A broken bone sticking out of the skin is called an open fracture. This is a very important distinction because when a broken bone penetrates the skin there is a need for immediate medical attention. Generally operation is required to clean the area of the fracture.
Due to the risk of infection, there are more often problems associated with healing when a fracture is open to the skin.
Causes of open fracture: They are typically due to high-energy injuries such as car crashes, sport injuries or falls.
Treating an open fracture: Open fracture requires emergency care. Immediate surgery is needed to clean the area of the injury. Due to breakages in the skin, debris and infections can easily travel to the fracture location thus leading to high rate of infection to the bones. Once infection is developed, it is very difficult to treat it.
Treating the established bone infection needs various surgeries, taking antibiotics for several days and various long-term problems. So that every effort is made to prevent this potential problem with early treatment. Regardless of the early treatment, open fractures are still susceptible to infections.
Recovering from an open fracture: Usually, open fractures take longer time to heal because of the extent of the injury to the bone and the surrounding soft tissues. Also, there are severe complications associated with open fracture including infection and non-union.
Try to get the treatment as early as possible if you have an open fracture. Emergency care for open fracture includes usage of antibiotics, cleaning the fracture site and stabilization of the bones.