Complex Fracture Treatment | Complex Bone Fracture Surgery | Recovery, Symptoms, Healing Time, Symptoms and More
Complex fractures are classification of serious bone fractures which cause extreme damage on multiple bones, joints, tendons, and ligaments. Most of the subcategories of this bone classification are within the range of complete bone fractures, meaning the bones are entirely fragmented from the main body. A complex fracture is also common on open fractures with the broken bone protruding the skin from the inside resulting in wounds.
Complex Fracture Types
• Multi-fragmentary fracture: This type of complex bone injury has caused the bone to be fragmented into small multiple pieces.
• Comminuted fracture: A bone fracture which causes the bones to be fragmented into a couple of pieces. The bone shards caused by comminuted fractures are larger as compared to the bones from multi-fragmentary fractures.
• Compression fracture: A rare type of complex injury, which is caused by osteoporosis. The bones on the spine become easily breakable and soft causing them to compress into each other.
• Rib fractures. Some symptoms include experiencing pain while breathing and having tenderness on the affected spot.
A Zygomatic complex fracture may also occur.
Since most complex fractures are open and complete fractures, the diagnosis do not entirely follow the normal steps of diagnosing less serious fractures. Mostly, after a brief interview by the doctor, the patient will be immediately sent to the operating room for the wounds (in case of open fractures) to be cleaned and stop the infection from developing. X-rays will be taken and analyzed. If needed, an MRI will also be taken to further point the extent of the damage. The results will be used as basis for the treatment. Rehabilitation or rehab is essential.
• Traumas from sports and vehicle accidents
• Falling hard from heights
• Aging. In this case, the bones start to get brittle making them fragile.
Complex Fracture Symptoms
• Protruding bones on the skin
• Deformity on the injured area
• Extreme pain when the affected part is moved or touched
Complex Fracture Treatment
Cases of complex closed fractures usually need external fixation techniques as their treatment. This procedure involves joining back the ends of the broken bone and the fractured area will be bandaged to keep the bones together while the wet plaster is being applied. Once the plaster dries, the temporary cast is split into two pieces and then both halves will be re-bandaged outside the area to cover and protect the body part. Moreover, there are some complex fractures which may need screws and pins. These screws and pins, however, are not internally implanted on the body but will only be attached to the injured area via metal brace that is placed above and below the spot where the fracture is. The tightness and position of the metal brace will be dependent upon the adjustment of the pins and screws.
As for open complex fractures, internal fixation or the use of surgery is usually needed to treat them. In internal fixation, pins, plates, and screws are also used but they are internally placed on the body and directly attached to the bone. According to studies, using internal fixation techniques is more advantageous compared to the external method because the bones can heal on a shorter period of time. For cases wherein the fragmented bones cannot be saved with the use of tools, another emergency option is bone implantation. Here, a healthy bone is taken from another part of the body and will be used to substitute the injured bones.
Complex Fracture Recovery Time, Healing Time: It usually takes more than 12 weeks.
Prevention of complex bone injury
There are a lot of measures that can be done to prevent having a complex fracture. The simplest one is to be careful when it comes to engaging in highly hazardous physical sports like football, basketball, baseball, karate, etc. Before engaging in any type of activity, having a warm-up helps a lot because it conditions the bones from the stress that the bone will likely to experience. Having safety gears like protective padding for sports; airbags and seatbelts for your car can also help a lot. Stocking on calcium to avoid osteoporosis is also important.
When to Call a Doctor
An individual should immediately call a doctor if he/she experiences a powerful blow which caused pain or numbness on the area. Calling for emergency help should also be done for open fractures with large wounds and possible blood loss. Moreover, if you will be aware of the symptoms of the fracture, you should call medical assistance immediately because some forms of fractures do bring damages not only to the tissues and adjoining bones but also to the crucial nerves. Our nerves do supply our bodies with blood and if any of the significant nerves are damaged, other body parts will also be affected.