A broken leg is a painful and potentially devastating injury. Depending on how the bones break and which bones break, you could need repeated surgeries requiring the orthopedic surgeons to reconstruct your bones with screws, wire, and metal plates. Furthermore, you might end up with permanent damage from your injury even if the bones heal. Such a devastating injury could force you out of work while facing a pile of medical bills, lost salary, lost benefits, and future medical costs.
The human legs are at the mercy of the forces applied to it in an automobile crash. Despite how hard your leg bones are, they are no match for crushed metal. The bones of the lower leg, named the tibia and fibula, can get caught under the dashboard of a crumbling vehicle and snap. Similarly, the bones of your feet and ankles are at risk for sustaining a significant fracture in a car crash. Additionally, your kneecap, or patella, could slam into the dashboard and fracture. The femur, which is the thigh bone, can break if you are sitting at the door and a car crashes directly into you in a so-called “t-bone” accident. The bones of the hip can be broken in a t-bone crash as well.
The severity of the break depends on many factors such as the speed at which the cars collide, the health of the bones, the age of the person, previous injuries, and whether the motorist is restrained by a seatbelt. Orthopedic surgeons describe the severity of a fracture by defining with the wound is open or closed and whether the bone broke in multiple places or just one. An open fracture is sometimes described as a “compound fracture,” meaning the bone came through the skin. Orthopedic doctors will also describe leg fractures in terms of how the bone broke, such as a complete fracture, partial fracture, or a spiral fracture.
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