While some people in Philadelphia may think that broken bones are simply a fact of life, and only take a cast and some time to heal, in actuality a broken bone can be extremely serious. Some broken bones in a person's lower extremities, such as an individual's pelvis, leg or foot can make it difficult of even impossible for a person to ambulate effectively, making it difficult if not impossible for that individual to return to work.
First of all, however, let's discuss exactly what a fracture is. Simply put, when a person breaks a bone, this is medically referred to as a fracture. While there are a myriad number of fractures a person could experience, the main ones are open fractures, closed fractures, displaced fractures and non-displaced fractures.
If an individual's broken bone pierces through the individual's skin, this is known as an open fracture. Sometimes, the bone may not actually be seen, because after piercing through the individual's skin, it returns into the area of the individual's wound. With an open fracture there is a chance that the individual could suffer a deep bone infection. A closed fracture, on the other hand, is one in which the individual's bone does not pierce the individual's skin.
When an individual suffers a displaced fracture, this means the bone has broken into at least two parts, if not more. In addition, the bone in a displaced fracture moves so that the broken ends are unaligned. A comminuted fracture is a type of displaced fracture in which the individual's bone is broken into many parts. When an individual suffers a non-displaced fractures, the individual's bone either breaks partially or completely into two, but unlike a displaced fracture, the broken parts of the bone are still straight in line.
There are a number of severe complications that could accompany a fracture. For example, an individual's blood vessels or nerves in the area could be damaged. In addition, an individual could suffer a bone infection or an infection of the tissue in the area of the injury.
The Social Security Administration recognizes that some fractures can be disabling. Those who suffer from a fracture that keeps them from working for a year or more and that meets the other federal requirements set by the SSA may want to see if they are eligible to seek Social Security disability benefits for injuries.
Source: WebMD, "Understanding Bone Fractures -- the Basics," accessed July 25, 2016