Compound fractures are among the most painful and traumatic injuries that a person could sustain. A compound fracture, also called an open fracture, occurs when a broken bone is visible through the skin. The bone may be covered by skin or could actually pierce the flesh and be exposed to the elements.
There are any number of ways that a worker could suffer a compound fracture while on the job; from falling to being struck by a vehicle or heavy object. But no matter the cause, compound fractures requires immediate medical attention.
While a broken bone is always a serious injury, compound fractures are especially problematic as they hold such a high risk of infection. An infection at the site of the injury could severely impede the healing process of the bone and tissues surrounding the wound.
Treating a compound fracture involves several steps, including surgically cleaning the bone, also called “irrigation.” The cleaning process allows the caregivers to see the severity of the injury. Once the wound is clean, the attending medical professionals carry out a step called “debridement,” in which foreign materials such as clothing dirt and nonviable soft-tissue are removed.
The bone must then be stabilized. There are a number of ways to do this, including using screws and plates or intramedullary rods. And finally, the victim will be administered antibiotics to stave off infection.
If you suffer a compound fracture at work, it’s important to carefully document every aspect of your treatment and recovery in order to maximize the workers’ compensation benefits you receive. An experienced New York workers’ compensation attorney can help you file your claim and act as your representative as you seek appropriate compensation.