A compound fracture is a broken bone with an associated wound of the overlying skin. Even if the wound does not actually communicate with the fracture line, the intervening tissue barrier may be insufficient to prevent spread of infection.
It makes little difference whether the wound of the skin is caused by protrusion of the bone fragment from within or by the force from without. The tissue is potentially infected in either case. The prognosis and thoroughness of treatment are influenced greatly by the conditions under which the wound was received. The prevalence of the more severe pathogenic organisms is greater in manured fields, horse-inhabited streets and stables, shell-torn country and dirty clothes than it is in the woods, in steel mills or in clean houses. Uninjured, clean clothing and careful protection in transportation are comforting incidents. The severity and extent of the damage to the soft parts