Anonymous
Anonymous asked in HealthGeneral Health CareInjuries · 1 decade ago

How long does it take a bullet wound to heal?

Specifically a wound to the shoulder. When can it be taken out of a sling? Also, how long would it take to be discharged from the hospital?

Ditto for a bullet to the leg, not hitting the kneecap or arteries. How long would one have to use a cane?

Update:

this is in research for a story.

Update 2:

in response to the second response:

main character of the story - John McClane (age 49, not the first gunshot wound, might've stopped smoking, really active, good coping mechanisms)

I would talk more about the details of the wound(s) but that might be spoiling people for the movie. =)

3 Answers

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Holy cow...I seriously hope this is for research. The patients I have had in the hospital have taken a variety of recovery periods. You have to consider A LOT of factors like the age of the patient, their overall health after the GSW (rates of infection from an open wound), how healthy they were before the GSW (are they diabetic, a smoker, depressed), the path of the bullet (bones broken, tissue damaged, bones fragmented secondary to the GSW), how much they weigh, is the patient doing well at PT (phys therapy), are they getting out of bed when they can, are they eating well, peeing well,are their vitals stable? What about their psychological abilities as well. How are they coping with the GSW? Do they have support? Are they homeless? Are they a child? Has someone in their family ever been shot? All of these factors relate to their speed of recovery and when they will be discharged from the hospital. Also, what kind of insurance do they have? Some are forced out after only a few days.

    GENERALLY speaking...and I DO MEAN generally, for a healthy male ages 18-25:

    GSW to shoulder with shattered humerus and clavicle, healing time:

    Skin wound--3-6 months depending on the skill of the surgeon when repairing bone trauma from bullet

    bone healing--3-6 months

    Sling--3 months

    Discharge from hospital--10-14 days, barring no complications like blood loss, infection, satisfactory bloodwork,etc.

    GSW to lower extremity is GREATLY different. One patient I had--his femur was completely shattered and needed traction (oh...don't even go there. Not enough space to write about traction and weights) That patient ended up dying from a massive infection in the bone from infected pin sites.

    Alright, alright--uhhhh, say:

    Wound healing: 3-6 months barring any infection and skill of surgeon when repairing the bone and underlying tissues

    Discharge: 1-2 weeks

    Cane use: Possibly for life

    Source(s): Registered Nurse Ortho Neuro experience Wound Care experience Trauma stepdown experience
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