A leg fracture may not be a life-threatening injury, but it does carry some nasty complications if it is not treated properly. Here are some of the complications you may experience if you don't follow your doctor's instructions during your fracture's treatment:

You May Experience Compartment Syndrome

A compartment syndrome is a situation in which fluid pressure builds up within your muscle tissues to dangerous levels. A leg fracture may lead to a compartment syndrome if the edges of the broken bones pierce your blood vessels and blood leaks within the muscles. This is likely to be the case with any fracture where the bones do not line up (that is, anything other than a stable fracture). The condition is painful and can also be life-threatening because it impairs blood circulation.

You May Develop Osteomyelitis

Osteomyelitis is an infection of the bone. A leg fracture may lead to bone infection if microorganisms, such as bacteria and fungi, invade the wounded area; this is usually the case with open fractures (where the broken bone has pierced the skin above them). The risk of developing osteomyelitis is high if you don't get immediate treatment, doesn't follow your doctor's orders or don't keep the injured area clean during recovery (for example, if you handle the wound with unclean hands).

You May Develop Posttraumatic Arthritis                    

Arthritis can be caused by many things; for example, it can be triggered by a trauma that affects joints in the body. Therefore, if your leg fracture occurs or extends to a joint, such as the knee joint, it may end up giving you arthritis even years after the fracture. This is usually the case with fractures that don't heal properly. For example, if the bones don't align properly and therefore weight distribution at the affected joint is affected.

Your Legs May End Up Being Unequal

Lastly, leg fractures that don't heal properly may even affect the length of the leg. For example, the broken leg may end up being shorter than it was before the injury, which means you will be having unequal leg lengths. The risk of this being the case is high in children or teenagers whose bones are still growing, especially if the damage affects the growth plate.

Therefore, if you have a fractured limb, it's time to take your treatment seriously. Even if it seems to be healing, you still need to follow up with your orthopedic to ensure everything is good underneath the skin and you are not headed for the complications mentioned above.

Contact a group like Associates In Orthopedics & Sports Medicine PC for more information.