Life After a Compound Fracture

Life After a Compound Fracture

You can break a bone anywhere in your body. Broken bones can be large or small, in your legs or in your arms, or even in your joints.

Not all bone fractures are the same, however. In a stable fracture, the ends of the bone stay in place, and closed fractures don’t break your skin. Compound fractures, on the other hand, describe broken bones that tear through your skin, causing additional risks for infection and tissue damage.

At the Center for Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, Dr. Michael L. Blackwell and his team of orthopedic experts have the skills you can rely on to fully address and treat fractures, including higher-risk compound fractures. 

With Dr. Blackwell’s care, patients from Tomball, Kingwood, and The Woodlands, Texas, can heal fully after a compound fracture.

Addressing a compound fracture

A compound or open fracture needs different initial care, with attention to cleaning the wound around the broken bone to prevent infection. 

You need an immediate surgical cleaning procedure to completely clean your wounded tissues and bone. Antibiotics and a tetanus booster can protect you from potential complications as well.

Stabilizing compound fractures

Then, your broken bone needs to be stabilized so the wound can start to heal. X-rays and other imaging techniques help us learn more about your broken bone and better evaluate your treatment needs.

Your compound fracture needs to be repaired through internal fixation or external fixation. Here’s the difference between the two:

Internal fixation

Internal fixation uses metal implants like rods, screws, or plates on the surface or within the damaged bone to hold it together and in position during healing.

External fixation

External fixation, used for severe open fractures that can’t yet take permanent implants, uses metal pins or screws projecting through your skin to stabilize your bone with an external fixator like a metal or carbon fiber bar, removed after healing.

Both of these techniques help to hold and reposition your broken bone, allowing for healing with full proper alignment.

Recovery after a compound fracture

The healing process from a compound fracture involves a certain amount of time with the bone immobilized when you’re taking antibiotics to prevent infection. Then, as healing nears completion, your provider at the Center for Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine supervises your return to activity.

The amount of time you need for full healing varies based on factors like the severity of the compound fracture, the location of the broken bone, and your underlying health. You might experience discomfort, weakness, and stiffness for a few months. 

Physical therapy can support your complete healing.

With the right treatment and recovery support, you may regain full use of your fractured bone. If you can expect any ongoing impacts from your injury on your daily life, the team at the Center for Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine can help you adjust.

For expert healing of broken bones, including compound fractures, get in touch with the Center for Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine over the phone or online today.

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