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A compound fracture is a break or crack in your bone that is visible through your skin. Generally, bones break as a result of force and/or trauma like a car crash. Fractures can also be caused by less traumatic but repeated force. For example, if a soldier frequently marches with a heavy pack on their back, the repeated force on their leg could cause a crack in their fibula.

What makes a fracture “compound” or “open” is when the broken bone pierces your skin. If you happen to fall from a ladder and land on your arm, breaking it, you’ll know it’s a compound fracture if you can see the bone. “Simple” or “closed” fractures don’t break through your skin.

Compound fractures are extremely painful. It may also be frightening to see your bone exposed. A fracture is a serious injury, and you should immediately go to the emergency department for help.

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A traumatic accident like a fall or car crash can break your leg or other bones in your body. If a broken bone pierces your skin, it’s called a compound fracture. You’ll need surgery to realign your bones and then a cast to keep them immobilized. Always go to the emergency department if you think you have a broken bone.
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An accident that causes a compound fracture is a frightening event. It’s traumatic and the broken bones can be extremely painful. If you have a compound fracture you’ll probably have to go into surgery to align your bones and get a cast. Depending on several factors, it can take weeks to months to heal. This can be a frustrating period in your life. Remember to take care of your cast and get lots of rest to speed up your healing.
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