You may not realize that Las Vegas casinos, restaurant buffets, and slippery mall floors can create serious risks of slip and fall accidents, and these accidents can cause fractured bone injuries. If you break a bone in your spine, shoulder, or hip, you may require surgery to repair the damaged bone, and you may need months of rehabilitation before you can resume your normal activities.
Common Types of Fractured Bones
A bone fracture can range from a small crack to a complete break. Common types of bone fractures you can suffer from a slip and fall include:
This is an incomplete fracture, and it occurs most often in children. The bone will bend and crack but not break completely.
This fracture occurs when the continuity of the bone is broken.
A compression fracture occurs when the bone completely collapses. This is most common in the bones in the spine.
Open Fracture (AKA Compound Fracture)
In an open or compound fracture, the broken bone breaks through the victim’s skin.
This is a fracture where the bone breaks in more than one place.
Symptoms of a Bone Fracture
Symptoms of a bone fracture can include swelling or bruising, pain in the injured area that worsens with use, and loss of function. It is important to seek prompt medical treatment for a severe fracture to avoid serious complications such as infection or damage to blood vessels or nerves.
Common Treatments for Broken Bones
If you break a bone, the type of treatment you’ll require depends on which bone was affected and the severity of the injury. The first step with most broken bones is to immobilize the bone and stabilize it, and usually you’ll need emergency medical care. Treatment for fractured bones may involve immobilizing the broken bone, taking medication to manage the pain, and surgery if the fracture is severe. Common treatments for a broken bone include:
The broken bone is manipulated into its proper position before a cast is applied to keep the bones from moving. A splint may replace the cast once the swelling has decreased.
If the fracture has broken through the skin, you may be given antibiotics to prevent infection.
This involves setting pins and wires into the bone through the skin. Once the bone heals, the pins and wires can be removed.
Treatment usually includes physical therapy to prevent joint weakness and to strengthen the muscles that will become weak from lack of use.
If the fracture is serious, you may need surgery to repair it. Metal rods, wires, or screws may be inserted to hold the bones together.
Surgery Options for Fractured Bones
If you suffer a broken bone because of a slip and fall accident, having the bone set in a cast and physical therapy may not be sufficient to get you back on your feet. When the broken bone does not heal properly or there is a compound fracture—which is common for wrist or ankle fractures—you could need surgery. It’s possible to face a long recovery period and additional surgeries to repair the damage.
There are several different surgery options depending on the severity of the bone fracture. Common treatments include the following:
Setting the Bone
When the bone is severely displaced or misaligned, it may be too painful for the patient to have the bone set without an anesthetic. In this case, the procedure is done in the operating room.
Screws, pins, plates, or nails are often used to secure broken bones in place. They can be used permanently or temporarily. If they are only temporary, an additional surgery is required to remove the hardware.
When the bone is shattered into fragments, the person could need a bone graft to replace the parts of the bone that were lost. The person’s hip bone or a donor’s bone is often used in this procedure.
Blood Vessel Repair
If arteries or nerves were injured, surgery could be required to repair them.
Open Fracture Treatment
If the bone has pierced the skin, the bone ends need to be washed with a sterile fluid in the operating room to prevent infection. This may be done multiple times if the bone end becomes dirty or infected.
The bone would most likely be placed in a cast after surgery. As with any surgical procedure, a patient faces risks of complications. Possible complications include reaction to the anesthesia, bleeding, blot clots, infection, and damage to the nerves, tendons, and vessels.
Have You Been Injured In A Henderson Slip and Fall Accident?
If you've been injured in a slip and fall you need to speak with an experienced slip and fall lawyer as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Henderson office directly at 702.405.6000 to schedule a free consultation with our slip and fall attorneys.