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How fractures can lead to serious bone infections

On Behalf of | Oct 21, 2021 | Catastrophic Personal Injuries

The sudden impact from another vehicle crashing into your own comes with an incredible amount of force — and broken bones are not uncommon.

While a broken bone is no joke, most people will recover from one in time — even when they have a complicated break that requires surgery. Those who suffer from open fractures (where the skin is pierced), however, may not be so lucky. They may end up with a bone infection, which is known as osteomyelitis.

How do bone infections happen?

Your skin acts like a natural barrier to all kinds of bacteria. When your skin is compromised by an open fracture, bacteria can easily make its way into the broken bone underneath. After a while, the bacteria multiplies and causes symptoms, like:

  • Fevers
  • Chills
  • Extreme sweating
  • General malaise
  • Localized swelling
  • Redness and warmth in the area around the break
  • Pus coming from the open area around the wound
  • Pain around the site of the infection
  • Deep bone pain

Bone infections can also happen when fractures after a crash require surgical intervention, including pins and plates to hold the broken pieces of bone in place.

The good news is that prompt medical treatment with antibiotics will help most people with acute bone infections, but some victims do go on to develop chronic osteomyelitis. Those people may eventually need an amputation of the infected limb.

There’s really no such thing as a “simple” car accident, but some outcomes are definitely more catastrophic than others. If you or a loved one suffered a broken bone in a car crash and have had tragic consequences from a bone infection, you deserve the maximum possible compensation.