Complications of fractures

Complications of fractures can be acute or chronic.

Acute complications of fractures are mostly due to initial injury and generally  as a result of the initial trauma and include neurovascular and soft tissue damage, blood loss and localised contamination and infection.

Delayed complications of fractures may occur after treatment and may include malunion, embolic complications, infection and loss of function.

Complications of fractures are affected by fracture site and pattern, type of treatment, patient age, nutritional status, smoking status and alcohol use.

  • Hypovolaemic shock
  • Adult respiratory distress syndrome
  • Fat embolism syndrome
  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • Crush syndrome
  • Injury to major blood vessels
  • Injury to nerves
  • Injury to muscles and tendons
  • Injury to joints
  • Avascular necrosis
  • Stiffness to joints
  • Sudeck’s dystrophy
  • Myositis ossificians

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