Catastrophic Injuries: Broken & Fractured Bones
One of the most common catastrophic injuries that are sustained in accidents is broken & fractured bones. Whenever bones are placed under a great amount of stress, pressure, or are put into a compromising position, it can lead to them snapping completely or simply fracturing. Not only is this unspeakably painful, but it also highly inconvenient-leading to immobility of the area for weeks or even months as it heals. Depending on the area that bones were broken, this may even cause lifelong complications.
The most common types of broken bones include the following:
- Greenstick Fracture: This is where the bone bends but does not break; most common in children.
- Transverse Fracture: This is where a bone breaks at a right angle to the bone's axis.
- Oblique Fracture: This is where a bone breaks in either a curve or sloped pattern.
- Impacted Fracture: These are one of the most painful types of breaks, and involve when the ends of two bones drive into each other. It is also commonly known commonly as a buckle fracture.
How are broken bones treated?
If you suspect that you or a loved one has suffered from a broken bone, it is crucial that you seek emergency medical treatment. The person should not be moved unless the bone is stable-and should not be moved at all if the hip, pelvis, spine or leg is broken. You should also not move the bone or test the bone's ability to move. In cases where the bone is possibly broken in the back, neck, or hip, you should call 911.
To treat the broken bone, it would be "set," which is also known as reduction. The repositioning of the bone is crucial in the treatment process of broken bones. In severe breaks, surgery may be required to reposition the bone and then hold it in place with metal devices, such as pins, screws, or metal plates. After the bone has been properly positioned, it will need to be immobilized, which is usually done with a cast or a splint.
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