A broken bone is considered a complex fracture when the break is more severe than a routine fracture. Damage usually includes injury to multiple bones, joints, ligaments, and tendons and requires intensive treatment and rehabilitation. A complex fracture tends to occur with an “open fracture” with the broken bone protruding outward through the skin. Complex fractures are usually caused by sudden trauma from a sports injury, auto accident, hard falls from heights or brittle bones from aging.
The complex nature of this area of orthopedics requires a surgeon who has substantial experience treating complex operations, such as peri-articular fractures. Dr. Nirad Vengsarkar has extensive experience treating musculoskeletal structures which have sustained damaged complex bone fractures. He provides exceptional care through advanced reconstructive surgery and arthroscopic procedures supported by a multi-disciplinary team of orthopedic experts.
COMPLEX FRACTURE CHARACTERISTICS
Complex fractures exhibit certain characteristics, which set them apart from normal fractures and help in classifying the extent of the injury. When examining a complex fracture, orthopedic surgeons like Dr. Allison assess damage based on the following:
- Soft tissue damage
- Severe cartilage injury to joints
- Bone loss due to severe trauma
- Presence of multiple fractures in a single bone
- Comminuted bone fragments (broken into many pieces)
- Associated joint dislocation
Most complex fractures are open with complete fractures and patients experience symptoms including protruding bones, extreme pain of the affected part, and numbness.
Immediate treatment is often required once the surgeon has completed the physical examination. For patients with an “open fracture,” wounds are first cleaned up and infection prevented before X-rays and possibly an MRI is taken for additional information then the patient goes into surgery.