The force of a motor vehicle collision can leave the vehicles unsafe to operate and cause severe injuries for the people inside. Given that motor vehicle collisions are a leading cause of death and multiple kinds of severe injuries, like traumatic brain injuries, a broken bone or fracture could seem like a minor inconvenience compared to what might be possible.
In many cases, a fracture will heal more quickly and completely than other, more concerning injuries like traumatic brain injuries. Although many fractures heal quickly and cleanly, the powerful force of a car crash can cause more severe fractures than your typical sports injury or broken bone from a fall.
What more extreme kinds of fractures are possible in a car crash?
Open or compound fractures
The force of impact in a car crash can be powerful enough to not just break a bone but to push the broken edges of the bone through the skin. If someone suffers an open or compound fracture, not only will treatment be more involved, but there is also reason to worry about blood loss and infection.
When a bone breaks into three or more pieces, doctors call it a comminuted fracture. Although a bone breaking cleanly into two pieces will present a straightforward opportunity for doctors to set the bone, bones broken into multiple pieces may require surgical intervention. The more breaks there are and the smaller the pieces are, the more difficult recovery may be. It can take longer for the body to heal because of the bone breaking in multiple places.
Spiral fractures are actually a kind of comminuted fracture that occur when there is twisting involved in the force that breaks the bone. The bone may break into multiple, irregular pieces and may require pins, plates or other artificial support to fully heal.
Even simple fractures can require eight weeks or more of recovery time. When surgery is part of the standard treatment, it may take even longer for someone to recover, drastically increasing their medical costs and how much income they lose during their treatment.
Realistically evaluating the impact of a recent car crash injury can help those negotiating with insurance companies or evaluating their options for financial compensation.