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What’s the Difference Between a Simple Bone Fracture and Compound Fracture?

Posted in Broken Bone Injury on May 23, 2018

Bones can fracture from too much stress or in high-velocity impacts. Broken bone injuries occur most commonly in car accidents, falls, sports incidents, and medical conditions that weaken the bones. When something places too much pressure on a bone, it can develop either simple or compound fractures. Learning the difference between fracture types can help you understand your, or a loved one’s, injuries as well as plan for what to expect during treatment and recovery. You could be eligible to recover all of your fracture-related damages, from medical bills to pain and suffering. If you are looking for an experienced Atlanta broken bone injury lawyer, contact Butler Wooten & Peak, LLP about your case!

What are the Different Types of Bone Fractures?

There are two primary types of Fractures. They can be a simple fracture or compound fracture. A simple fracture, or closed fracture, cracks the bone but does not break the skin. A compound fracture, or open fracture, breaks the bone, and then the broken pieces of bone pierce the skin.

Compound fractures are more serious than simple fractures. They can be more painful, require additional treatments, and take longer to heal. Most compound fractures require surgical intervention during treatment, where the doctors will repair the fracture in the bone. A simple fracture, on the other hand, may only need a splint or cast to heal.

Bone fractures can also be traumatic or pathological. Traumatic breaks occur from outside forces, such as a limb getting stuck in a piece of machinery or crushed in a motorcycle accident. Pathological fractures stem from medical conditions such as cancer, osteoporosis, or bone diseases. Patients with traumatic fractures may have grounds to pursue damage recovery through personal injury lawsuits against the party that caused the injury, such as a driver or property owner.

Aside from simple and complex fractures, doctors categorize bone breaks into a variety of other types. The name of the fracture can describe its location within the body, the location of the fracture on the bone, and the fragmentation of the bone. Fracture types include avulsion (a ligament pulls on a bone and fractures it), comminuted (a bone shattered into pieces), greenstick (a bone that fractures on one side but bends on the other), hairline (partial fracture), and stress fracture (fracture due to repetitive motions and strains).

Common Symptoms for Broken Bones

You might have broken a bone in an accident if you notice pain, swelling, bruising or discoloration, angulation of a bone, or the inability to move the area. These are all potential symptoms of a simple fracture. If you notice broken, bleeding skin plus these symptoms, you might have a compound fracture. You may also experience a grating or stopping sensation in the affected bone and trouble putting weight on it. Fracturing larger bones in the body could cause nausea, vomiting, dizziness, fainting, and looking pale and clammy.

How Should I Treat a Broken Bone?

Do not move the affected area if you believe you’ve fractured a bone. Wait for paramedics to arrive and stabilize the limb. A physical examination will tell you whether you fractured a bone, the type of fracture, and its location. X-rays, MRIs, or CT scans can show you images of the break. You may require surgery to repair the injury. Otherwise, a physician will reduce the fracture and immobilize the limb to allow it to repair itself over time. Simple fractures can take as little as two weeks to heal, while compound fractures can take eight weeks or longer.

Complications can arise after suffering a broken bone that lengthens the time it will take to recover. The patient may sustain an infection or a blood supply problem. The patient’s age, health status, type of fracture, and healing process can all affect the length of recovery. In the meantime, the patient may miss wages from the inability to return to work. Contact an attorney near you for information about recovering these and other damages from a bone fracture. Call the Atlanta office (404) 321-1700 or toll-free at (800) 242-2962 today!