Orthopedic Injury Questions

Serving clients in Gadsden and Nearby Areas of Alabama

How do fractures or broken bones occur?

When an outside stress is applied to your bone, the bone typically gives and then returns to its normal shape when the stress subsides. But, if the stress is too strong for your bone, the bone will ultimately crack or break. Bones weakened by disease are more susceptible to breaking and can lead to orthopedic injuries.

Some bones that commonly fracture are:

  • Humerus
  • Femur
  • Tibia/Fibula
  • Radias/Ulna
  • Spine
  • Pelvis
  • Clavicle
  • Scapula

What are the different types of fractures?

There are several main types of fractures. They are classified as closed or open (compound) and simple or multi-fragmentary. In a closed fractures, the skin remains in tact. Open or compound fractures involve wounds where the bone breaks though the skin, and the bone may become infected. A simple fracture occurs along one line, and splits the bone into two pieces. A multi-fragmentary fracture involves the bone splitting into multiple pieces. A simple, closed fracture is much easier to treat and has a much better prognosis than an open, contaminated fracture.

What are the most common causes of fractures?

The most common causes are trauma to the bone, such as that caused by a fall or motor vehicle accident. Osteoporosis, a disease that causes bone thinning, can also make your bone easily susceptible to breaking. Overuse or misuse of the bones can also cause fractures—this is a common occurrence among athletes.

How long does it take for a fracture to heal?

Most fractures take at least four weeks, and as long as eight weeks to heal. You’ll need to immobilize the affected bone or bones with a splint or cast during the healing process. Your bones have the ability to regenerate themselves, so your doctor will carefully realign the bone so that the broken portions will grow back together as one. Some complex fractures may require surgery to stabilize the bone, and may require the use of metal rods, screws and/or plates.

Are fractures in children of special concern?

Yes. Because a child’s young bones are still developing, there is an increased risk of a growth plate injury or a greenstick fracture. A greenstick fracture is a bowing of the bone without a complete disruption of bone’s cortex, since the bone is not as brittle as an adult’s bone. Growth plate injuries require careful treatment to ensure that the bone continues to grow normally. Plastic deformation is also possible among children. This happens when the bone permanently bends, but does not break. All of these injuries may require the surgeon to cut the bone in order to realign it.

At The Shelnutt Law Firm, our experienced lawyers take every case very seriously. We are dedicated to your claim and will fight to recover the damages you deserve. If you or a loved one lives in the Gadsden area and has been seriously injured in an accident, please contact us online or call 256-547-4988 today.