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How can a broken bone from a crash become a catastrophic injury?

On Behalf of | Feb 15, 2024 | Auto Accident Injuries |

Modern medicine has made it possible for people with certain potentially debilitating injuries to heal. A broken bone used to mean permanent physical consequences, but advances in trauma care mean that most people heal fully after a fracture. They may only need a few days or weeks away from work before they can resume the same activities they regularly completed before their injury.

Unfortunately, not everyone achieves the best possible outcome for their injuries after a car crash. Many people with broken bones who receive proper trauma care after a crash fully recover from their injuries. However, a small subset of those with broken bones may have major medical expenses and other financial losses. A fracture or broken bone could lead to hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses.

When the body doesn’t heal properly

Most broken bones are simple injuries with straightforward treatment requirements. Someone requires imaging tests to locate the fracture and determine its severity. They may then have a doctor set the bone or might need to undergo surgery. Sometimes, the body does not heal properly. People may develop nerve damage because of a broken bone. In rare cases, people experience worsening pain and other uncomfortable symptoms after the broken bone actually heals. Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) can develop in a small subset of patients recovering from a trauma-induced fracture.

When the fracture is extreme

Some broken bones involve one crack in the bone, and the affected body part suffers very limited damage. Other fractures are far more extensive. The bone may break in multiple places or might cause major damage to the surrounding tissue. Some fractures are so extreme that they require surgery to treat. The patient may have permanent reductions in strength and range of motion. Especially when the fracture affects an older adult or is the result of a crushing injury, the person hurt may never fully recover. Their lingering symptoms can be particularly concerning if they work in a demanding blue-collar profession. They may need to change careers.

Medical costs and lost wages can turn a simple fracture into a life-altering injury. Realizing that a fracture could actually trigger massive expenses may help people better advocate for appropriate compensation after a car crash.

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