Many people suffer a fracture or broken bone at some point in their lives. While broken bones usually heal with no long-term consequences, the recovery process itself can be painful and lengthy. One factor that affects how well a fracture heals, and if there will be long-term complications, is the type of fracture.
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What are Common Types of Fractures?
Bones can break in many ways, some more serious than others. Fractures often occur with other injuries as well, such as sprains and dislocations. The most common types of fractures are:
- Incomplete fracture. This is a fracture in which the bone does not entirely separate and the fragments are still partially joined together.
- Complete fracture. This refers to a fracture in which bone fragments separate completely.
- Transverse fracture. This type of fracture happens when there is a clean, straight break across the bone at a right angle to the long axis.
- Linear fracture. These fractures run parallel to the long axis of the bone.
- Spiral fracture. This results in a spiral fracture around the bone in which a portion of the bone has twisted.
- Compression fracture. These fractures result from a crushing injury.
- Impacted fracture. These fractures happen when bone fragments are driven into each other with force.
- Oblique fracture. This is a diagonal break in the bone.
- Segmental fracture. This occurs when one bone is broken in two areas.
- Compound fracture. This refers to a break with an open wound in the skin.
Some fractures are very obvious and extremely painful. Others can be difficult to detect initially and may even be mistaken for a sprain or strain.
How Do I Know if I’ve Suffered A Fracture?
You may have suffered a fracture in an accident if you notice the following signs:
- Audible snap or pop at the time of your injury
- Reduced mobility
- Pain that worsens when you move
- Decreased sensation
- Open wound
- Skin that is hot to the touch
- Deformity of the affected area
It typically takes 6-8 weeks for a bone and surrounding soft tissue to heal. However, some people with underlying medical issues like osteoporosis may face a much longer recovery time.
Most types of fractures require immediate medical attention to splint or set the bone. This helps the bone heal correctly. If a fracture isn’t treated promptly, it may heal incorrectly and require more invasive treatment. Many victims of severe bone fracture injuries require surgery.
What Causes Most Broken Bone Injuries?
There are three main causes of fractures, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons:
- Trauma. This can include a workplace incident, fall, auto accident, sports injury, and more.
- Osteoporosis. This medical condition, common among older women, weakens bones and causes bone loss. This makes bones more likely to break due to fairly minor trauma, including minor falls.
- Overuse. Sometimes excessive strain on the muscles and bones on a regular basis can lead to stress fractures over time.
While many fractures happen at home or due to natural causes, others are the result of accidents caused by someone else’s negligence.
The most common types of accidents that cause fractures include:
- Car accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Truck accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Dog bites
- Child accidents
- Workplace accidents
In truth, almost any type of accident can cause a fracture.
What are the Most Commonly Broken Bones in an Accident?
Every year, there are about 6.3 million fractures or broken bones in the United States. The average person sustains two fractures over the course of their life. These injuries account for 16% of musculoskeletal injuries across the country.
Prior to age 75, the most common fracture is a wrist fracture. After 75, the hip is the most common fracture. Men are more likely to sustain a fracture than women until the age of 45, at which point women begin to suffer more fractures. By the age of 65 and above, women are up to three times more likely to suffer a fracture. This is due, in part, to the high risk of osteoporosis among women.
Of the 206 bones in the body, the following are some of the most commonly fractured:
- Collarbone or clavicle. This is one of the most fractured bones in adults and it’s the most common bone for children to fracture, including during birth. Collarbones are often fractured in sports injuries and car accidents.
- Radius and/or ulna. About half of fractures among adults occur in the arm, particularly the ulna or radius bones in the forearm. Many arm fractures are the result of a fall, a twisting injury, or direct trauma.
- Wrist. The eight carpal bones of the wrist are delicate and easy to break. Wrist fractures are most common among people under 75 and they may occur during sports, a fall, or a traumatic accident.
- Hip. Among seniors, the hip is the most common fracture. 90% of all fractured hips happen in adults over 65, particularly women.
- Foot. The feet alone have one-quarter of the bones in the entire body. Many broken bones in the feet happen during sports but they can also be caused by a fall or a traffic accident.
These are just the most common fractured bones. In an accident, vertebrae, ribs, and even the skull can suffer a devastating and painful fracture.
What Compensation Can I Receive for a Broken Bone Injury?
Even a fairly simple accident that results in a fracture can quickly become expensive. Even a short stay in the hospital or a visit to the emergency room may lead to tens of thousands in medical expenses. You may also face lengthy and unpaid time off work, physical therapy, and a painful recovery.
If your fracture injury was caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for the damages you have suffered.
Common damages available in a broken bone injury case include:
- Immediate medical expenses
- Future anticipated medical expenses
- Physical therapy and home care assistance
- Lost wages
- Reduced future earning capacity if left disabled
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Mental anguish
- Emotional distress
It’s important to remember that Texas is a modified comparative negligence state. This means that you can only recover compensation for your injuries if you were not mostly at fault for the accident. So, if you are less than 51% responsible for the crash, you can still recover damages, but they will be reduced based on your share of liability.
How Long Do I Have to File a Broken Bone Injury Claim in Texas?
Broken bone injury claims fall under personal injury law in Texas. There is a strict two-year statute of limitations to file your personal injury claim or you lose your right to recover compensation from the at-fault party.
Two years may be a long time, but delays in investigating your case and gathering evidence can make it difficult to prove how your accident happened, who is at fault, and the extent of your damages.
Contact a Fort Worth Personal Injury Lawyer
Jason Stephens understands just how serious and painful a fracture can be, even if the insurance company wants to downplay your injuries. He strives to level the playing field with the insurance company while fighting for the full compensation you deserve.
Have you suffered a fracture in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence? Contact Stephens Law Firm, PLLC or call (817) 420-7000 today to schedule your free case review with a Fort Worth personal injury lawyer. You pay nothing unless Jason Stephens recovers compensation for you.
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