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A compound fracture is much more than just a broken bone

The injuries suffered by people involved in car accidents vary widely, and it seems as though there is no rhyme or reason to them. One person can walk away relatively unscathed while someone else could suffer serious injuries. Even when vehicle occupants suffer similar injuries, they can range from minor to severe.

For instance, one injury many people suffer in crashes is a broken bone. While a broken bone can affect your life for some time, the injury may not endanger your life. However, if you suffer a compound fracture, also called an open fracture, your life could be at risk, and your recovery will take longer.

The danger of a compound fracture

Any broken bone could come with certain complications, but an open fracture comes with one that makes it a far worse and more serious injury — infection. You see, when you suffer a compound fracture, the broken bone penetrates the skin. Your skin is meant to protect you from infection, and when your bone breaches that barrier, bacteria and debris could not only get into your body, but into your bone as well.

For this reason, the primary concern in the hours immediately following the injury is limiting the potential for infection. This type of injury always requires surgery, which will immediately lengthen your recovery time, even if everything goes according to plan.

What is the treatment plan for a compound fracture?

Medical personnel will need to stabilize your condition and attend to any more urgent injuries you may have first, but getting you into surgery when you suffer a compound fracture is paramount. During the operation, the surgeon will clean the area of the wound as thoroughly as possible and remove any debris. Only when he or she is satisfied with this part of the surgery will the surgeon stabilize the bone.

You will also need antibiotics and a tetanus shot as part of your treatment. Doctors will monitor you closely for infection. You may need additional surgeries and other treatment if you do end up with one, which will make your recovery time more complex and lengthier.

What are your options for compensation?

If you ended up in this position due to the negligence or recklessness of another driver, you may exercise your right under Louisiana law to pursue compensation for your financial and other losses incurred as a result of the accident. A successful claim could help with your current and future monetary needs related to your injury and recovery.