December 28, 2011 | Personal Injury
What Are Fractures?
A fracture is breakage or cracks on the bone because of too much direct pressure, stress, or external force. A small crack on the bony surface is already considered a fracture. An open or compound fracture occurs when the broken bone punctures through the skin.
How It Is Sustained
Bones are mainly the framework of the body. It is generally rigid but some bones are flexible and able to bend in order to adapt when a certain amount of force is applied. With this ability, certain bones can be resistant to shock. But if the external force (like in car accidents) is too great, the bones will probably break like a wooden stick after bent too far.
Symptoms Of Fracture
Symptoms of fractures are quite evident most especially when the affected area is large and when accompanied by pain. A deformed part of the body can also be easily seen with severe fractures. The severity of the fracture varies depending on the amount of force applied to the bone. If the force only slightly exceeded the breaking point, the bone might only have a small crack. This type of fracture can be easily seen using an X-ray. Other imaging tests are also advised if the internal organs are also affected. Shattered bones are usually the type of fractures in automobile collisions.
According to the World Health Organization (2002), the most common location of the fracture in road traffic collisions is in the patella, tibia, or fibula which is around 26.9 in every 100,000 population and 7.8% of all traffic injuries. It is followed shortly by fractures in the femur, radius/ulna, clavicle, scapula/humerus/facial bones, rib/sternum, ankle, vertebral column, pelvis, skull, foot, hand, and femur (long-term), consecutively.
Treatment of Fractures
In severe motor vehicle accidents, medical assistance and consult must be done as soon as possible to check for fractures. The person must be calm and still to prevent further harm. Keen observation is essential. Even a small crack on the bone can result to immobility and inflammation. Movement of the fractured bone must be controlled to prevent further injury. The application of a splint to control movement must be done by a medical professional. In the case of dislocation and complex fractures, the broken pieces must be put back to normal position. Thereafter, these broken bones can be healed in time depending on the severity, whether it is open or closed, and on what specific bone is involved.
Aside from prescribed pain relievers, these types of treatment procedures are used for different types of fractures:
- Cast immobilization – It is the most common type of treatment for the fracture to control the movement of the affected bone. Casts are usually made of plaster or fiberglass.
- Functional brace or cast – This type of cast also allows the limited movement of associated joints of the fractured bone.
- Traction – This is used to realign the dislocated bone gently using skin tapes or metal pins through the bone. It is usually used as a preliminary treatment of severe fractures.
- Open reduction and Internal Fixation – This is a surgical treatment of the fractured bone wherein the affected bones are realigned and then positioned together using screws, metal plates, and/or rods. An orthopedic surgeon is the only medical professional who is allowed to perform this procedure to prevent further infection. The wound is then closed after the surgery. For more information see: femur fracture
- External fixation – It is also a form of surgical treatment for severe bone structures wherein aside from using screws, metal plates, and rods, an external fixation device is also a place to realign and put back together with the dislocated or broken bones. An orthopedic surgeon is the only medical professional allowed to remove the external fixation device after a certain period of time.
With all the given treatments of fractures, the success of them varies depending on the person’s cooperation. Pain relief, prevention of recurrence, and improved neurologic function are also some goals of some specific types of fracture.
An adequate amount of calcium intake in the diet accompanied by regular exercise is important in bone growth and maintenance. Usually, women need more calcium more than men, most especially menopausal women.
When driving, traffic regulations must be confirmed all the time.4 Moreover, wearing protective gear like helmets, knee pads, elbow pads, and shin pads when riding a bicycle or motorcycle is also advised.
Broken and fractured bones leave an individual frequently in need of future medical attention. If an injury victim receives a fracture as a result of a car accident, truck accident, or another injury, they are entitled to the cost of their past and future medical treatment. Contact a Missouri personal injury lawyer today to obtain information on reimbursement for your harms and losses. Call (314) 208-2808.