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Broken Bone Recovery Factors

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August 09, 2019
Edward Smith

Broken Bone Recovery Factors

Every injury is different and if someone suffers a broken bone, the recovery process is dependent on several factors. These include the overall health of the individual, the presence or absence of an infection, the type of the bone fracture, and more. For this reason, some people might recover from a broken bone in a few short weeks while others might spend several months rehabbing a serious injury. By understanding the factors that will play a role in this process, individuals and their loved ones can plan a comprehensive treatment approach that can expedite their recovery.

The Severity of the Broken Bone

One of the most important factors that will play a role in the recovery process is the severity of the injury itself. There are multiple ways that the severity of a bone fracture might be categorized. Some of the examples include:

Open versus Closed: Fractures are classified as either open or closed depending on the injury. If a fracture is described as open, one or more of the bone fragments is protruding through the skin. In contrast, in a closed fracture, the entirety of the fracture rests beneath the skin. A closed fracture will typically heal faster than an open fracture.

Simple versus Comminuted: A simple bone fracture is typically less serious than one described as comminuted. In a simple fracture, there is only one fracture line running through the bone. On the other hand, a comminuted bone fracture has multiple fracture lines running through the bone. A bone that has been broken in only one place will typically heal more quickly.

The doctor will use imaging scans to classify the fracture appropriately. This classification plays a major role in the treatment process.

Possible Neurovascular Injury Following a Broken Bone

Some bone fractures can lead to associated injuries to nearby structures. As the bone splinters, these sharp fragments may damage nerves and blood vessels that live in the nearby tissue. This is termed a neurovascular injury.

The blood vessels are responsible for supplying oxygen and nutrients to the bone tissue as it heals. If these vessels have been damaged, the bones might not have enough oxygen and nutrients to build new bone. If this is the case, the recovery process may be prolonged.

Damaged blood vessels can be repaired surgically in some cases. If a trained surgeon is able to restore blood flow to a fracture site, this will help with the recovery process. Restoring the flow of key oxygen and nutrients to the fracture site will improve someone’s prognosis following a severe injury.

The Development of an Infection: Osteomyelitis

The hard exterior of the bone protects the soft marrow on the interior. In a bone fracture, the interior of the bone may be exposed to the external environment, particularly in an open fracture. When this occurs, an infection may develop that may add time to the recovery process.

An infection of the bone is called osteomyelitis. This is a serious complication that often requires IV antibiotics to treat. If someone requires surgery to repair their fracture, this also increases the risk of developing an infection of the bone. Osteomyelitis typically requires a significant hospital stay to ensure that this infection does not spread.

An infection will lengthen someone’s recovery process following a bone fracture. Fortunately, these infections are treatable. Once the infection has been killed, the recovery process will resume. With physical therapy, many individuals can make a full recovery even after a severe traumatic injury.

Watch YouTube Video – Principles of Fracture Healing. Learn the basics of how our bones heal in this animated YouTube video. You’ll learn the various stages of bone fracture healing. You will also learn about impediments to the healing process. Remember to seek medical attention from a qualified physician if you have suffered an injury.

Contact a Stockton Injury Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a Stockton Injury Lawyer. The recovery process following a broken bone can be wildly different depending on the severity of the injury and the health of the individual. If you or a loved one has sustained a bone fracture due to the negligence of another individual or entity, please contact me at (209) 227-1931 or toll-free using (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly advice.

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Image Citation: The picture seen on this page was found on Pixabay and has been shown here with permission.

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