A fracture — commonly known as a broken bone — is one of the most common injuries that happen to humans. Throughout life, the average person tends to have two fractures.
Fractures can be from a crack to crushed bones. The severity of fractures depends on factors like age, gender, and occupation.
Types of Fractures
Fractures are classified into the next categories:
- Open and Closed: A closed fracture occurs when the bone breaks but it doesn’t tear or break your skin. In contrast, an open fracture is when the skin tears as a result of the bone fracture.
- Displaced and non-displaced: These types of fractures refer to the alignment of the bone after it has broken into two or more parts. Displaced or complete fractures are the ones where the broken parts of the bone have moved and are no longer aligned. Non-displaced or incomplete fractures happen when the bone cracks but maintains its proper alignment.
Some of the most common fractures are:
- Simple. The bone breaks only in two parts.
- Compression. The bone is crushed with pressure. The bone now has a wide or flat appearance.
- Comminuted. The bone breaks in three or more pieces. There may be bone fragments within the fracture area.
- Segmental. The bone breaks in two places, leaving a floating and unattached bone segment.
- Oblique. Diagonal breaks across the bone.
- Greenstick. In which the bone bends and it doesn’t completely break.
- Stress Fracture. It is a thin crack on the bone.
Why do Fractures Occur?
Fractures occur when the bone can’t bear a physical force or pressure applied to it. Fractures can happen from the result of:
- Physical trauma or injuries
Factors that Increase Risk of Fracture
While fractures are more common in children, their recovery tends to be better and quicker than in adults. Fractures in the elder tend to be more severe and harder to treat. Besides age, other factors that increase the chances to get a fracture are:
- Medical conditions like osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, etc.
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Lack of physical activity
- Taking high doses of corticosteroids (causes bone loss)
How Are Fractures Diagnosed?
To diagnose a fracture, firstly you will have to go through a physical examination that checks for symptoms like:
- Acute or intense pain
- Deformity (caused by the bones being out of place)
- Issues or discomfort to move the affected area
After the medical examination, to analyze the fracture, your doctor will perform imaging tests like:
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
- Computed Tomography Scan (CT Scan)
Fracture treatment will depend on your medical condition, the severity of the fracture, age, and pain tolerance.
The treatment and healing process consists of:
- Align the bone pieces to its original position. To align the bone, some cases might require traction (an applied force to stretch muscles and tendons around the bone).
- Use a splint or cast to immobilize and stabilize the injury.
- With time, your broken bones will mend and connect to each other.
- If necessary, your doctor may prescribe drugs to treat pain or infection.
Severe or complex fractures are usually treated with surgery. Doctors may use screws, metal plates, or pins to stabilize the fracture and allow your bone to heal in its proper place.
Immediate medical attention is required for bone fractures in which the skin has been severely damaged or torn.
BASS Urgent Care counts with experienced orthopedists and physicians to ensure an accurate diagnosis and a prompt recovery from bone fractures. Your health is our priority. Reach out to us!