Fracture Treatment


Compound Fracture Treatment

A compound fracture is a fracture of the bone wherein the affected bone penetrates out from the skin and there is laceration of the surrounding soft tissue.

A broken bone is referred to as a fracture, in medical terminology. Bone fractures are quite common, with people experiencing at least two in their lifetime, on an average. A fracture occurs when the affected bone is subjected to a physical force that is stronger than it can sustain. Age has a lot to do with the susceptibility to fracture, with it occurring quite commonly in children, although it is usually not as complicated as when fractures occurs in adults. Fractures that occur due to falls, that would not normally affect younger people, are experienced by older people due to their bones becoming more brittle.When a bone breaks and penetrates through the skin it is known as a compound fracture. Compound fractures are usually caused due to high impact injuries like sports injuries, heavy falls, car crashes, and so on. This is generally considered to be a more serious form of fracture, since it requires immediate treatment. Usually, an operation is required to quickly cleanse the area and realign the bone. In addition, because of the higher chances of infection, a compound fracture is more difficult to heal. Therefore, on sustaining a compound fracture, it is important to seek early treatment. Emergency treatment generally involves the administration of antibiotics, the fracture site being cleansed, and the broken bones stabilized.

How is a Compound Fracture Treated?

Once the fracture has been diagnosed, the treatment of a compound fracture involves the realignment of the ends of the fractured bones, and immobilization of the fracture, either by fixing the bone internally or by using external splints. The goal of the treatment being, assisting the bone to recover completely in movement, strength, and sensitivity.

Immediate surgery is usually required for compound fractures. Since the broken bone comes out of the skin, the affected bone can be highly susceptible to infection due to it being exposed to bacteria and debris. Once the bone get infected, it is usually difficult to heal, often requiring a number of surgeries, antibiotic treatment for a prolonged period, along with other problems that last a long time. Hence, it is very important to get early treatment when a compound fracture occurs. In fact, in spite of early treatment, infections of the bone are quite a common occurrence in people with a compound fracture.

The long bones, such as the femur, or the thigh bone, which extends from the pelvis to the knee, are often difficult to be kept aligned, and hence, internal nailing is usually resorted to in adults. Traction may be required in children for two days or so before the bone is set in a cast. Once it is seen that both the ends of the fractured bone are beginning to heal, plaster of Paris is used to immobilize the hip and leg joint. Or, in other instances, a general anesthesia is given to the patient and pins inserted, both below and above the fractured area, which are then fixed to a fixator, or an external frame, in order to immobilize the affected area.

In certain bones, like the toe bones or the collarbone, a splint or sling is usually used in order to immobilize it, instead of using a plaster. If the bones in the ankle are affected, plates and screws may be used to immobilize it.

How Long does a Compound Fracture take to Heal?

The healing time varies according to the severity of the fracture, and the health and age of the patient. The callus of healing bone usually can be seen on X-ray in about six weeks in adults, and earlier in children. However, this first mineralized bone is not as strong as mature bone, which slowly forms by a process of remodeling, which can take up to 18 months.

Usually, compound fractures take much longer to heal, due to the amount of injury that the bone and the surrounding tissue sustains, and also because of the higher rate of complications caused by non-union of the joints and infections.





All adopted from Rita Putatunda


~ by pcl4 on October 9, 2008.

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