Possible complications

For most people, a broken bone will heal within a few months and there won't be any further problems.

However,complications can sometimes occur. These include:

  • Damaged muscle, nerves or blood vessels around the fracture this can occur during the initial injury or during surgery.It may lead to loss of movement or feeling, or may affect the blood supply to the limb.
  • Bone infection this is more likelyif surgery is performed or the broken bone stuck out of the skin.It can significantly delay healing and will often require treatment with antibiotics and/or surgery.
  • Compartment syndrome a painful and potentially serious condition caused by bleeding or swelling within a bundle of muscles. This can occur soon after a fracture, after the plaster cast has been applied or after surgery. Emergency surgery will usually be needed to relieve the build-up of pressure in your leg.

Occasionally, a further operation may be needed if the bone doesn't heal properly. This can happen if the bone doesn't align properly during surgery, you put too much weight on the bone before it heals, the fracture is severe, if you have diabetes or you smoke during your recovery.

Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 21 Dec 2018