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Bone Fractures at Work & Workers’ Comp Eligibility

Bone fractures from workplace accidents can be painful. Understanding the types of fractures is crucial for compensation.

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You may fracture your bone from a workplace accident, like falling from a ladder or slipping on a wet floor. Bone fractures are excruciatingly painful and dramatically impact your quality of life. Fortunately, most bone fractures take 6 to 8 weeks to heal, meaning you can often recover and get back to work in a few months. 

Understanding the different types of fractures gives you a firm idea of which ones are eligible for compensation under your workers’ comp. Here are the most common types of fractures in the workplace.

Hairline Fracture

A hairline, or stress fracture, mostly occurs in the legs and feet. As the name suggests, it involves the bone cracking, creating a fracture the size of a strand of hair. Hairline fractures are minor and heal within a month or two. Using a cold compress and elevating the fractured bone within the first 24 hours of the injury generally reduces the healing time.

Stable or Simple Fracture

This is a less severe type of fracture that occurs when your bone breaks, but the broken ends still align. This alignment allows for faster healing since the bone maintains its original position. The doctor may place a cast on the fracture to immobilize it and promote healing.

Non-Displaced Fracture

Non-displaced fractures are fractures that involve the bones breaking, but not completely. The broken parts remain aligned, with part of the bone holding the two parts together. These fractures require bracing, cast treatment, or booting to heal.

Displaced Fracture

Displaced fractures are the opposite of non-displaced fractures. With displaced fractures, the bones snap completely and split into two or more parts. This forms a gap between the two fractured parts, moving the bone out of alignment. Some displaced fractures result in the broken bone piercing the skin from the inside.

Displaced fractures are serious and typically require resetting by medical experts via reduction. Open reduction involves incision and using mechanical tools to realign the bones. Closed reduction uses manual techniques to do the same.

Comminuted Fracture

A comminuted fracture is among the most painful and severe types of fracture. It occurs when the bone fractures in multiple pieces. This mostly occurs in the hands and feet when a heavy object crushes the bone.

The severe nature of such fractures generally demands prompt surgery to address. Most of these fractures take a year or more to heal, while some comminuted fractures never heal.

Avulsion Fracture

Avulsion fractures occur when a piece of bone fractures breaks away from the rest of the bone. These fractures mostly heal with elevation and icing of the affected area. Very rarely do they require surgery to treat.

Get Compensation for Your Work-Related Fractures

Sustaining a hairline fracture, even though it may seem minor, can significantly impact your daily routine and work schedule. Fortunately, if the fracture is work-related, you are usually entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits through your employer’s insurance policy. It is important to speak with a lawyer to ensure you receive the appropriate compensation for your injury.

If you require assistance with your workers’ compensation claim, the St. Louis workers’ compensation lawyers at Law Office of James M. Hoffman team are ready to help. Get in touch with us today to receive the support you need for your workers’ compensation claim.

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Updated: March 27, 2023