Broken bones are such a common ailment that many personal injury victims do not think to take them seriously. However, broken bones and fractures can develop into more serious injuries with long-term implications if accident victims fail to seek appropriate treatment and/or fail to properly care for their injuries.
If they do not heal properly, broken bones and fractures can lead to painful and debilitating complications. Henry Ford Health System explains the complications that can result from bone trauma and warning signs patients should look out for.
Complications from bone fractures and breaks
Most breaks and fractures heal just fine and with little medical intervention. However, some patients may develop complications during the healing process. Henry Ford orthopedists explain the three most common complications:
- Bone Deformities: When an orthopedist fails to set bones properly, the misalignment can cause the bones to shift to abnormal positions and result in malunions.
- Bone Infections: When the body is subject to trauma, it may struggle to fight off infections. In rare cases, infections may occur during the surgery required to set a bone and lead to bone infections.
- Delayed Union and Nonunion Fractures: Rarely, the body will either take longer than normal to heal, resulting in a delayed union, or fail to heal entirely, resulting in a nonunion.
If complications develop, the body typically gives off warning signs. Warning signs of bone healing complications include fever, swelling, chronic pain, drainage from wound and limping.
Risk factors for bone healing complications
According to Patient, some people are more at risk for experiencing complications from bone trauma than others. Risk factors for complications may include age, smoking status, nutritional status, diabetes, recent use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, alcohol use, estrogen-containing hormone therapy and a recent motor vehicle accident.
When individuals sustain breaks or fractures in personal injury accidents and file claims for damages, it is important that they anticipate complications during the healing process. The right attorney can help victims identify possible issues and build their cases accordingly.