How Is a Compound Fracture Treated?

Compound Fracture

When you experience a compound or open fracture, the broken bone breaks through your skin. You might be able to see exposed bone or muscle in the open wound. Compound fractures are serious, and need the right treatment in order to heal without lasting complications. You’re at increased risk of infection if you have a compound fracture.

For bone fracture evaluation and treatment, get in touch with Dr. Michael L. Blackwell and the orthopaedics team at the Center for Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine. Dr. Blackwell treats new and existing patients from locations in Tomball, Kingwood, and The Woodlands, Texas.

When a bone breaks through your skin

You can break bones in any location in your body. Stable and closed fractures don’t break the surface of your skin, unlike more complex compound fractures. When a broken bone erupts through your skin, you face additional health risks, with more tissue damage and increased chances for potentially dangerous infection.

Open fractures are a serious issue that need prompt, professional care. Take first aid steps like protecting the injured area with a clean, damp towel, and resting the affected parts of your body, as you seek medical care right away following a compound fracture.

First steps to treat a compound fracture

When you come into our offices at the Center for Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine for compound fracture treatment, we start by thoroughly cleaning the injured area. We also provide medications and vaccination to prevent infection and tetanus. Surgical cleaning techniques improve our ability to fully clear your wound of bone fragments and debris.

Then, Dr. Blackwell uses X-ray and other diagnostic imaging techniques to determine the best strategy to stabilize your broken bone. Each injury is unique, and needs to be handled with attention to detail. Dr. Blackwell discusses your treatment plan with you, ensuring that you understand his recommended interventions and therapies.

Helping your compound fracture heal

Compound fractures almost always need surgical fracture repair. Some very severe compound fractures require external fixation in the initial healing stages. 

This technique supports your healing bone with metal screws and pins that pass through your skin and attach to an external structure. The external structure isn’t permanent, and is only present for the first part of your post-compound fracture recovery.

Dr. Blackwell may also be able to use internal fixation techniques to provide structural support for healing compound fractures. With this intervention, Dr. Blackwell implants screws, rods, or plates around or within your healing bone, securing it in position.

It takes time for a compound fracture to heal, and it’s important that you follow medical advice for the full duration of your recovery. Physical therapy can be key for full recovery after a severe injury. Dr. Blackwell and his team monitor your healing at every stage, and support you until you’re fully clear of complications.

Expert fracture repair

Treating a compound fracture is tricky. That’s why you should turn to an expert like Dr. Blackwell if you experience this type of injury. And, if you’re an athlete with an eye on your post-injury career prospects, Dr. Blackwell can advise you on your chances, risks, and best strategies for a successful return to your sport.

For experienced compound fracture treatment and expert surgical compound fracture repair, contact Dr. Blackwell at the Center for Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine today. Request an appointment online, or call now to book.

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