The human body can only take so much force from an impact. As a general rule, the more violent the impact, the more severe any resulting injuries will be. In the few seconds it takes for a serious accident to occur on a New Hampshire road, certain parts of your body may reach their tolerance and suffer injury.
For example, bones break during many accidents, but sometimes, those breaks occur with such force that the bone penetrates the skin. If this happens in any accident in which you are involved, you will need immediate medical attention. Compound fractures, also called open fractures, expose your body to contaminants that your skin ordinarily keeps on the outside of your body, such as bacteria and debris.
The risk of infection
The primary concern in an open fracture is the risk of infection. This type of injury requires surgery in order to limit or eliminate this danger. Not only could you suffer from an “ordinary” infection, but the infection could get into your bone, which presents a host of problems. You should know that this type of injury can present a risk to your life – primary due to infection. Once medical personnel stabilize you as much as possible, you will go into surgery.
During the operation, the surgeon will clean out the wound, called debridement. The surgeon has the sometimes-painstaking job of removing as much debris from the wound as possible. Thereafter, the area is flushed in order to help make sure that the wound is clear of bacteria and any remnants of debris. Only after this process is complete will the attention turn to stabilizing the bone, which could require both internal and external methods depending on the severity.
Monitoring your condition is vital
After the surgery, doctors should monitor your condition closely. You will receive a course of antibiotics, but that does not guarantee you won’t suffer from an infection. Your recovery will also take longer when you suffer an open fracture even if everything goes as planned. If it doesn’t and you exhibit signs of an infection, you could need additional surgeries and courses of medication in order to clear it. Once the danger passes, you will then contend with the healing process for the bone, muscles, ligaments, tendons and skin involved.
The more severe the injury, the longer it will take you to heal even under ideal conditions since there is more involved than just a broken bone. You will most likely need some physical therapy and will be off your feet for some time, especially if complications arise.