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Rhode Island Personal Injury Attorney / Blog / Personal Injury / Broken Bones And Fractures: They’re Not All The Same

Broken Bones And Fractures: They’re Not All The Same


When you are in an accident, and you break a bone, that is normally considered a serious injury, as it should be. But what also matters, is the kind of broken bone, or fracture, that you have. Not every broken bone is the same. Some will heal with relative ease and quickness, and some can cause long lasting, debilitating problems for a lifetime.

You’ll Know if You’ve Broken a Bone

The good news is that broken bones usually get immediate medical attention; you usually will have enough pain that you will know, right away, that you need medical attention, and the standard X-Rays that are given in emergency rooms detect broken bones. The ER doctors will know from reading your ER X-ray whether you have a fracture or not.

What Kind of Fracture is it?

Whenever your broken bone is diagnosed, it may have a description. The description will tell you how serious your fracture may be.

Partial Fracture – A partial fracture is a small fracture that goes through part of, but not all of the bone. These are considered “minor” fractures (although all fractures are serious medical injuries). With the right care, these fractures usually heal with proper medical attention, without long term disability.

Complete Fracture – when the fracture goes all the way around the bone, or all the way through it, but doesn’t separate the bone itself, it is a complete fracture.

The bone is still in place, and aligned, and both parts of the bone are still attached to each other. Often, this kind of fracture will be immobilized to make sure the bones don’t displace. However, this fracture is generally superficial–it doesn’t go all the way through the bone itself.

Nondisplaced Fracture – this is where the entire bone has been cut in half by the fracture but the bones are still aligned with each other. The good news is that with immediate stabilization, the bones should re-fuse with each other, and heal with minimal problems or disabilities.

Displaced Fracture – This is a very serious injury, where the bone has not only been split in half, but the halves of the bone don’t “line up” anymore.

Surgery is often necessary, to realign the bones, to ensure that the bones heal in line with each other. Pins or other stabilization devices may need to be used. In a serious displaced fracture, the bones may even be jutting out from underneath the skin.

Comminuted Fracture – This is the most serious type of fracture; it actually isn’t just a fracture, it’s a total crushing injury. Imagine a piece of wood that was shattered into multiple small pieces.

Surgery will almost certainly be necessary, to rebuild the bone, and areas around the bone may be damaged as well.

Contact our Rhode Island personal injury lawyers at Robert E. Craven & Associates at 401-453-2700 today if you have suffered a broken bone of any kind in an accident.

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