The violent impact of traffic collisions on the relatively unprotected body of a rider or passenger can easily inflict damage, ranging from a hairline fracture of a finger to a crushed pelvic girdle. All broken bones must be treated as significant injuries, both medically and legally. Accordingly, it is important to understand your injury and to take prompt action to protect both your physical and your financial recoveries.
Not All Broken Bones Are the Same
Any bone in the body may be broken, and that may break may be classified as a:
- Closed fracture or simple fracture. These breaks do not result in open wounds.
- Open fracture or compound fracture. These breaks penetrate the skin, creating an open wound that is subject to infection.
- Hairline fracture. A hairline fracture is a narrow crack in a bone.
- Incomplete fracture. An incomplete fracture is a more serious crack that doesn't break the bone all the way through.
- Complete fracture. As the term suggests, a complete fracture occurs when the bone has broken in to two pieces.
- Displaced fracture. A displaced fracture is a complete fracture where the pieces of the bone on either side of the break are out of alignment.
- Comminuted fracture. Those who suffer comminuted fractures have had their bone shatter into small pieces.
- Compacted fracture. A compacted fracture is a break caused when bone pieces have been driven into each other.
Some common broken bones include:
- Legs and arms. Broken legs and arms can heal with casting, surgery or physical therapy, but the process can be long and it can significantly interfere with your daily activities.
- Collarbones. A broken collarbone can result in significant pain and an inability to lift your arm. Some collarbone injuries will heal with immobilization and physical therapy, but others require surgery.
- Ribs. While a cracked rib will not cause the victim too many complications, a rib bone that is completely broken can cause serious complications. These complications may vary depending on which rib is broken and may include a torn or punctured aorta, a punctured lung, or a lacerated spleen, liver, or kidney.
- Skulls. Skull fractures can be serious injuries that can lead to traumatic brain injuries or dangerous infections.
- Spines. Broken vertebrae or back bones can make everything difficult and—depending on the position of the break—can endanger the spinal cord.
- Pelvises. Pain, sexual dysfunction, and difficulty walking can be complications of a broken pelvis. Both prompt medical treatment and follow-up treatment, such as physical therapy, are important so that these complications are minimized.
- Hips. A broken hip can be a dangerous condition—particularly in elderly people—and medical complication can continue even after the break heals.
- Hands and fingers. These breaks can interfere with your ability to do your job and carry out your daily activities.
- Feet and toes. These breaks can also interfere with your daily activities and your mobility.
Some of common complications of broken bones include:
- Malunion. A malunion comes as a result of a fracture not being set in the proper manner; as a result, the bone heals in the wrong position. A malunion may also occur from a shift in the fracture during the long healing process.
- Osteomyelitis. An infection in the bone or bone marrow can develop as a result of a compound fracture. This can lead to a persistent infection called osteomyelitis.
- Avascular necrosis. A broken bone can cause the bone to lose its blood supply and die. This is known avascular necrosis, and it almost always leads to some degree of permanent disability.
Any time you experience pain, loss of mobility, swelling or a deformity you should promptly seek medical attention to help prevent these complications.
Treatment for Broken Bones
Treatment for broken bones begins at the scene of the accident. You should never attempt to move yourself or anyone else who may have suffered a broken bone, until first responders have arrived at the scene. You could risk further injury. Instead, a motorcycle accident victim should be warm, calm, and safe, and others should take action to make sure motorists know of the accident and do not cause further harm.
Further treatment for a broken bone depends on the bone that is broken, the type of break, and your overall health. Treatment options should always be discussed with your doctor and may include:
- Immobilization, such as with a splint.
One or more of these treatments may be recommended for you.
Protect Your Legal Rights and Financial Recovery Too
You may recover fully from a broken bone injury, but you may still need to consult with an attorney. Your medical treatment, your time away from work, and the other costs associated with your accident can be substantial and can impact your financial future unless you take action.
If someone else caused your motorcycle accident injury, then you have a limited time to take action. Please contact us online or call us directly at 800.800.5678 to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.