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What to Do With Compound Fractures

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What to Do With Compound Fractures

A fractured bone is very painful. It happens for several reasons, like outside trauma that causes damage to one or more bones in your body. There are different fractures, including those that bend, crack, or even break cleanly. When the bone becomes visible through the skin, that is called a compound fracture.

Also known as an open fracture, its primary characteristic is breaking the skin where the bone becomes visible. In the most severe cases, it could protrude out of the body.

Common Compound Fractures

The first step in treating compound fractures is identifying the affected bone. While any bone in the body can break, the most common ones to suffer from an open fracture are the bones in your hands, wrists, arms, legs, and feet, such as the tibia, fibula (aka tib and fib), femur, humerus, radius, and ulna. They take the brunt of the impact when a person falls. It is human instinct to stick your arms or legs out when falling to lessen the damage to your head and body. To some extent, getting a compound fracture on your arm is better than hitting your head on the pavement.

Other than falling from a great height, the ways that you can get compound fractures are:

  • Being involved in a road accident (car, motorbike, cycling, pedestrian, etc.)
  • An accident while playing a contact sport like hockey or football
  • Getting hit with enough force by a hard object

While uncommon, other bones in your body that can suffer from compound fractures include:

  • Orbital bones
  • Ribs
  • Spine
  • Pelvis
  • Collar

Breaking any of these bones will cause you severe pain and discomfort.

Symptoms of Compound Fractures

Compound fracture first aid is needed when the bone is sticking out of the skin. That is the clearcut symptom of this injury. Other symptoms expected when suffering from an open fracture include:

  • Bleeding can be heavy depending on the location and injury
  • Nerve damage due to the bone hitting them
  • Bruising around the area and possible swelling
  • Sharp pain

compound fractures

Treating Compound Fractures

Once identified, treating compound fractures takes several steps. First is ensuring that the area is protected until brought to a medical facility. If possible, do not move the injured limb until healthcare professionals arrive. They will examine the fracture and determine the best course of action.

The second step is dealing with the inflammation caused by the immune system working overtime to get to the affected area. That causes swelling.

Next is the repair stage. During this time, the goal is to set the bones in place. That means surgery. They will use medical devices to align the bones and keep them there to heal. The bones can misalign if not done correctly.

Last is the remodeling stage, where the bones start forming calluses and normalizing. Overall, treating compound fractures can take months, depending on which bone breaks and the severity of the injury.

The patient’s age also affects how fast the healing process happens. Children can often heal quicker compared to adults.

Preventing Compound Fractures From Happening

Accidents can happen to anybody at any time. While it is scary to think about, there are things you can purposefully do to reduce their chances and avoid compound fractures. These include:

  • Drive defensively and avoid any distractions while driving
  • Improve your strength and balance by doing exercises specific to these
  • Avoid slippery surfaces and apply adhesive matting to your bathroom
  • Use safety bars and handrails when available
  • Avoid climbing great heights
  • Ensure your diet contains the nutrients to prevent vitamin D deficiency

Baptist Emergency Room & Urgent Care – Navarre

Visit Baptist Emergency Room & Urgent Care

Baptist Emergency Room & Urgent Care's emergency room is open 24/7, and urgent care is available from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day. Appointments are unnecessary - walk in, and our healthcare professionals are ready to help at both of our locations.

Navarre - 8888 Navarre Pkwy., Navarre, FL 32566. Call the center at 850-750-5698.

Nine Mile - 9400 University Parkway Suite 101A Pensacola, FL 32514. Call the center at 448-227-4600.

Baptist Emergency Room & Urgent Care is comprised of board-certified ER-trained physicians and professionally trained ER nurses who deliver quality medical care. Our urgent care and emergency room can effectively treat various medical conditions. From fever to fractures, allergies to abdominal pain, and colds to concussions, we have you covered with on-site labs, CT, X-rays, and ultrasound.