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Violent impacts can cause violent injuries

Whether you saw it coming or not, the force of the impact was violent. If you remained conscious when your vehicle came to a stop, you probably began taking stock of your surroundings and yourself. Shock and adrenalin may not allow you to feel the true impact of any injuries.

Then you look down and see a frightening sight. Whether it's a leg or an arm, you realize that your bone is protruding through your skin. When emergency medical personnel arrive at the scene, they take care as they prepare you for transport to the nearest Georgia hospital that can effectively treat your wounds.

You suffered a compound, or open, fracture

When a bone, or a piece of one, pierces the skin, it leaves an open wound, along with the potential for numerous other complications. Damage to the surrounding soft tissue, tendons, ligaments and nerves could also complicate matters. It could even damage vital arteries and veins. The damage could be extensive. Doctors will look for the following to determine the severity of your open fracture:

  • The location of your wound
  • The blood supply to the soft tissues surrounding the wound
  • The number of bone fragments at the wound site
  • The extent of the damage to the surrounding soft tissues

Assessing the severity of your wound often requires a thorough examination and numerous imaging tests.

The first steps of treatment

After assessing the extent of the injury itself, doctors will assess the amount of contamination done to the wound. Clothing fabrics, dirt and other contaminants need removing from the wound site. Doctors will also need to thoroughly irrigate and debride it to help reduce the risk of infection, and the bone must be set. Performing these tasks often requires surgery.

Doctors will also give you a tetanus shot and antibiotics to help prevent infection. Depending on the circumstances, doctors may or may not close the wound. You may need additional surgeries or treatments in order to repair the damage.

You could suffer complications

Even when doctors and surgeons do their best, you could end up suffering complications. The bone may not fuse or set properly due to inadequate blood supply in the surrounding tissues. You could contract an infection that may threaten your life. You could suffer from compartment syndrome in which the muscles swell and pressure builds up in a painful way. Without surgery, you could lose function in the limb and cause permanent damage to the tissue. Any of these complications could keep you from recovering quickly and completely.

Your next steps

Your immediate future will more than likely involve physical therapy and additional medical care. As a result, you may be out of work for a significant amount of time and incur extensive medical bills. If your injuries were due to the negligent actions of another driver, you may exercise your right to file a personal injury claim seeking compensation that could help with your financial losses.

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