Whether you saw it coming or not, you couldn’t avoid the collision. If the other driver was dealing with a distraction, drunk, drowsy, drugged or otherwise driving recklessly or negligently, the odds are it happened at a speed that made the impact a serious one.
The force of a violent motor vehicle accident can push your body to its limits and beyond. When this happens, you could suffer serious injuries. If you are like others here in New Orleans, when you think of serious injuries, you think of spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries and amputations. While they are catastrophic, other serious and potentially life-threatening injuries can disrupt your life for months and could affect you for the rest of your life.
The dangers of an open fracture
One of those potentially life-threatening and life-altering injuries is the open fracture. As the name implies, this injury occurs when a broken bone pierces through your skin. Even if the bone is not fully protruding through your skin, the fact that there is an open path to the bone from your skin is what makes this injury so dangerous to your health.
Without your skin to protect the inside of your body, debris, bacteria and other contaminants can enter your body and cause infection, which is bad enough. However, if that infection gets into your bone, you will experience another set of problems that could require additional surgeries, more time in the hospital and a longer recovery period.
The treatment of an open fracture
Undoubtedly, an open fracture is a medical emergency. You will need surgery in a timely manner in order to reduce the risk of infection. The surgeon will first irrigate the wound in order to remove bacteria and other small contaminants. Once that is complete, the surgeon moves on to “debridement,” which is a procedure whereby the surgeon cleans out the wound by removing foreign particles, including pieces of the bone.
Once this procedure is complete, the surgeon can turn to stabilizing the bone itself. You may need interior and/or exterior methods of stabilization, or possibly both, depending on the extent and nature of the injury. You will also need antibiotics and other medications along with close monitoring for infection. Other medical intervention may also be a requirement in order to give you the best chance of avoiding infection and for as full a recovery as possible.
The aftermath of an open fracture
Obviously, it will take much longer to heal from this type of injury than it does a closed fracture. You will most likely need a significant amount of medical and non-medical care, such as physical therapy, once you leave the hospital. During this time, your life, including your financial situation, will probably feel chaotic and out of control.
It may help to pursue the compensation you deserve to help get the rest of your life back on track as you recover from your injuries. You do not have to do so alone.