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Fractures: They aren’t just minor injuries

Jul 17, 2017 | Blog

When you were walking on the streets of Manhattan, you didn’t notice that the sidewalk was raised. You caught your foot and fell, resulting in a trip to the emergency room. While you might think that a fall like this isn’t a big deal, the city may be liable for your injury.

As a result of maintenance, or a lack thereof, you’ve fallen and hurt yourself. You suffered a fracture, which could mean having to go to physical therapy, wearing a cast and doing fewer of the things you love. If you’re someone who doesn’t want to make a fuss over a fracture, here are a few things you should know about the injury.

Fractures aren’t always minor

While most people refer to fractures as minor breaks in a bone and a broken bone as a completely broken bone, the medical community recognizes both as the same thing. Fractures can be minor cracks in bones or breaks that shatter bones. Understand that even if your medical provider uses the term "fracture," your injury could be a fully broken bone.

Fractures have multiple symptoms that affect your life

While a minor fracture may not cause significant symptoms, they’re still possible with any type of fracture. A bone may be broken if it is deformed, if the skin has bruised or swelled, if there is pain when you move or apply pressure to the area or if the bone is protruding from the skin.

Some fractures, especially those that break the skin’s surface, have the potential to cause serious bleeding, so they require emergency care and potentially surgery.

Treatments vary by the severity of the injury

If you have only a crack in your bone, the likelihood is that you’ll need a few weeks of rest and then be able to get back to work. However, if your injury is more severe, you may require surgery, physical therapy or other treatments. Severe fractures, where the bone shatters, require setting and repositioning in the body. This requires surgery and may result in the use of screws, plates, glue or rods to hold the pieces together. Serious fractures can result in infection after surgery, which puts patients at risk of blood clots. It’s also possible to require amputation in the most severe of cases.

Now that you understand the full severity of a fracture, you can decide if you want to pursue a claim to recover your medical expenses.