Complications from Broken Bone Injuries

Complications from Broken Bone InjuriesFor many personal injury victims, a broken bone means immobilizing the bone with a splint for five to eight weeks. For more serious breaks, surgery may be required. Ideally, the bone heals and you go about your life without any further concerns. For some victims with unusual breaks or other complications, additional surgeries may be required. Some victims never fully recover and live with a lifetime of pain.

Fractures can happen after many types of accidents, including car accidents, truck crashes, motorcycle spills, slip and fall accidents, construction accidents, and many other causes.

How is a bone break diagnosed?

According to the Cleveland Clinic, the common diagnostic tools to examine the location, type, and severity of a broken bone are X-rays, CT scans, MRIs, and bone scans.

The different types of fractures are defined by the cause (how the accident happened), the visual pattern of the fracture, and the body location of the broken bone. Open fractures (called compound fractures) occur when the bone breaks through the skin. The open break creates the risk of infection and other dangers. With a closed fracture, your bone doesn’t penetrate the skin. Per the Cleveland Clinic:

A displaced fracture means the pieces of your bone moved so much that a gap formed around the fracture when your bone broke. Non-displaced fractures are still broken bones, but the pieces weren’t moved far enough during the break to be out of alignment. Displaced fractures are much more likely to require surgery to repair.

In addition to splints and casts, the possible treatments for a broken bone due to a personal injury accident include:

  • A closed reduction to realign the bones. This is a non-surgical procedure where your doctor literally pushes and pulls your body to line up your bones correctly using a local anesthetic, sedatives, and general anesthesia. The next treatment stage is the use of a splint or a cast.
  • There are different types of surgery depending on the damage:
    • Internal fixation. This surgery uses pieces of metal (rods, plates, screws, pins, and wires) to hold your bone in place while it heals. The pieces of metal may be removed or may stay inside your body forever.
    • External fixation. This surgery uses screws on either side of the fracture and connects them with an external brace or bracket.
    • This surgery replaces a damaged joint with an artificial joint.
    • Bone grafting. Here, your doctor inserts additional tissue to rejoin your broken bone and then uses an internal fixation.

What are the possible complications of bone fracture treatment?

According to Physiopedia, a nonprofit health resource, early complications of a bone fracture may include shock, wound healing difficulties, fat embolism, infection, disseminated intravascular coagulopathy, and the following extremely dangerous health conditions:

  • Acute compartment syndrome. This condition occurs when there is “increased pressure within a closed osteofascial compartment, resulting in impaired local circulation. Without prompt treatment, acute compartment syndrome can lead to ischemia and eventually, necrosis.
  • Deep vein thrombosis (DVTF). Here, there is a blood clot in deep veins (often the leg). DVTF is a common cause of heart attacks, stroke, pulmonary embolism, and death. Survivors may suffer post-thrombotic phlebitis.
  • A pulmonary embolism. This condition is a “blockage of one of the pulmonary arteries in the lungs.” Emergency medical treatment is required.

Delayed complications according to Physiopedia include:

  • Reactions to internal fixation devices.
  • Complex regional pain syndrome. This health disorder is:
    • “a neuropathic pain disorder with specific clinical features, including allodynia, hyperalgesia, sudomotor and vasomotor abnormalities, and trophic changes. The pain experienced is greater than the degree of tissue injury and continues longer than the expected time for tissue healing.”
  • Heterotrophic ossification. This condition “refers to the formation of mature, lamellar bone in extraskeletal soft tissue where bone should not be.”
  • Avascular necrosis of bone.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, other delayed complications include:

  • The broken bones don’t line up correctly while they heal.
  • Nonunion: Your bones don’t “grow back together fully or at all.”
  • Bone infection (osteomyelitis). Open fractures increase the risk of bacterial infection.

Charlotte broken bone accidents may also damage the nerves, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and blood vessels around the injury site.

What are the consequences of fracture complications?

Severe fracture complications are devastating. They cause incredible physical pain and emotional suffering. Victims may require additional surgeries. A victim may lose the ability to walk, use their arms, or use other parts of their body depending on the location of the break. Tragically, some patients may die due to these complications.

Our seasoned Charlotte personal injury lawyers file claims against all the responsible parties including drivers, property owners, product manufacturers, physicians, construction site owners, and others.

We demand compensation for:

  • All your current and future medical bills. These bills include ER care, hospitalizations and surgeries, rehabilitative care including physical and occupational therapy, psychological counseling, medications, and assistive devices.
  • All your lost income including any lost income due to a personal disability.
  • Your daily physical pain and emotional suffering including the pain and suffering you’re likely to endure for the rest of your life.
  • Any loss of bodily function.
  • Any property damage.
  • Any scarring or disfigurement.
  • Other damages that you may be able to claim such as punitive damages if the conduct of the defendant was especially egregious.

If you’re suffering from any type of broken bone due to any type of accident, Price, Petho & Associates is ready to help. Our personal injury lawyers are experienced trial lawyers. We’ve earned the respect of former clients, insurance companies, and defense lawyers for our strong advocacy for our clients – and our impressive record of settlements and jury verdicts.

To assert your rights to compensation or to file a wrongful death claim for a loved one, call our office or complete our contact form to schedule a free initial consultation today. We meet accident victims and families at our offices in Charlotte, Rutherfordton, and Rockingham.