Like most North Carolina parents, the worst thing you can imagine is to be in an accident where your child suffers injuries. You may be especially emotional if the accident occurred due to someone else’s negligence or reckless behavior. Of course, you are grateful that your child’s injuries were not worse, but if he or she suffered a bone fracture, there may be difficult times ahead.
A simple broken bone may heal easily with a cast and some rest. Your child’s youthful bones are likely to repair quickly under these circumstances, and after a week or so, the cast may do little to hinder your child from his or her normal activities. However, if the break was more serious, surgery may be necessary.
Your child’s doctor may determine that bone fracture repair is the best course of action for the injury. This surgery, known as open reduction and internal fixation, is an invasive procedure that takes several hours. During the operation, the surgeon will create an incision and cut into the bone. The surgeon will then insert a rod into the bone to stabilize it and perhaps secure the fracture with pins, screws or plates. Your child’s doctor may choose this procedure in any of the following situations:
- Your child suffered a compound fracture that broke through the skin.
- The injury occurred at one of your child’s joints, such as a wrist or ankle.
- The doctor tried to repair the break with a simple cast, but the bone would not heal properly.
Since your child is young, there is a good chance that the surgery will successfully repair the injury and your child will suffer no ill effects. However, to get to this best-case scenario still means several days of recovery in the hospital, months of limited activity at home, and pain and discomfort for your child to endure. The wound may include staples or stitches that will require care and cleaning, and your child may be at risk of infection.
In the long run, your child will likely have to go through physical therapy to regain the strength and flexibility of the affected limb. There is also the chance that the prolonged immobilization of the limb could lead to deformities. These realities may be difficult to face as a parent, and you are within your rights to seek legal advice about how to pursue justice for your child from the responsible party.