Fractures / Amputations
An accident can result in an array of different injuries, including fractures and amputations. A fracture occurs when there is some sort of break or lack of continuity in a bone, usually the result of trauma to that area, although it is not uncommon for individuals to experience fractures due to disease that weakens the bones, such as osteoporosis or bone cancer.
A fracture can occur in any bone in the body. Fractures can generally be divided into closed or simple fractures and open or compound fractures. A closed fracture is any fracture whereby the skin is intact. A compound fracture on the other hand occurs when the bone breaks the skin and is exposed. Compound fractures are usually more complex and have a higher risk of becoming infected. Fractures can further be defined as complete (the bone separates completely) and incomplete (the bone is still partially joined). A comminuted fracture is a fracture of the bone into many pieces.
Depending on the nature, location and severity of fracture, the required treatment, recovery time and prognosis can vary greatly. Some fractures may simply require immobilization so that the bone can heal, while others may require extensive surgery and necessitate metal implants or even bone replacements to help strengthen and stabilize the bones and surrounding area.
Unlike a fracture, an amputation is when an extremity on the body is removed, either by trauma to that extremity or through surgery. Amputation through surgery is usually performed to control pain or help prevent or stop the spread of disease. Individuals with diabetes in the United States, for example, are 15 to 40 times more likely to have a leg or foot amputated due to lack of circulation, which can lead to infection or gangrene.
Individuals who have extremities amputated oftentimes experience the phenomenon known as phantom limbs. This is where the person feels the amputated body part even though it is no longer attached to the body. The feelings can range everywhere from itching and burning to the feelings of wet, dry, and even movement of that amputated body part.
Advances in modern medicine and technology in the area of prosthetics have enhanced the quality of life of amputees. Nevertheless, the pain, inconvenience, and psychological trauma associated with the loss of a limb or other body part requires the advocacy of an exerienced attorney.
At Halpern Santos & Pinkert, P.A. we have handled fracture cases involving practically every bone in the body, and many cases involving loss of a limb, finger, eyesight or other body part. Oftentimes, we use case specific medical illustrations to demonstrate the nature and extent of fracture and amputation injuries. Regardless of the severity of the injury, please feel free to contact our firm to inquire if we can help you with an injury claim.