We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Compound Fracture?

Tricia Christensen
By
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
The Health Board is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At The Health Board, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

In a compound fracture, which may also be called an open fracture, the broken bone pierces through the skin. It may be completely visible or the piercing bone may have withdrawn, leaving a wound that is open to the bone. These fractures tend to pose great risk for several reasons and they usually need fairly immediate surgical treatment for best healing.

The most compelling reason to get medical help for a person with a compound fracture is to avoid infection. Any cut in the skin leaves the wounded area vulnerable and it’s possible for bacteria to enter the wound. Depending on the type of fracture, it may even be possible for bacterial infection to affect the bone, which may create significant challenge to healing. To avoid this, doctors typically want to repair the bone and close the wound as quickly as possible, while perhaps giving antibiotics to make certain no infection develops. Delaying this increases infection risk and may turn repair from a simple to a complex process.

The one thing to do while getting a person to a doctor or waiting for emergency assistance is to cover any wound with sterile gauze. If it’s possible to work around a protruding bone and bleeding is profuse, light pressure could be applied to sterile dressings. This isn’t always possible because significant bone protrusion would mean applying pressure on the area of fracture, which might injure it even more. Mostly, people should keep the injured person as still as possible. Applying a tourniquet to stop bleeding is not advised if emergency help is nearby.

The repair for the compound fracture usually involves surgery. Type of surgery and extent of repair depends on total degree of injury. The length of healing depends on the severity of the injury, but it is typically at least two months or more. Surgeons may need to place screws or plates to stabilize a bone, which might require a subsequent surgery to remove.

The severity of the open fracture doesn’t mean that simple fractures, where the skin isn’t pierced, aren’t complex too. At least with a compound fracture, it’s easy to guess the injury needs treatment right away. With simple fractures, bones can still move and disrupt tissue inside and things like ligaments may be severed. This suggests people not delay in getting treatment for closed fractures, either.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Tricia Christensen
By Tricia Christensen , Writer
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a The Health Board contributor, Tricia Christensen is based in Northern California and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her writing. Her wide-ranging interests include reading, writing, medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion, all of which she incorporates into her informative articles. Tricia is currently working on her first novel.

Discussion Comments

Tricia Christensen

Tricia Christensen

Writer

With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a The Health Board contributor, Tricia...
Learn more
The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.