Woman holding forearm with cast on it

Hidden Complications of Broken Bones That Can Cause Lasting Problems

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Broken bones and fractures may result from a variety of events. Whether caused by car accidents, falls, sports injuries, or other traumatic events, fractures can be painful, debilitating, and disruptive to daily life. While many people assume that broken bones will heal completely with proper treatment, some hidden complications can cause lasting problems long after the initial injury.

Common Types of Fractures

Before delving into the potential complications, it’s important to understand the different types of fractures:

  • Stable Fractures – The broken ends of the bone line up and are largely in place
  • Compound Fractures – The bone itself or a blow that occurred at the time of the fracture has broken the skin
  • Transverse Fractures – The break occurs in a straight line across the bone
  • Oblique Fractures – The break has a curved or sloped pattern
  • Comminuted Fractures – The break shattered the bone into three or more pieces

Each type of fracture requires a specific approach to treatment and carries its own set of risks and potential complications.

Hidden Complications of Broken Bones

While most fractures heal without incident, some can lead to serious, long-term complications, such as:

  • Infection – Open fractures, where the bone punctures the skin, are particularly susceptible to infection. If not treated promptly, infections can lead to delayed healing, chronic pain, and sepsis, a life-threatening condition.
  • Nerve Damage – Fractures can cause damage to surrounding nerves, leading to numbness, tingling, or weakness in the affected area. Nerve damage can be a permanent condition that impacts mobility and quality of life.
  • Arthritis – Fractures extending into a joint can cause post-traumatic arthritis, a painful condition that develops when the cartilage that cushions the joint wears away. This may lead to chronic pain, stiffness, and reduced range of motion.
  • Avascular Necrosis – This serious complication occurs with a loss of blood to the bone, resulting in the death of the bone tissue. Avascular necrosis can lead to chronic pain, joint collapse, and a need for joint replacement surgery.
  • Nonunion – In some cases, a broken bone may fail to heal completely, resulting in a nonunion. This complication often requires additional surgery, bone grafts, or other interventions to promote healing.
  • Malunion – If a broken bone heals in an abnormal position, it can lead to a malunion. This complication can cause chronic pain, reduced range of motion, and visible deformities, often requiring corrective surgery.

These hidden complications underscore the importance of proper treatment and follow-up care for broken bones. By working closely with medical professionals and following their recommended treatment plan, patients can minimize the risk of long-term problems.

Legal Help for Fracture Complications Caused by Negligence

In some cases, fractures and their resulting complications may result from the negligence of others. Examples include car accidents caused by distracted or drunk drivers, slip-and-fall incidents on poorly maintained properties, or medical malpractice during treatment.

If you or a loved one has suffered a broken bone and subsequent complications due to another party’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. However, pursuing a personal injury claim can be challenging, especially when insurance companies may try to minimize or deny your claim.

Contact Our New Mexico Attorneys

The personal injury attorneys at Hunt Law Firm can help. We have a successful track record in handling complex fracture and complication cases. Our understanding of the physical, emotional, and financial toll these injuries can take on our clients pushes us to fight tirelessly to secure the compensation they deserve.

If you’ve suffered a broken bone and subsequent complications in northern New Mexico, contact Hunt Law Firm today for a free consultation to discuss your legal options.