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What makes an open compound fracture dangerous?

On Behalf of | Dec 2, 2021 | Blog, Personal Injury

Any bone injury may prove painful and difficult. However, one that is open may become dangerous if not attended to properly.

Open compound fractures often occur during a traumatic event such as a car accident. The bone not only breaks but breaks out through the skin, causing an open wound. Find out what makes this fracture dangerous and how it may cause a lifestyle change.

Why is the wound dangerous?

After a car crash, time passes between an open wound and medical assistance. During this critical window, dirt, debris and bacteria enter the body. These contaminants may cause issues, not only infecting the torn tissue but the broken bone itself. An infected bone may not heal properly, if at all. It may also create issues for the whole body if not stopped.

What happens if the wound does not close?

A surgeon will clean out the damaged tissue before setting the bone. In some instances, the wound may have to remain open so doctors can revisit it to confirm that the tissue does not exhibit signs of infection. The trauma to the skin and tissue may make it difficult to close the wound without a skin graft. This procedure adds another layer of difficulty to recovery time.

What takes so long to heal?

Open compound fractures remain at high risk for repeat infections even as time passes. Patients who sustain this type of injury have a long road of physical therapy and wound care before them. Even then, the damaged limb may no longer function as it once did.

Recovery for this type of injury may last months, and a full recovery may not occur. Following the doctor’s orders and attending all wound-care appointments may help ensure complications do not hinder rehabilitation.

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