ACCIDENT-RELATED FRACTURES ARE COMMON AND OFTEN HARD TO DIAGNOSE


A fracture is a break in the bone.  Significant trauma, such as a car accident, is one of the most common causes of fractures or bone breaks.  Some of these fractures are very clear and easy ti identify at the scene of the accident, while other are harder to find and can take special imagining and physician examination.  While there are a wide variety of fractures, the most common fractures after a car accident are as follows:

Accident - Related Fractures of the Spine
The spine is comprised of a column of bones. Each individual bone is called a vertebrae. Together, the vertebrae serve two purposes. First, they protect the spinal cord, which is the bundle of nerves that carries messages from the brain to the rest of the body. Second, the vertebrae give shape to a person’s neck (cervical spine), mid-back (thoracic spine), lower back (lumbar spine).

There are five types of spinal fractures that auto accident victims should know about. They are:

  • Compression fracture:The front (anterior) of a vertebra breaks and loses height, but the back (anterior) part of the vertebrae does not.
  • Axial burst fracture:The broken vertebrae loses height in the front and back.
  • Flexion/distraction (chance) fracture:The vertebrae are literally pulled apart (distraction), such as in a head-on car crash in which the upper body is thrown forward while the pelvis is stabilized by a lap seat belt.
  • Transverse process fracture:This type of fracture results from rotation or extreme sideways (lateral) bending.
  • Fracture-dislocation:This is an unstable personal injury involving bone and/or soft tissue in which one vertebra may move off of the adjacent vertebra, thereby creating a displacement.


Surgical treatment for spinal fractures may include:

  • Fusion – Fusing or joining two vertebrae to stop painful movement,
  • Vertebroplasty – Inject bone cement into compressed or fractured vertebrae,
  • Implant artificial discs between injured discs – Provides stability and eliminates pain.


Accident - Related Arm Fracture
An arm fracture, or broken arm, involves the fracture of any of the three bones in a person’s arm: humerus (connects elbow to shoulder); radius (connects elbow to wrist above thumb); ulna (connects elbow to wrist above pinky finger). The arm fractures that car accident victims most commonly suffer include:

  • Open (compound) fracture: The broken bone pierces the skin.
  • Closed fracture: The skin is not pierced by the broken bone.
  • Displaced fracture: The bone fragments are not aligned at the site of the break or fracture.
  • Comminuted fracture: The bone breaks into several pieces.


Accident - Related Leg Fracture
A leg fracture, or broken leg, involves the fracture of any of the three bones in a person’s leg: femur (thighbone); tibia (shinbone); fibula (runs parallel to the tibia), according to the Mayo Clinic. The leg most common leg fractures include:

  • Open (compound) fracture: The broken bone pierces the skin.
  • Closed fracture: The skin is not pierced by the broken bone.
  • Incomplete fracture: The bone cracked but did not completely break into two parts.
  • Complete fracture: The bone makes a clean break into two parts.
  • Displaced fracture: The bone fragments are not aligned at the site of the break or fracture.
  • Comminuted fracture: The bone breaks into several pieces.

X-rays allow doctors to determine the extent of a fracture, pinpoint its exact location, and determine the extent of injury to any adjacent joints. Occasionally, doctors may also recommend that an accident victim undergo a CT Scan or MRI.

For arm and leg fractures, surgery into the area of the broken bone may be necessary to implant fixation devices, such as wires, plates, nails or screws. This is to maintain proper alignment during healing.

CALL US AT 217-337-1400 TO TALK TO AN EXPERIENCED ATTORNEY TODAY OR SUBMIT YOUR CASE BELOW