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When Is Bone Grafting Necessary?

By Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. on December 30, 2020

Most people have had to deal with a broken bone at some point in their life, whether it is a minor fracture in the hand or a broken femur from playing sports. While initially painful and uncomfortable, these injuries usually heal without any major complications. But in rare cases, more serious, and often expensive, treatments may be required.

The Danger of Catastrophic Fractures

When a bone is broken, doctors may quickly assess the trauma and apply a splint, sling, or cast to the affected body part in order to set the bones back together. Over time, the body will naturally heal on its own as the bones reconnect. In serious situations, however, surgeons may have to cut into the patient’s body part in order to manually reset the bones or to stitch up damaged arteries or veins.

But there are also situations that go far beyond normal surgical methods. For example, during a serious auto accident, a pedestrian may be pinned between two cars, or car and pavement. If one of his hands, feet, arms, or legs is severely crushed, the bones may be damaged beyond repair. A standard sling or cast will do little to help the bone heal, and surgeons may need to pursue alternative methods. While some cases do require emergency amputations, doctors have found ways to help an accident victim heal without removing the limb.

What Is a Bone Graft?

When someone suffers a severe laceration, such as road rash, their skin may become too damaged to heal with bandages or stitches. Instead, surgeons may have to perform a skin graft, which involves transferring healthy skin from one part of the body to the damaged region. Similarly, bone grafting is the process of taking healthy pieces of bones from one body part – typically the hip – and using it to replace crushed bones in a fracture. If successful, the new bones will begin to reconnect with the surrounding bones and allow the limb to fully heal.

Bone grafting has been around for hundreds of years, starting with surgically replacing missing teeth, and today it is a common method of fixing severely broken bones. With these procedures, a patient can avoid the debilitating experience of a surgical amputation. Bone grafting is a common treatment in cases involving:

  • Crushed or heavily fractured bones in the arms
  • Spinal fusion surgeries, which can help a spinal cord injury to heal by fusing two vertebrae together with healthy bone tissue
  • Broken kneecaps that require surgically implanted devices in addition to bone grafts in order to maintain shape and support the thigh
  • Lost or damaged teeth due to facial fractures

While bone grafts can include healthy bone from a patient’s body, they also employ metal studs, pins, and joints to support the bone’s structure. This treatment is beneficial for many patients but can result in chronic pain for years to come after the surgery.

After being involved in a serious accident, be it a motorcycle collision or truck accident, accident victims deserve a fair shot at a full recovery. But healing from traumatic wounds like comminuted fractures can be expensive, especially if the doctor suggests a bone graft. Most people in Washington state cannot afford these costly surgeries out-of-pocket, but you should not despair. If another person caused your injuries through an act of negligence, then you can file a personal injury claim for compensation.

The money you receive in a personal injury claim can cover the costs of an emergency room visit, hospitalization, reconstructive surgeries, and even bone grafts, as well as the physical pain you have gone through. But to get this money, you will have to deal with the negligent party’s insurance company, which is unlikely to be charitable.

Working with an experienced Seattle personal injury attorney at Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S., may be your best chance at recovering the compensation you need to properly heal. For more than four decades, our law firm has advocated for accident victims throughout the Seattle area and understands the real-world costs of your injuries. Our founding attorney is a member of both the Million and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum, and our firm has successfully recovered millions of dollars in settlement offers and jury verdicts for our clients. If you work with us, you can trust that we will utilize all of our knowledge and expertise to advocate for full compensation for your injuries. To get started on your case, call our office at (425) 228-3860 or toll-free at (888) 228-3860.

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