I Broke a Bone in a Car Accident, How Long Will it Take to Recover?

Needless to say, the recovery period for a broken bone resulting from an car accident will depend on factors like the location of the injury, the severity of the injury, and the victim’s overall health at the time the crash or collision occurred.  To help give you a rough idea of the healing time you can expect, our Oklahoma City car accident lawyers have compiled this list of average recovery periods for seven types of bone fractures commonly seen in crash victims.  Of course, you should consult with your physician immediately if you suspect you’ve cracked or broken a bone, even if the accident seemed minor.

Average Healing Time for Facial Fracture Injuries

Every individual’s healing time depends on variables like which bone was broken, the type and severity of the fracture which occurred, and whether he or she has any underlying health conditions which could impede normal recovery, such as a weakened immune system due to multiple sclerosis or rheumatoid arthritis.  Obviously, these factors vary from one person to the next, which means some people will experience significantly longer (or shorter) recovery periods than others.  However, the ballpark numbers below will help to provide an approximate frame of reference for you.

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  • Broken Cheekbone – The anatomical term for the “cheekbone” is the zygomatic bone. The average healing time for a fractured cheekbone is generally as little as two to three weeks, though depending on the severity of the break, you may need to have titanium plates or screws implanted to provide adequate support and structure for your eye sockets.  Unfortunately, these implants occasionally become infected, which will necessitate follow-up medical procedures.  Additionally, some people experience facial numbness and/or tingling for several months following surgery.
  • Broken Nose – It is not uncommon for car accident victims to break their noses by striking the steering wheel, dashboard, or windshield, particularly in high-speed rear-end collisions as passengers are slammed forward by the impact. On one hand, a broken nose takes only about two or three weeks to heal naturally – but on the other, the victim might need to undergo costly surgery to correct their appearance if the trauma is extensive, particularly if the victim is a child or teenager whose bones are still growing.

If you suffered a facial fracture, you might also be interested in reading our article on getting compensated for a facial injury in Oklahoma.

Recovery Periods for Broken Bones in the Limbs, Hands, and Feet

  • Arm Fractures – The humerus (upper arm), like the femur in the thigh, is a thick, sturdy bone which is difficult to break. The radius and ulna are a pair of slender bones of similar shape and size in the forearm.  The average healing time for a humerus, radius, or ulna fracture can range anywhere from three to six months.  Due to its thickness and size, the humerus may take longer to fully heal than a fractured radius or ulna.
  • Clavicle Fracture (Broken Collarbone) – Your collarbone may not seem like it does very much, but it’s critical for anchoring and supporting the weight of your arms. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most delicate bones in the human body.  For most adults, a broken collarbone will heal within three months.  However, the recovery period can be as short as six weeks.
  • Foot and Ankle Fractures – Together, the foot and ankle contain 26 bones – one fewer than the hand and wrist. A broken foot generally takes at least three to eight weeks to make significant improvement, during which time your activities will be restricted to ensure proper healing.
  • Hand and Wrist Fractures – The human hand and wrist are made up of 27 separate bones, all of which are relatively small and easy to break compared to most other bones in the body. Hand and wrist fractures can be divided into at least five categories:
    • Boxer’s Fracture – Generally heal within three months.
    • Broken Finger – Generally four to six weeks.
    • Colles Fracture – Unfortunately, a Colles fracture can take more than a year to fully heal.
    • Distal Radial Fracture – Most people make a full recovery within six months, but symptoms can persist for a year or longer.
    • Scaphoid Fracture – Generally six to 12 weeks, though for some people a full recovery may take six months or more.

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  • Leg Fractures – The bones forming the human leg are the femur (thigh bone), the tibia (the larger/inner bone in the lower leg), and the fibula (the smaller/outer bone in the lower leg). Contrary to what you might expect, the tibia – not the smaller fibula – is actually the most commonly broken leg bone.  Unfortunately, the average recovery period for a broken tibia or broken femur can be as long as four to six months, during which time the victim cannot put his or her full weight on the leg.  By comparison, a fibula fracture can heal in as little as six weeks.

Get an Oklahoma City Personal Injury Lawyer That’s Right for You

If you or one of your loved ones suffered a bone fracture after getting into a car accident in Oklahoma City or the surrounding area, you may be entitled to compensation.  Call the personal injury attorneys of Hasbrook & Hasbrook at (405) 698-3040 to set up a free and confidential legal consultation today.