The Basics of Broken Bones

When someone falls at work, gets into a car accident, or takes a tumble from a bike, they might consider themselves lucky if they only end up with a broken bone or two. After all, when compared to life-threatening injuries like brain injuries or spinal cord damage, a broken arm seems like nothing at all. But broken bones can still be painful and expensive to treat, and can lead to everyday complications like lost wages. While they aren’t normally life-threatening, broken bones shouldn’t be ignored.

Broken Bone Basics

While it’s a common misconception that breaks and fractures are different injuries, they are actually the same thing. This type of bone injury occurs when too much pressure is put by a bone, either through sudden impact or gradual stress. Bones are meant to absorb impact, but when the pressure becomes too much, the bone can break.

Broken bones are often caused by sudden, traumatic accidents like falls, vehicle or motorcycle accidents, or a sudden blow from another person or object. However, broken bones can also occur through repetitive motion, like running. Additionally, certain medical conditions can also cause fractures, or greatly increase the chances of breaking a bone.

Of the 206 bones in the human body, some are more likely to get broken than others. These include:

  • The clavicle, more commonly known as the collarbone
  • Arms
  • Ankles
  • Wrists
  • Feet and toes

Fractures can be simple, meaning that the break occurs cleanly in one place, or complex, which occurs when the skin over the fracture is damaged. The severity of the injury depends on the type of fracture, and the location of the bones. But for most fractures, symptoms can include:

  • Swelling or bruising
  • Pain in the injured area that gets worse when the area is moved or when pressure is applied to the area
  • Inability to bear weight on the injured area
  • Loss of function in the injured area
  • Bones protruding from the skin

Treatment and Complications

Broken bones are generally not life-threatening. However, a broken bone does require medical treatment. Oftentimes, treatment for a broken bone involves repositioning the bone back to its original place. Then, a cast, sling, or brace will be used to keep the bone in place while it naturally heals. Depending on the severity, it can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months for a broken bone to deal.

Even once a broken bone has been repositioned, there will still be difficulties to deal with. People with broken bones may have troubling performing their daily work duties; for example, they might not be able to lift, type, or even walk or sit. If they have to miss time for work due to their limitations, they could suffer from lost wages. Other everyday duties, like driving or childcare, can also becoming challenging while the bone heals. While they might not be as serious as other traumatic injuries, broken bones can still cause financial and emotional strains on a personal and their family.

Seeking Help

This is why a broken bone should never be ignored! When you are seeking treatment or looking for compensation after an accident, never brush aside any injuries, particularly if they were caused by the recklessness or negligence of someone else. It’s true that broken bones are something that most people will experience at least one in their life, but if you are suffering from a painful fracture after an accident, you still deserve compensation.


The attorneys at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes represent those involved in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and other types of personal injury matters. Our firm is one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Tampa Bay. There are no attorneys’ fees or costs unless we prevail for you. Call our office 24 hours a day at 727-796-8282 or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.


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