It’s pretty common to see a child with a cast on his arm or ankle. Sometimes it’s caused by a fall from a bike or a tumble off the couch with a hard landing while the arm is in an awkward position. Adults more often break bones because of slip and fall accidents, sports injuries and car accidents. Childhood broken bones or fractures usually heal quickly and without long term effects. However a broken bone is a serious injury that may take a very long time to heal. Depending on the age and health of the injured person, the type and location of the break and whether or not complications arise, the injury can cause death or lingering pain and disability.
Types of Breaks or Fractures
Open Fracture: An open fracture occurs when the broken bone protrudes through the skin
Closed Fracture: A closed fracture is underneath the skin and may be visible because of the swelling, redness, or shape injured body part
Displaced Fracture: A displaced fracture occurs when the broken pieces of the bone shift and they no longer align with each other.
Non-displaced Fracture: In a non-displaced fracture the bone maintains alignment in spite of being broken.
What Can Go Wrong
Its never easy with a fractured bone. However, the best case scenario is a simple fracture, where the bone does not protrude through the skin and there is minimal harm to surrounding muscles, nerves and blood vessels.
A complex fracture causes considerable injury to the neighboring tissues. A bone that has been shattered into fragments or small pieces is known as a “comminuted fracture”.
Whether a fracture occurs in an arm or leg, wrist, ankle, or other joint, they are always painful and disabling. Any fracture can be become critical due to shock or loss of blood. When a fracture injury occurs in the bones of the spine, ribs, pelvis or skull the situation can instantly become a matter of life and death causing:
- Spinal cord injury
- Traumatic brain injury
- Broken bones piercing vital organs
Orthopedic surgeons specialize in treating bones and employ a variety of methods including surgery, splints, casts, metal plates, physical therapy and other assistive devices. The more complex the break, and the more damage to surrounding tissues and organs, the more different types of specialists will be needed to make up the medical team.
How long does it take the fracture to heal?
The speed of healing varies, depending on age and health of the injured person, as well as the location and type of the fracture.
A child with a simple fracture usually heals quickly and may be able to have the cast removed after a few weeks and two or three sessions of physical therapy. An elderly person, someone with diabetes or poor circulation may take much longer to heal and require constant monitoring.
Anyone with a fracture that breaks through the skin is at risk of infection to the bone and nearby tissue. Infection is a dangerous complication that if left untreated can result in amputation of a limb. People with poor circulation or loss of feeling may be unaware of infection until it has become critical.
If the fracture requires surgery
Although surgery may appear to be the best or only option available it is not without its own risk. People with certain health conditions can be jeopardized by anesthetic. Blood clots are a common risk in any surgical procedure.
Things don’t always work out as planned
The surgeon is not always able to put the bone and the tissue and the injured person back together with everything working just like it was. Even after the healing period the injured person may still experience pain, stiffness, numbness or complete loss of movement in the area.
If the fracture has resulted in spinal cord injuries immediate medical care is required to preserve life and prevent further damage. If spinal cord injuries result in paralysis the injured person will require ongoing medical care for up to several months after the injury and regular ongoing medical care afterwards.
Spinal cord injuries require a team of experts in this field of medicine including: orthopedic surgeons, neurosurgeons, physical therapists, counselors, recreational therapists, occupational therapists and social workers.
Serious personal injuries resulting in paraplegia or quadriplegia require assistive devices such as wheel chairs and changes to the home such as ramps instead of steps and wider doors for wheel chair access from room to room.
If the fracture has resulted in traumatic brain injury or catastrophic injury
Depending on what part of the brain is damaged, the injured person may suffer from any number of a variety of symptoms including, problems with speech, vision problems, or headaches. He may be confused, irritable, forgetful and/or suffer from seizures.
The symptoms of traumatic brain injury develop and become obvious over time. The same is true for concussions, which are a mild form of traumatic brain injury.
Motor vehicle accidents and trip and fall accidents are a major cause of fracture accidents affecting innocent people. In any situation where someone had a duty to prevent injury and failed in this duty, the law considers “that person” at fault for any injuries that occur. People and companies who own buildings have a duty and responsibility to maintain them in a way that ensures the safety of others.
If an innocent person suffered a serious fracture injury because of a fall on a broken step in a neighbour’s yard, the homeowner could be liable for damages. Drivers have a duty and responsibility to drive and to maintain their vehicle in a safe manner that does not endanger others. If an innocent person suffered a serious fracture injury because of someone else’s careless driving , that driver can be considered at fault for injuries caused. Whether driving, working, or maintaining our properties, people, companies and municipalities, have legal duties and responsibilities to take reasonable care in predicting potential danger and to take necessary steps to prevent harm to others.
Early pay out: Should you take it?
Previously unforeseen issues can arise later on causing continued pain and disability. This may be due to the way the injury heals, other complications or to failure of the surgery or therapeutic methods to work as intended. The final effects may not be apparent until several months or years later. Insurance companies are well aware of this fact. They understand that complications will cause more pain, disability and missed work. Kahler Personal Injury Lawyers represent our client’s best interests against insurance companies who deny claims or try to get clients to sign off early.
Our firm represents the rights of innocent people who have suffered serious injuries. When assessing compensation for client claims we consider pain and suffering, medical costs, therapy, assistive devices, lost or reduced income, ongoing disability, ability to work and how the injury is likely to affect future conditions.
We understand that you will have lots of questions and uncertainties. The Personal Injury Lawyers at the Kahler Law Firm are prepared to meet with you at one of our offices or another location suitable to you. We will be able to answer many of your questions at this initial meeting. There are time limits in effect which if not met will affect your rights to claim. Call an experienced injury lawyer today, and get a few more answers that will help to put your mind at ease. There is no charge for the initial consultation. If you have a case, there is no payment due to us until settlement has been made. You do not pay until we win your case.