When you were young, did you ever break a bone? For many people broken bones were almost common, especially if they played sports. Emergency rooms are full of young, amateur athletes every weekend with injuries ranging from cuts and scrapes to concussions, broken arms and fractured legs. Usually a cast goes on, and weeks later it comes off. The patient usually is good as new!
That’s not always the case for people in their middle-aged years or the elderly.
When you suffer a broken bone in an accident and you’re over the age of 40, there are many issues that can come up that impede the healing process and cause serious complications. Some of the damage and complications that accompany broken bones include:
Vascular Damage – In some cases, a person may experience vascular damage, such as the disruption of blood to the femoral artery. A pelvic fracture, for example, is life-threatening and could damage the femoral artery – which will result in death if it is not treated properly and quickly.
Loss of Mobility – Certain fractures may lead to a permanent or long-term loss of mobility. For example, a hip fracture in an older individual could never heal properly.
Respiratory Issues – When a victim suffers from a fracture of bones in the chest, such as a rib, he or she could suffer from a pneumothorax or other breathing issues.
Visceral Injuries – If the fracture protrudes into other organs, such as the lung or bladder, it can cause permanent organ damage.
Nerves and Tissue Damages – Sometimes a fracture can lead to permanent damage to the surrounding tissues, nerves, and skin – depending on the severity of the break.
Systemic Complications – These can include things like fat embolism, shock, sepsis, pneumonia, and an exacerbation of an underlying condition.
Compartment Syndrome – This occurs when internal pressure within a closed off space compromises the body’s circulation and results in temporary or permanent damage to that area.
Improper Bone Healing – Sometimes, the initial injury does not cause damage; instead, it is the healing process. If the fracture does not heal or is delayed from healing, the patient could suffer from other complications, including malunion. They may need surgery to repair the malunion.
Myositis Ossificans – This occurs when the calcifications develop within the muscle and are often accompanied by a bone fracture. The condition can cause intense pain, tenderness, swelling, and muscle contractions.
It is because of these and other hidden complications that it is critical to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney immediately after an accident and before you agree to any settlement. What seems like an open and closed case might evolve into a painful, expensive set of medical circumstances down the road. An experienced personal injury accident attorney will guide you towards the best possible course of action to protect now, and into the future.
The Law Firm of Lazarus and Lazarus will meet you and look over the facts to give you options. Our meetings are completely confidential and we will set a time that works with your schedule. Please call us at 954-356-0006 and thank you.