Speed Up Fracture Healing

Fracture complications – Advice For Femur, Hip, Rib, Pelvic, Supracondylar, Colles, Tibial Plateau or Distal Radius Fracture Complications

22 Jul

Fracture Complication Overview

When we talk about Fracture complications it may pertain more to infections. Infections on fractures are common especially in open fractures because as the bone pierces the skin, bacteria can quickly get in the wound and even into the bone itself. If the wound is infected, this can be treated easily with antibiotics. However, when the bone itself is infected, this can become a serious bone condition known as osteomyelitis.

In more serious cases of osteomyelitis, some parts of the infected bone may die and this can really slow down the process of healing. When not caught on time, the infection becomes chronic and antibiotics can no longer be helpful especially when some parts of the bone are already withered. This may prompt the doctors to remove or shave the dead part so that further infections could be avoided.

Types of fractures complications

There are actually many types of Fracture complications although infection, as we have said, is the most common. Another major type of complication is the problem with bone union. As the term clearly suggests, “bone union” means the ability of the fractured bones to unite or rejoin so that the broken bone can fuse together. However, due to many problems such as bone infection, inability of the nerves to supply enough blood to the broken bones or if fragments were not joined correctly there could be delayed in the union or the bone will never join whatsoever. In this case, bone grafting could be the best option whereby a piece of bone will be taken from a large healthy bone of the body and grafted on the area where the bone is missing.

Another type of Fracture complication is the avascular necrosis or as we have said the death of the fractured bone. Infection may not only be the culprit here but it could also be due to lack on the supply of blood to the fractured bone probably due to nerve damage. In this case, the bone will eventually die because no nutrient is absorbed. Some other types of complications include the shortening of the fractured bone, which could be permanent, damage to the muscles, tendons and nerves surrounding the damage site and permanent weakening of the bone itself.

This advice applies to femur fracture complications, hip, rib, pelvic, supracondylar fracture complications, colles, tibial plateau, distal radius fracture complications, ankle, knee, foot, fibula, pelvis, toe, hip, wrist, arm, upper and lower limbs, neck, shoulder, heel fractures and also in case of sprained or injured bones that may require replacement surgery.


When the doctor thinks that there could be complications with your healing bones, he will look for further symptoms and will search for clinical manifestations. He may rely on diagnostic laboratory findings, too. For clinical findings he could use the five “Ps” in analyzing bone complications and these are the pain, pallor, pulse, paralysis and paresthesia. He will also include other findings if there is a deformity, bruising, swelling, muscle pain, tenderness, spasms, loss of function, or abnormalities to the injured part because these symptoms can indicate non-union of bones, damage nerves, death of bone, and infection. Lab examinations will include radiographic examinations to see if there is or there is no healing in progress. Examination of the blood will also indicate if there is an infection by the decreasing presence of hemoglobin and hematocrit in the blood.


Most causes of complications of fractures are due to the bone injury itself or it could also be from internal problems that is along with the process of healing. It could also be by ineffective use of medications including antibiotics. Some doctors do make their lists when dealing with bone fractures so they can monitor their patients’ progress by the degree of complications they acquire. Their list could be as follows.

Early Complications:

• Vascular injury. The result could be internal or external hemorrhage.
• Injury to the viscera. The vital organs such as bladder, kidneys and intestine can be damaged.
• Injury to the tissues or muscles
• Haemarthrosis or formation of blood to the joint of the fracture.
• Contamination of wound that lead to infection.

For late complications:

• Delayed in the union of bones.
• Malunion or the joining of bones with unacceptable position that can lead to deformity
• Non-union
• Stiffness in the joints
• Avascular necrosis
• Pin tract infection
• Osteomylitis
• Algodystrophy of the abnormal behavior of the nervous system


• Tetanus
• Gangrene
• Septicemia

Bone Fracture Complications Symptoms

The usual symptoms of Fracture complications could be any of the following:
• Problems on the growth of children
• Muscle atrophy, pressure sores and joint contracture
• Infection of the wound and the bone
• Thromboembolism
• Shock
• Pulmonary emboli
• Problems in bone union


Compartment syndrome is most often the cause of complications of bone fractures. This syndrome when develop into acute compartment will compress the blood vessels, nerves and muscle while they are in an enclosed space around the bone. The result is the death of the tissues. The only treatment for this is through immediate surgical treatment or what doctors call fasciotomy. Through this method the pressure will be released and circulation of blood will return to normal.
Conservative treatment can also be helpful such as the use of anti-inflammatory medications, elevation of the injured limb and decompression. Some doctors also recommend hyperbaric oxygen therapy, which has proven effective against compartment syndrome and some forms of traumatic ischemias. It can also improve the healing of the wound thus reducing the chance of repetitive surgery.

Again, this applies to femur, tibial plateau, distal radius, hip, pelvic, rib, colles or supracondylar fracture complications among others.

Prevention of Complication

To prevent complications of fractures, it is a standard procedure that antibiotics must be taken while the recuperation and healing process is going on. For almost two decades now, doctors recommend their patients to be religious in taking their antibiotics and include in their fracture management program protocols such as irrigating the wound with antiseptics, washing the wound with water and soap, and avoiding dirty places that can infect the wound.

When to Call A Doctor

Although most fractures do heal, you may still get infections due to many factors, which are sometimes unknown to you. So if you see there are symptoms of complications such as swelling, pain, spasms, immobilization and numbness or pus in the wound, you better see your surgeon immediately.

One Response to “Fracture complications – Advice For Femur, Hip, Rib, Pelvic, Supracondylar, Colles, Tibial Plateau or Distal Radius Fracture Complications”

  1. Gonzalez 28. Apr, 2012 at 9:07 pm #

    Hi! This is nice. I’ve had complications in the rib. No feeling better even after surgery. Hate it

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