A broken bone is a serious injury that almost always results in immediate pain and discomfort. However, depending on the location and severity of the injury, you may find it difficult to personally determine if you’ve broken a bone.

While the pain alone is typically enough to help you understand that something is wrong, here are some of the other symptoms often associated with a broken bone:

  • Bruising and/or swelling in and around the area
  • Deformity, such as the bone protruding from the skin
  • Pain that worsens when you apply pressure to the bone or attempt to move
  • Loss of function, such as an inability to bear weight on a broken leg

If you suspect a broken bone, with or without some or all of these symptoms, you should immediately seek medical attention. Your doctor can examine you, run a variety of imaging tests and share an accurate diagnosis.

Treatment depends largely on the location and severity of your injury. For example, a shattered hip is much more difficult to treat than a broken finger. But regardless of what your doctor suggests, make sure you understand the treatment and then follow it down to every last detail.

Once your health is stabilized and you understand your treatment strategy and long term prognosis, take steps to protect your legal rights.

For example, if a workplace accident resulted in your injury, learn more about your workers’ compensation rights. By filing a claim, you may be able to receive benefits until you recover to the point of being able to return to your job.