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Do you know how serious a compound fracture is?

Car crashes that result in broken bones may not seem serious. However, certain types of fractures may come with catastrophic damage to the body if not tended to properly.

Fracture is the term medical professionals use when a bone has cracked. In some instances, the crack does not split the bone, but in extreme situations, a fracture may leave bones separated. Discover some of what makes bone fractures a threat to the body.

What is an open fracture?

When the bones break and divide, it results in a closed compound fracture. Doctors may need to implant pins to rejoin the pieces to facilitate proper healing. In some car accidents, a compound fracture may tear through the tissue and skin. Doctors refer to this type of injury as an open compound fracture. This injury requires a much more intensive medical process.

What makes an open fracture dangerous?

While a closed compound fracture is severe, it does not carry the same catastrophic tissue and nerve damage as an open fracture. When the body has a gaping wound, it grants dirt and bacteria direct access to internal body systems. Doctors must act fast to clean the wound and temporarily set the bone while ensuring the complete removal of infectious material and tissue. In some instances, a person with this type of injury may have to wear an external stabilizer allowing doctors access to the wound for follow-up cleanings. Once doctors feel confident the tissue inside is free of infection, permanent metal rods reconnect the bones.

Recovery from an open compound fracture depends on the extent of damage and infection. Once the doctor closes the wound, it may take several months for healing to occur. Depending on the location of the fracture, a person may need to change careers if a complete recovery is not possible.

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