Broken bones or fractures are among the crash-related injuries that people may identify right at the scene of a wreck. They can’t put weight on one of their legs, so they realize that it must be broken. They then go to see a doctor and get the appropriate treatment so that the bone can heal and they can move on with their life.
Most of the time, a broken bone that receives the right medical intervention will completely heal with minimal, if any, lingering symptoms. Some people may have mild reductions in their strength or range of motion, but physical therapy can typically help overcome those concerns.
However, there are situations in which broken bones cause lasting health concerns. The two situations below are among the most common reasons that a broken bone could prove a life-altering medical issue.
Someone has an open fracture or a spiral fracture
Not all broken bones do the same amount of damage to the human body. A simple, stable fracture may cause minimal pain and very few secondary symptoms. An open or compound fracture could cause life-threatening blood loss and put someone at increased risk of infection.
Spiral fractures are also dangerous because they involve the bone breaking into numerous irregular pieces. They frequently require surgery to repair, as do compound fractures because of the infection risk and damage to the surrounding tissue.
Someone’s body doesn’t heal right
What seems like a simple broken bone can eventually cause lasting damage to someone’s body. Fractures are among the physical traumas that have a known association with complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS). When someone develops CRPS after a fracture, they will notice that their pain or discomfort continues to increase despite the bone healing.
There may be changes to the skin, hair or nails that develop near the broken bone, and the pain may persist long after the cast comes off and the doctor proclaims that they have fully healed. CRPS unfortunately has no known cure and tends to progress over time, meaning that someone’s symptoms will slowly get worse.
Both severe fractures and fractures that lead to secondary medical conditions may cost more than what insurance can cover. Recognizing how expensive and debilitating even a broken bone can be may help those trying to handle an insurance claim after a recent car crash.