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Infection after a broken bone is a serious medical issue

In one of our previous blog posts, we discussed how motorcycle accidents can lead to broken bones. What some people might not realize is that broken bones can lead to other problems. One of those problems in infection.

An infection that is caused by a fractured bone can be very serious. While it isn't common, these infections can often require lengthy treatment that might prove to be complex. That treatment can mean considerable medical bills and missed hours from work.

Generally, an infection following a fracture is caused by bacteria entering the body when the injury occurs. People who have a compromised immune system, such as those with HIV or diabetes, have an increased risk of getting an infection after a broken bone. The same is true for those who have suffered from damage to surrounding tissues, such as the skin or muscles.

There is a chance that an infection can occur as a result of the surgical procedures necessary to treat the fracture. Antibiotics are usually used to combat this possibility.

When an infection occurs because of a fractured bone, there are several symptoms that you might experience. You might have a fever, night sweats, pain around the affected area, swelling near the break or chills. You may also notice that the area is warm, red or filled with pus. An incision in the area likely won't heal properly if you have an infection in the area.

Treating an infection after a broken bone generally involves taking antibiotics for six to eight weeks. In some cases, long-term treatment or surgery might be required. There is a possibility that a life-long course of antibiotics might be necessary.

Source: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, "Infections After Fracture," accessed May. 05, 2015

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