There are many different kinds of fractures one can suffer when involved in a serious car accident. There are four major categories - displaced, non-displaced, open and closed. A displaced fracture is when the bone breaks and is therefore misaligned. A non-displaced fracture, while it can be very painful, is less serious. The bone basically maintains its alignment and in many cases can heal naturally over time. A closed fracture means the bone is broken but did not break the skin. An open fracture, probably the worst, is when the bone breaks and actually penetrates the skin. If there is serious trauma from a car accident, one can potentially suffer an "open" fracture. This is especially frightening and traumatic because the bone actually penetrates the skin. An open fracture often requires surgical intervention.
There are also specific characterizations of different fractures.
The first type of fracture is commonly known as a single fracture. That means the bone was only broken in one place versus broken in several places.
A transverse fracture is when there is a fracture a "right angle" to the bone.
An oblique fracture is when the bone has a bend to it - a curved or sloping pattern.
A comminuted fracture is when the bone has been broken (shattered) into several pieces. Not a pleasant thought to say the least!
The next type of fracture that can occur from a serious accident is known as a "complete" fracture. A complete fracture is when a bone is clearly broken into two pieces.
A common type of fracture from car accidents is known as the "hairline" fracture. This occurs when there is a "fine" and minor crack in the bone. This is a common non-displaced fracture. Usually this can be very painful but often heals over time without surgical intervention. It is important your doctor monitors your progress and you allow your body the time to properly heal. If it doesn't heal properly, there are circumstances when a person can experience residual pain for many months or years. Sometimes, x-rays don't catch these types of fractures, and doctors may diagnose a hairline fracture based on clinical symptoms, history given by the patient, and other indicators.
When the bone is broken on only one side and doesn't go across the entire length of the bone, it is called a "greenstick" fracture.
Obviously, any fracture can be very painful and should be attended to quickly. Some people try to "tough it out" after a serious auto accident. You should seek medical attention right away, especially if your symptoms aren't getting better. Talk to an experienced personal injury lawyer about your legal options.
by Robert Mansour
Robert Mansour is a personal injury lawyer serving Santa Clarita, Valencia,