12 Known Compllications of Fracture


Fracture can also be accompanied by some forms of complications especially when they are not well managed, or when the impact on the surrounding tissues is much.

Some of the possible complications of fracture include:

1. Bleeding: Fracture involves injury to the bone as well as the surrounding blood vessels. This leads about severe bleeding.
2. Shock: Prolong profuse bleeding can lead to hypovolaemic shock. Shock can also result from excessive pain.
3. Mal-union: The broken bone ends may not be in proper apposition and he is resulting in bad alignment or mal-union. The broken ends of the bone may override each other.
4. Stiffness: Stiffness may occur after healing of the fracture. For example fraction of the wrist or ankle.
5. Gangrene: Gangrene or death of the part can occur as a result of injury to the artery supplying the part which gives rise to oxygen and nutrients deprivation. Over tight plaster of Paris or splint which is employed to correct the fraction can also lead to gangrene.
6. Shortening of limb: Shortening of limb can occur with some kinds of fracture such as fracture of the neck of the femur or with impracted fraction if no proper reduction is done before healing takes place.
7. Infection: Infection can easily set into compound or open fracture leading to inflammation of the bone marrow (osteomyelitis).
8. Non-union: Some broken bone ends may refuse to reunite. This is common with comminuted fraction especially when there are tissue or blood clot in between the fragments of the bone.
9. Paralysis: Paralysis is usually due to injury to the nerve that is supplying the affected area eg Paralysis of the arm as a result of injury to the radial nerve.
10. Hypostatic pneumonia: This type of complication occurs especially in elderly patients who are on traction. Their inability to move around or failure to carry out respiratory exercises leads to congestion in the lungs, poor circulation, as well as inflammation and bacterial growth. This results in hypostatic pneumonia.
11. Renal calculi: Prolong stay in bed could lead to development of kidney stones (renal calculi) resulting from precipitation of uric acid.
12. Bed sores: Bed sores develop when there is long stay in one position in bed. Blood supply to the underlying tissues is impaired resulting in their death and occurrence of sores.