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An open fracture is just one possible pedestrian injury

Pedestrians are often acutely aware of the fragility of life when they cross a street and a vehicle narrowly misses hitting them. Walking may be good exercise, calming and the oldest method of transportation, but in a city like Tampa where vehicles often outnumber pedestrians in certain areas, it can also be dangerous.

If you walk anywhere, you know this is true. Perhaps you pick up your pace as you cross the street, especially if you are the only one in the crosswalk. You may find yourself wondering if that driver in the left-turn lane saw you before the crossing signal gave you the go-ahead to walk through the intersection.

An open fracture is one of many injuries you could suffer

If a vehicle does strike you, you could suffer any number of injuries. One of these is an open fracture or compound fracture. This injury results when a bone breaks so violently that it pierces through the soft tissue and skin. Since your bones were never meant to be outside the body, it's not hard to imagine this injury requires immediate medical attention.

Of course, the broken bone, torn muscles, and injured ligaments and tendons will require a significant recovery period. However, the largest concern with an open fracture is the risk of infection. With everything exposed to the air, the risk of infection is great, especially if the infection gets into the bone.

Treating an open fracture

Surgery is the first treatment for an open fracture once you are stable. Yes, the surgeon will set the bone, but not before taking great care in cleaning the wound area. It may be necessary to pick out road debris, fabric remnants and more, depending on where the accident took place. A doctor will then flush the wound in order to help make sure that there are no contaminants in or near the area. An infection could end up far more life-threatening than the break itself.

Once the surgeon is satisfied the wound is clean and clear of all debris, or at least as much as possible, only then will he or she turn to setting the bone. Obviously, the recovery for an open fracture will take more time than for a closed fracture, which is a bone break that does not penetrate the skin. Even if you remain infection-free, it will take longer to heal since there is also skin, muscle and more that needs to heal. It could take at least five or six months to recover from this injury.

You may be able to take legal action

Just as you would seek out support from doctors, physical therapists, family, friends and more during this time, you may also want to seek out legal support. The financial impact of this injury will most likely be devastating to your bank account. Medical and medical-related expenses, time off work and other damages will probably add up quickly.

You may be able to file a personal injury claim against the driver of the vehicle that struck you, seeking compensation for those and other losses you incur in the aftermath of the crash.

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