broken bone, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Heiting & Irwin today for the help and guidance you need.