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Complications Of Fracture - Early and Late Complications Of Fracture


Complications Of Fracture

Early Complications:

Early Local Complications:

  • Vascular injury which cause internal or external haemorrhage
  • Visceral injury :- Fracture of skull, ribs, or pubis may cause injury to brain, lungs or bladder respectively
  • Damage to nerves
  • Damage to surrounding tissue
  • Haemarthrosis.
  • Compartment symdrome or Volkmann's ischemia 
  • Wound infection, more common in open fractures

Early Systemic Complications

  • Fat embolism
  • Shock
  • Thromboembolism (pulmonary or venous) 
  • Exacerbation of underlying diseases such as diabetes or coronary artery disease
  • Pneumonia 

Late Complications:

Local late Complications

  • Delayed Union 
  • Non- Union
  • Mal-Union
  • Joint stiffness
  • Contractures
  • Myositis ossificans
  • Avascular necrosis
  • Algodystrophy
  • Osteomyelitis
  • Growth disturbance or deformity

Systemic Late Complications

  • Gangrene
  • Tetanus
  • septicemia

Iatrogenic Complications

Iatrogenic complications result from therapeutic interventions

Complications due to Casts:

  • Compartment syndrome
  • Pressure ulcers
  • Burns due to Plaster hardening 
  • Thrombophlebitis

Traction Complications

       Traction prevents patient mobilizing causing additional muscle wasting and weakness

Other complications:

  • Pressure ulcers
  • Pneumonia/ UTIs
  • Permanent foot drop contractures
  • Peroneal nerve palsy
  • Pin tract infection
  • Thromboembolism


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