What Is A Compound Fracture?


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There are primarily two types of fractures: simple fracture and compound fracture. In a simple fracture, even though the bone is broken, the skin is unharmed. In an open fracture or a compound fracture, there is a deep injury that exposes the bone through the skin. A compound fracture carries the risk of infection because the fragments of bone stick out of the skin.

In most cases of compound fracture, the broken bone is seen easily by the medical practitioner. If at all the fracture is not seen clearly, an X- ray is usually done. Sometimes a series of x-rays need to be taken from different angle to diagnose certain kinds of fracture like the rib fracture. Also compound fracture entails bleeding which needs to be kept under control. Doctors prescribe antibiotics to reduce the possibility of an infection.

Treatment of compound fracture means restoring the broken back to its original position. The fundamental goal in treating fractures is to restoring the broken bone to its original position, and then rendering it immobile. In case of a displacement, the bone should be restored to its original position with the help of cast or a splint. Once the bone is made to sit in its original position, it will re-grow back to its original shape. Sometimes a doctor may even need to do a surgery for bone realignment. Sometimes the bone can be realigned with the help of traction, a technique involving the use of heavy weights to pull on a broken bone.

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