Comminuted fracture happens if a bone is broken into several fragments imprinted into each other. This means three or more parts communicate with each other. This type of fracture can be open. This means one end of broken bone protrudes out of the body. If the fracture is open, the increased risk of infection often follows the treatment of the fracture. Each fracture is painful, especially if the fracture or multiple complications occur. Therefore, it is necessary to pay attention at the treatment of this type of fracture in order to prevent complications.
Causes of Comminuted Fracture
This type of fracture is common among elderly. Their bones are fragile and porous, that can lead to breakage at several locations. The bones lose their firmness and density, in some pathologic conditions, also. These conditions include bone cancer, osteoporosis, and some diseases of kidneys. However, the comminuted fracture may occur as a result of physical trauma. This happens in traffic accidents, falls from a height, etc. When the heavy object affects pressure to the location of the broken bones, even when it’s the person’s weight, the tissue can be compressed as well. When this happens, not only bone gets damaged. The surrounding tissue is injured, too.
The Symptoms of Comminuted Fracture
Usually, the fracture is followed by violation of the surrounding tissue. This may be accompanied by a fever, swelling and spasm of the muscle and skin tissue. All of this is very painful for the patient. Along with the pain, patients may experience tingling, loss of sensation and numbness in the extremities.
The Diagnostic and Treatment of Comminuted Fracture
Diagnosis with X-rays is the best and the simplest method. It takes an image of the place where the suspect fracture is. On the image, the doctor can see the type of fracture, the fragments of broken bones and how they are connected or not. This helps for better positioning of the fragments. The bone will heal better and in a shorter time, due to well-positioned fragments of the bone and due to their proper connection. However, in order to properly link the fragments operation is usually needed. During the surgery, the doctor connects the bone fragments by wires and screws. Sometimes it is necessary to install a metal fixture that covers the entire extremity. All this increases the risk of an infection, so it is important to pay attention to the prevention of the infection in these cases. If the operation goes successfully, extremity gets immobilized and it stays like this a few weeks longer than in a case of a simple fracture. Infection can also occur during the period of immobilization. Sometimes it is necessary, due to the occurrence of an infection, to do another surgery and give antibiotics to fight the infection. There are other complications, except infections. These are compartment syndrome, vascular necrosis, and nonunion. Therefore, during the period of treatment, it is required regular control of the patient. If the period after surgery flows orderly, the bone will heal properly and immobilization can be removed. Then comes the period of rehabilitation. The patient sometimes feels insecure in this period, so it is advisable to implement physical therapy. During the physical therapy, the patient does exercises and repetitive movements of some kind. This helps to strengthen the muscles and connective tissue around the injured bone.
How to Help Yourself in Daily Activities?
Sometimes you will be immobilized and your extremity may swell or be painful. In this case, you need to rest in a special position. You should sit or lie down and lift the injured leg on the pad, chair or bed. That will establish drainage of accumulated liquid due to gravity and swelling will subside. If your hand is broken, it must not hang down loosely. You have to use some support to lift your arm up. It is important to preserve the cast from moisture. For the occasion, you can use a nylon layer. In a case it gets wet, you can dry the wet place with a hairdryer. Never use any cream or gel on the skin under the plaster. If you have any irritation, contact your doctor and use only the medications prescribed by the doctor.