Shock and adrenalin are the body’s natural defense mechanisms. The problem is they may not let you know how seriously injured you really are for hours. If you realized just how injured you were in those first minutes after a crash, it may only heighten your fear, especially if you saw you suffered an open fracture.

An open fracture occurs when a broken bone pierces through the skin, exposing it to the environment and putting you at the very real risk of a potentially life threatening infection. This injury is a medical emergency requiring immediate care.

What is the first step in your treatment?

It’s probably not surprising that surgery is the first step in the treatment of an open fracture. Until the surgeon gets you under anesthesia, it is nearly impossible to determine the extent and severity of your injury since the wound in the skin can be deceiving, especially if it is small. It may not reveal the extent of the damage to the soft tissues, such as muscle, tendons and ligaments, and the bone until the surgery begins. The surgery is a three-step processdescribed below:

  • First, the surgeon irrigates the wound to remove any loose debris and begins assessing the damage.
  • The surgeon will then begin “debriding” the wound, which means cleaning the bone and the area around it. During this step, he or she removes debris such as gravel, clothing and other contaminants along with tissue found to be non-viable.
  • Finally, the surgeon will turn his or her attention to stabilizing the bone, which may require internal and/or external devices such as screws, plates, rods and an external fixator.

As you can see, the first order of business is to help ensure that you do not contract an infection as a result of the injury. Only after the surgeon has addressed this will he or she take care of the break itself. The goal is to make sure you do not end up with any infection but especially one that gets into your bone. If that happens, you will most likely need additional surgeries and medical care.

The recovery time for an open fracture is already going to be longer and more complex than a closed fracture. You will probably need more medical and medical-related care for some time. Depending on the severity of your injury, you may never be the same. Your injury could have repercussions to your life in the short and long term.

Pursing compensation for your injuries

If another person’s negligence or recklessness caused your injuries, then it may be possible for you to seek compensation for your financial losses and other damages associated with the accident. Since you should have the ability to focus on your recovery, it would be beneficial to work with an experienced Florida attorney who can advocate on your behalf in this pursuit.