By: 25 October 2011

Andrew N. Pollak, MD, et al.
Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. January 2010. Vol. 92-A. No. 1. Pp. 7-15.

When a person has a high-energy traumatic leg injury resulting in a bone fracture and an open wound, getting to a trauma center and getting treatment is a real emergency. Emergency doctors and staff need to know what the results are of delayed treatment for injuries of this type. With open fractures, the risk of deep infection is a big problem. Irrigation and debridement should be done within the first six hours after the injury. Sometimes, soft tissue coverage is needed.

Getting treatment in the first six hours seems simple, but these patients often have multiple other life-threatening injuries that demand more immediate attention. And they may live in a rural setting or need to be transported from one hospital to a trauma center. All of that takes time and attention away from the leg injury. It