Bone Fracture Lawyer NYC
If you’ve broken a bone in an accident, whether it was a slip-and-fall or any other type of personal injury accident, you could be entitled to recover financial damages that help pay for your medical bills, lost wages and other expenses.
Every broken bone is different, but it may be helpful to you to understand what type of fracture you have – especially if you’re pursuing legal action against the person who caused your injuries.
Most Common Fractures from Accidents
Most people only know about two types of bone fractures: simple and compound. While those two terms do describe what happens around broken bones, they’re not descriptive of the kinds of fractures that most people suffer after accidents.
A simple fracture is one in which the bone breaks but doesn’t damage the surrounding tissue. Naturally, symptoms of a broken bone will be present, including pain and discomfort, as well as possible deformity of the area. However, a simple fracture will not cause the bone to break through the skin.
A compound fracture is one that causes the broken bone to push through the skin. Millions of people suffer from broken bones each year, and a significant portion of them – typically the most severe cases – involve compound fractures. Damage to the surrounding tissues can be temporary or permanent.
Doctors generally refer to broken bones that result from an accident as a traumatic fractures. The term only describes how the fracture occurred. Traumatic fractures are usually caused by high-force impact or significant stress on the bone.
When your bones are weakened by a chronic condition or an illness, including osteoporosis, cancer or other diseases, you could be more prone to broken bones. Doctors call these broken bones pathologic fractures, and they can occur after only minor trauma if a person’s bones aren’t as strong as they could be.
If you have a comminuted fracture after any type of accident, it means that your bone has broken, splintered or been crushed into multiple pieces. These types of fractures can break through the skin or they can stay “closed,” or within the skin. In many cases, people suffering from comminuted fractures have other types of injuries as well – especially to the tissues surrounding the broken bone.
For the most part, greenstick fractures occur in children. One side of the bone breaks, but the other bends. The reason these types of fractures are more prevalent in children is that kids’ bones are more flexible than adults’ bones are.
If your doctor tells you that you have an oblique fracture after being hurt in an accident, it means that your bone has broken diagonally. Any bone can have an oblique fracture, but they’re more common in larger bones, such as your femur (your thigh bone) or your tibia (your shin bone).
Spiral fractures, which doctors often call torsion fractures, usually only happen when torque is applied to a bone’s axis. This is most common when a person’s body is in motion and one extremity is held in place, so it happens frequently in many types of accidents.
A transverse fracture is one that happens at a right angle to the axis of the bone. That means you’ll have a straight line breaking your bone in half. It may or may not go all the way through the bone; the key with this type of fracture is the 90-degree angle at which it breaks.
Ways to Medically Treat a Fracture
If paramedics treat you at the scene of your accident, they’ll most likely stabilize the injured area and attempt to stop any blood flow. They won’t attempt to repair the bone there; that’s something they’ll leave to a doctor, regardless of the severity of the break.
Your doctor may choose from a number of proven methods to help your bones heal back together properly.
PINS FOR FRACTURE
Pins are a very common way to treat bone fractures. Your doctor or surgeon will use pins, which are typically just pieces of wire, to hold bone fragments together inside your body. Sometimes the doctor will go back in and remove the pins after healing has begun; other times, the pins will stay in place indefinitely.
Doctors usually choose to use pins when the fragments are too small for screws.
SCREWS FOR FRACTURE
Screws are the method of choice for many physicians, particularly when it comes to severe breaks. Screws are sturdy and reliable, and they can be used to clamp your bones together as they heal. Some people will only have temporary screws, while others will have permanent screws; it depends on the severity of your break and which bones are involved.
METAL PLATE FOR FRACTURE
Doctors have been using metal plates to repair bone fractures for years. Plates are most helpful when the fracture is unstable; they can provide a sturdy backdrop that doesn’t allow the bone to move as it heals.
CASTS AND SPLINTS
Many people with simple fractures only need a cast or splint to keep their bones in place. These are non-invasive, external methods of fixation. Your doctor may need to manipulate your bones so they go back into place, but aside from that, you may only need to wear a cast or splint until the bones begin to knit themselves together again.
Bone Fractures that Don’t Heal Properly After a Car Accident
DELAYED UNION FRACTURES
If your doctor says that you have a delayed union fracture, it means that your bones aren’t healing together as quickly as they should be. You need stability, good blood supply and a number of other factors in place for your bones to heal properly, but if something’s wrong, your body won’t be able to repair itself in a normal span of time.
Malunion fractures are bones that do heal, but they heal the wrong way. They may be misaligned or otherwise in a “less-than-optimal” position. You may need to have a malunion fracture corrected through surgery.
Nonunion fractures are bones that simply won’t heal at all. Your doctor may suggest alternate treatments, such as plates, screws or pins, to help your bones heal if they aren’t progressing the way they should be.
Call a Bone Fracture Lawyer in NYC if You’ve Been Hurt in an Accident
If you or someone you care about has broken a bone in any kind of accident, from a playground mishap to an elevator accident, call Greenstein & Milbauer at 1-800-VICTIM-2. We’ll be happy to give you a free case evaluation.