A fractured leg is a fairly common injury; however, the circumstances surrounding the cause of the bone break may determine the severity and dictate the treatment. A car accident is one incident that may not only cause your leg to break but for the physicians to classify the fracture as catastrophic.
What can possibly cause this scenario with a leg fracture? The forces on the body in a collision may cause the bones and tissue to become compromised, changing your health and recovery.
What is a catastrophic injury?
Car crashes, especially high-impact ones, can result in catastrophic injuries. When the damage to a particular part of the body necessitates a change in your life, both in length and enjoyment, it may rise to catastrophic. Common catastrophic injuries include:
- Spinal cord injury
- Traumatic brain injury
- Internal bleeding
A broken leg may fall into this category under certain conditions.
When is a broken leg a catastrophic injury?
While casts and immobilization may serve to repair the damage of a wide variety of broken legs, those of the variety that may become catastrophic do not follow this. Instead, they often require surgery either to implant temporary hardware or permanent.
An open compound fracture is the likely cause of catastrophic damage because it snaps the bone and sends it tearing through tissue and skin. The risk of infection is significant in this kind of fracture. If bacteria enter the body and doctors cannot stop them, they can burrow in the bones and travel through the blood to other organs. In extreme cases, this may require the removal of significant tissue and even bone.
While this is the severe side of a broken leg, it is a possibility when the forces of a car crash travel through to the body inside the vehicle.