Broken Bones After A Car Accident
Broken bones after a car accident can have long-lasting and permanent effects. According to local officials, if you are at an accident scene and have a broken bone, you should keep the injured area from moving. After an accident, you should be evaluated by a qualified physician for any injuries. It is common for doctors to perform x-rays and MRIs, which should show any injuries to bones and muscle tissues. Immediately after the accident, you may already know that you have a broken bone. However, some people are not aware of a broken bone until properly diagnosed by a doctor. If you are in an accident and break some of your bones, you should call our office to begin an investigation. Remember, the opposing insurance company will immediately begin its own investigation as soon as the accident happens.
Fracture versus Broken Bone?
Fractures and broken bones may not be fully understood. A fracture is any break of a bone. A fracture and a break are not two different things, they are really one in the same.
What Are The Causes Of Broken Bones In A Car Accident?
There are many ways that people can have broken bones from a car accident. For example:
Striking the ground or pavement when ejected from a motorcycle
Being ejected from a vehicle
Crushing forces such as collision with a large truck, 18-wheeler, dump truck or having something fall on you.
Bracing for impact
Being struck by the airbag or loose items in your car.
Hitting any part of the car’s interior during the impact
Which Bones Usually Break In An Accident?
It takes a lot of force to break a bone. If a bone is broken, that is a sign of a forceful accident. Despite how much force is required to break bones, bones can easily break in car accidents. These are the usual body areas for bone fractures that usually occur after an accident:
Arm fractures usually happen from bracing yourself or from your arm hitting the interior of the car. If you are ejected from the vehicle, then your arm may break from hitting the ground. Broken arms usually require a cast during healing and may require surgery.
Wrist Bone Fractures
The wrist has several small bones that can easily break. As with the arm bone fracture, wrist fractures usually happen from bracing yourself or from your wrist hitting the interior of the car. If you are ejected from the vehicle, then your wrist may break from hitting the ground.
Fractures of the Tibia or Fibula in the Lower Leg
These bones are in your lower leg. Broken legs usually require a cast during healing. Physical therapy may also be required.
Fractures of the Femur Bone
The femur bone is the long bone that runs from your knee to your pelvis and is the strongest in your body. Although the strongest bone, it is also the thickest bone in your body and will take the longest to heal.
Collarbone or Clavicle Fractures
Clavicle bones are easily broken. The clavicle connects at the shoulder and goes across your chest. Seatbelts usually cause your clavicle to break in a car accident.
Fractures of the Ribs
Rib fractures are caused in several ways in a car accident, including an impact with an airbag, seatbelt, or steering wheel. A cast is not possible, so doctors usually let the bones heal by limiting movement. In severe cases, a doctor might recommend surgery.
Fractured vertebrae and discs are common in car accidents. These fractures can heal with the use of a back brace, rest, and physical therapy. Surgery is sometimes needed to repair the bones and surrounding soft tissues.
Hip fractures are some of the most complicated fractures. Surgery is usually required for this type of fracture.
Fractures of the Pelvis
Pelvic fractures usually require bed rest and physical therapy to heal.
Skull and Facial Fractures
As with other fractures, these fractures usually happen from hitting the interior of the car. If you are ejected from the vehicle, then these bone fractures can happen from hitting the ground.
Severe skull fractures might cause brain damage or neurological damage.
How To Diagnose A Broken Bone?
Doctors use radiology exams to determine the location and severity of broken bones. Many times, the patient knows which bone is broken. However, there are times when a patient does not know of the broken bone until the broken bone shows up on an X-ray or MRI.
Here are some common symptoms:
- Bone protruding through the skin
- Deformed appearance
- Extreme pain
How To Heal A Broken Bone?
Four (4) Ways to Heal Bones Faster
1. Maintain Proper Alignment of the Bones
Your bones will properly heal if they are aligned. Sometimes, the bone breaks and the fragments stay together. Other times, the bone fragments displace during the break. A doctor will align the bones before placing any cast.
2. Limit Movement of the Broken Areas
Limit the weight and stress that you place on the broken area.
3. Have Good Nutrition
Good nutrition is good for your bones.
4. Do Not Smoke
What Happens If The Broken Bone Does Not Heal?
If the bone does not heal propertly then you are at risk of continued pain, reduced mobility, and increased medical costs. Even worse, you might have to break the bone again in order for it to heal correctly.
What Are The Ways That Your Bones Can Break?
Your bones can break in different ways depending on the force and angle of impact:
- Avulsion: These fractures, which are excruciatingly painful, happen when the bone separates from the tendons and ligaments. An orthopedic surgeon will probably perform surgery to repair an avulsion.
- Buckle: In young children’s still-growing bones, buckles are a common fracture. This happens when a bone does not fully break but instead bends or buckles. This is often treated by several weeks of immobilization in a cast or splint.
- Comminuted: This is a bone fracture in which there are at least three broken pieces. The powerful energy that produces this kind of breach frequently results in irreparable damage. Unfortunately, amputation is sometimes the only course of treatment for comminuted fractures.
- Compound: The sort of fracture in which the bone actually protrudes through the skin is called a compound fracture. Surgery is frequently necessary for this fracture within 24 hours. The doctor will also administer medicines to this patient in order to prevent bacterial infections, as well as administer a new Tetanus vaccine to the victim.
- Hairline: Although hairline fractures are minor breaks, they provide a risk. Victims may mistake their discomfort for bruising from the automobile collision and fail to recognize that they have a fracture. As a result, the crack will persist until they seek medical attention. A boot, splint, or cast will typically be used to immobilize the hairline fracture for a few weeks.
- Oblique: A fracture that travels in a diagonal direction Although uncommon, they do usually occur in car accidents because the bone is pressed into position and subsequently twisted by the force of the impact. Surgery is usually required.
- Stress fractures: These resemble buckle fractures. Stress fractures can also happen to young toddlers whose bones are still growing. A stress fracture, on the other hand, causes one side of the bone to fracture while the other side bends. Usually, this necessitates immobilization with a cast, boot, or splint.
- Transverse: The bones are split in two by this fracture. The majority of the time, they will break at a right angle. A transverse fracture has to be immobilized. Additionally, surgery might be necessary.