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Why a crash crush injury is more serious than a broken bone

On Behalf of | Jul 9, 2024 | Auto Accident Injuries |

Orthopedic injuries caused by a car crash are relatively common. The amount of force involved can snap multiple bones at once. Many people are grateful that all they have are broken bones after a car crash, as opposed to more serious injuries.

People fear amputations and spinal cord injuries. They expect to heal cleanly when the damage is to a limb or an extremity. The unfortunate reality is that not all traumatic injuries are the same. A simple fracture is relatively easy to treat. The body largely heals on its own in a matter of weeks in most cases. By contrast a crushing injury can break bones in multiple places and are some of the worst injuries possible after a car crash.

What makes a crush injury different?

The most important difference between a crush injury and a less severe fracture is the extent of the damage. In a crush injury, the bone may break into multiple tiny pieces. In fact, the damage to the bone may be so extensive that it is impossible to set the bone at all. Even when it is possible, doctors typically have to perform a surgery and may need to implant a medical device to support the tissue as the body attempts to heal.

Unfortunately, the bone is not the only thing damaged in a crush injury. There can be extensive damage to connective tissue, musculature and nerves. Doctors often have to monitor people closely for blood loss and inflammation after a crush injury. The affected body parts can lose massive amounts of blood internally, complicating the danger of blood loss with the pressure created by that inflammation.

Additionally, the treatments necessary for such cases can put people at risk of renal failure. Then there is the nerve damage to consider. The damage to the nerves can be so extreme that people experience debilitating pain symptoms. In some cases, the damage to the tissue is so extensive that medical professionals have to make the difficult decision to amputate.

Other times, people may have lifelong pain and reduced strength or range of motion in a body part that suffers a crush injury. Crush injuries are most common in the lower extremities but can also affect other parts of the body. Many people who suffer crush injuries in a car crash don’t initially realize how serious their medical situation actually is. Their costs may go well beyond what insurance can cover, forcing them to look into other opportunities for compensation.

Realizing that what seems like a simple fracture could be a much more serious injury can help those involved in a car crash. They need to understand their circumstances before they make any decisions about their rights and their need for financial support.

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