Dog Bite Injuries — Fractures
Depending upon the size of the dog, a dog bite can cause significant injuries. Some breeds of dogs, such as those dogs classified as pit bulls, are known for their powerful jaws that can cause fractures, particularly when the attack is directed at a child or at an elderly person.
One of the first concerns with any injury suffered in an attack by a dog is the possibility of infection caused by bacteria in the dog’s mouth. Another concern is the threat that a dog might have rabies. It is, therefore, essential that a person who is bitten by a dog receive medical treatment immediately regardless of how minor he injury might appear to be.
How Injuries Occur from a Dog Bite
Depending upon its size, a dog can bite with anywhere from 150 to 450 pounds of pressure. This crushing force frequently causes serious soft tissue injury and injury to the bones. Open fractures, in which the bone protrudes through the skin, are common in dog bite cases. Doctors treating such injuries must be mindful of the potential for infection of the wound in addition to their focus on repair of the fractured bones.
A dog bite victim may suffer a fracture that is not directly caused by the animal. An individual could be injured while attempting to get away from the attacking dog, or the person could be injured while trying to break a fall caused by the weight of the onrushing animal. Fractures to bones in the arm, wrist and hand may be caused by a fall during an attack. More serious fractures, such as those of the head or skull and the neck may be caused by falling rather than as a direct consequence of the dog bite itself.
Common Treatments for Dog Bite Fractures
Fractures are categorized as either “open” or “closed.” A closed fracture is a break in the bone that does not protrude through the victim’s skin. Open fractures are associated with bone fragments that break through the skin or have wounds associated with them that are so deep that the broken bone is visible.
Types of bone fractures include:
- Stable fractures: The ends of the broken bones are in alignment and are not out of place.
- Displaced or compound fractures: The fractured bone sections are out of alignment and may
pierce the skin.
- Greenstick fractures: These are frequently seen in children and appear as a bending of the bone
rather than a complete fracturing of it.
- Comminuted fractures: A breaking of a bone into several pieces
If there has been a breaking of the victim’s skin either by the dog bite or by the fractured bone, doctors will usually clean the wound and treat the patient with antibiotics to prevent infection. Depending upon the type of fracture, doctors will reset the bone and apply a cast or a splint to immobilize it during the extended healing process which is usually four to six weeks. In cases involving comminuted or displaced fractures, surgery to repair the damage might be required. The recovery period for a surgically repaired fracture may be longer than for other types of fractures.
Get Help Right Away for a Dog Bite
Fractures caused by a dog bite are serious injuries that should receive immediate medical attention. If you or a member of your family is the victim of an attack by a dog anywhere in Florida, the attorneys at The Felicetti Law Firm P.C. are ready to help you recover compensation for the costs of medical care, lost earnings and pain and suffering associated with your injuries.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment by calling (800) 707-1954, or you can contact us by using the convenient form on our website.