Broken bones are often a part of life, and while every break is a serious health issue and requires immediate medical attention, some breaks are the most serious and could lead to complications. For example, a broken bone that results from a car accident in California is often more severe than one you get from a fall.
Car crashes usually result in extreme force and severe breaks, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. The most serious breaks are those in which the bone punctures the skin. An open fracture can lead to infections in the wound or bone. Another serious break is a comminuted fracture where the bone shatters. It is more challenging to treat and may require surgery, which introduces additional risks.
For a simple break, you would usually wear a cast to hold the bones together in the right position so they can grow back together. However, if you have a more severe break, a cast alone will not do the trick. You may require traction, where mechanisms pull the bones to align them so they grow back together correctly.
In some cases, you may need surgery to insert rods and screws that provide more stability and allow for healing. These metals parts may either be inside or outside your skin.
In any case, the larger the bone is, the longer it will take to heal. Leg bone breaks are the most difficult because they are large bones. Also, you lose the use of the leg, which only adds to the inconvenience. Age will affect healing, as well. Older individuals take longer for the bones to repair.
During the healing phase, you will have limited movement. Your muscles may lose strength, and you may need to undergo physical therapy to regain mobility. For a severe injury, you may never recover 100% movement and use of the area. You could have lasting damage that causes flexibility issues, as well.
While a broken bone may seem like no big deal, they sometimes can be quite severe. This is especially true if your injury is the result of a motor vehicle accident.