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How an open fracture could complicate a pedestrian's recovery

One of the most popular modes of transportation here in New York City is walking. In fact, one of the best ways to see this beautiful city is on foot. Unfortunately, walking also comes with a substantial amount of risk.

Since you do not have the protection of the cabin of a vehicle, your risk of injury if struck by a vehicle is staggering. Just as unnerving is the fact that your injuries will most likely be severe. For instance, you may not just break a bone in your leg but suffer an open fracture, which could easily put your life in jeopardy.

What does it mean to suffer an open fracture?

As the name indicates, the primary characteristic of an open fracture is that the bone pierces through the skin. Not only is this a particularly gruesome looking injury, but it is also a life-threatening one. Obviously, your bones are not meant to be outside your body, and anytime your skin is broken, you risk an infection, which is what makes this injury so dangerous. If you suffer this injury in a pedestrian versus motor vehicle accident, you should keep the following in mind:

  • The first order of business is to thoroughly clean the wound, which means you will need surgery.
  • The surgeon will clean out, or debride, the wound in order to remove debris from within and without your body that got into the wound.
  • The surgeon will then irrigate the wound in an attempt to remove any further contaminants, including bacteria and other debris not reached in any other way.
  • Only after the wound is clean will the surgeon turn his or her attention to setting and immobilizing the bone.
  • You will receive antibiotics and other medications as necessary.
  • Hospital personnel will monitor you closely for any signs of infection.

If everything goes well, you will not need additional surgeries and could make a full recovery, but it will take a considerable amount of time -- longer than an ordinary broken bone. If you do develop an infection, your recovery will take even longer, and you will most certainly need additional medical intervention, including surgery. Even if you do not suffer any complications, you will most likely not return to normal life for some time.

While you recover, your financial situation will probably take a turn for the worse. Fortunately, you may be able to pursue compensation for your injuries, financial losses and other damages by filing a personal injury claim against the party believed responsible.

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