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.
Recent years saw improvements in the numbers of deaths and injuries on U.S. and California roads. A variety of measures such as safety programs and campaigns and enhanced vehicle design led to a downward trend in accidents over the past decade.
Since 2020, though, traffic statistics show a return to more dangerous roads.
Traffic deaths increased in 2020
The clearest sign of perilous roads comes from an 8% increase in traffic deaths from 2019 to 2020. The Los Angeles Times reports that an estimated 42,000 people died on U.S. roads last year. This happened even as drivers logged 13% fewer miles than the year before.
Some observers blamed the increase in deaths on fewer drivers on the roads leading to more speeding violations. In 2020, California authorities issued double the normal number of citations for drivers going over 100 mph. Ironically, traffic congestion, which forces drivers to lower speeds, saved lives. This recent information may push traffic safety officials to focus on road safety at the expense of designing roads for faster speeds.
Traffic legislation measures also increased
Lawmakers in several states initiated legislation to address road safety, hoping to cut down on road deaths and injuries. One bill introduced in California aimed to allow local jurisdictions to have more control over speed limits. Traffic surveyors could take into account such factors as work zones and the presence of schools.
Other efforts in California look to improve enforcement of traffic violations, particularly speeding. This could lead to a reversal of the state’s ban on automated speed enforcement, at least in some localities. Provisions of legislation could include capping fees at $125, allowing a sliding scale for low-income drivers and making citations a civil offense.
Certain injuries are very common during auto accidents. According to Healthline, auto accidents often cause headaches and back pain simultaneously.
Even relatively minor pain can have a negative impact on your life if it occurs frequently. In this case, you must seek out the proper medical care to relieve pain and discomfort, while also improving range of motion and movement. Here are the steps you can take to heal after a damaging car accident.
What to expect when visiting the doctor
If you do not require immediate medical care after a car accident, you should follow up with your primary care doctor as soon as possible if symptom present. Your doctor will ask about the type of pain, its intensity, how long you have experienced it, and whether you experience any other symptoms.
Your doctor will also perform a physical exam to get a better understanding of your symptoms. They may ask you to sit, stand, or walk, perform blood testing and diagnostic imaging, perform neurological exams, and undertake other procedures. These tests and exams are integral for developing an effective treatment plan.
How to treat recurring headaches and back pain
Treatments depend on whether symptoms are minor or severe. For minor pain, your doctor may advise you to rest, apply hot or cold compresses to your head, or take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication.
More serious issues might require prescription medication, such as muscle relaxers. Cortisone injections can reduce swelling within the back to decrease movement and relieve any discomfort you are experiencing. Massage therapy is also beneficial, as it can ease muscle tension.
While you cannot control the behaviors of other drivers, you can reduce your risk of experiencing a serious injury. Always wear your seatbelt, operate your vehicle conscientiously, and obey all traffic laws to ensure a safe driving experience for yourself and others.