Pennsylvania motorcycle riders know that they risk their lives every time they get out on the road. Like them, you assume that risk because you enjoy the ride (and perhaps the fuel economy). Yet, you know that in an accident, your body does not receive the same protections as those in other passenger or commercial vehicles.
In an accident, you may suffer any number of serious and debilitating injuries. Hopefully, you will be spared injuries to your back, neck or head, but other injuries can do extensive damage as well. One of those injuries is a compound fracture in your lower leg. Don't let the word fracture diminish the severity of this type of injury.
What to expect while you lie on the ground
Many people talk about how adrenalin and shock keep you from feeling pain when injured, but that may not last long enough and then you will need medical personnel to give you something for the excruciating pain that accompanies a compound fracture. Hopefully you didn't look down at the source of the pain, which was more than likely coming from either your tibia or fibula, which are the two bones in your lower leg.
The defining feature of a compound fracture is that the bone was broken and pierced the skin. The bone is visible outside the body, and the remainder of the wound can be quite ghastly to see. You will also be losing a significant amount of blood, and there is no way you will be able to stand on that leg. Your best option is to remain as still as possible and wait for emergency medical personnel to arrive.
What to expect at the hospital
You would think that a diagnosis would be fairly simple since you have a bone sticking out of your leg, but that isn't all that a doctor is looking for upon examining you. You will likely need other tests, such as X-rays, CT scans and MRIs, to determine the extent of the damage. You see, the bone broke, yes, but it also went through muscle, tendons, ligaments and skin.
Your doctor also needs to know if you have any conditions, such as hypertension or diabetes, which may affect your treatment. You will need surgery in order to realign the pieces of bone with special hardware.
What to expect during your recovery
Your recovery begins before you even leave the hospital. Doctors will want you to attempt to stand on your leg to ascertain whether the surgery succeeded in stabilizing the bone. Once you reach a point where you can put weight on the leg, doctors will require you to walk either with a walker or with crutches. Physical therapy will be a crucial part of the healing process.
The average recovery time for a compound fracture is anywhere from six to eight months, but your recovery could take longer depending on the circumstances. During that time, you will likely miss a substantial amount of work and incur a significant amount of medical and medical-related expenses, among other damages. Depending on your occupation, you may not be able to return to work at all.
If the accident that caused your injuries was due to the negligence of another, you may receive compensation to help with your financial losses. In order to receive everything to which you may be entitled, it would benefit you greatly to gain an understanding of the legal rights and options available that may help get you back on your feet, at least financially.