Whether you are a pedestrian, passenger or driver, being involved in an accident can result in a variety of serious injuries. One that is most serious is an open fracture, also called a compound fracture.
This type of broken bone is unusual because it pierces the skin. The force of the break pushes the bone out through muscle, soft tissue and skin. As you can imagine, your recovery from this type of injury could take some time. However, it isn’t just the injury itself that makes an open fracture more serious and sometimes problematic.
The invisible enemy of an open fracture
Even though doctors will be concerned with setting the bone and closing the skin, the real and immediate concern is the risk of infection. Your skin acts as a barrier to anything outside of your body such as debris, bacteria and the like. When the skin is open, the risk of infection skyrockets, especially when the inside of a bone is also exposed to the elements.
For this reason, the first order of business in treating an open fracture is to minimize the risk of infection. Doctors do this through surgery. The surgeon will thoroughly clean the wound in order to remove as much debris (such as clothing, asphalt, gravel and other contaminants that may have gotten into the wound during the accident) as possible. You will also more than likely require antibiotics to assist in avoiding infection.
The worst-case scenario
Most experts contend that surgery needs to occur within the first six hours after the injury to limit the risk of a bone infection. The hope is that you will not contract any infection at all, but if it gets into the bone, you will need additional surgeries and more aggressive medications. This type of infection will prolong an already extended recovery period. If not treated quickly and aggressively, any infection, particularly a bone infection, could threaten your life.
The road to recovery
Your recovery from an open fracture will take longer than a closed fracture where the bone did not break through the skin. As you try to focus on your recovery, you could find yourself stressed and anxious about your financial situation, which could hinder your ability to heal. If the accident resulted from the negligence or recklessness of someone else, you may have the opportunity to file a personal injury claim in a Texas civil court to pursue the maximum amount of compensation to which you are entitled.
However, navigating through this process is probably the last thing you need right now. Instead of attempting to handle this matter on your own, you could rely on an experienced attorney to advocate for you; this way you can focus on your recovery and your family.