It isn’t always easy to tell if you have a fractured bone. Sometimes the damage to the bone may be minimal. So even if there is pain involved, it can be difficult for a doctor to see with an X-ray. Other times fractures may be more evident such as a bone that’s been shattered into multiple pieces.
A fracture is defined as any time there is a loss of continuity of the bone. This includes any time the bone loses its integrity. People often think that a fracture is different from a broken bone, or that it is not as severe. But in reality, a fracture and a broken bone are the same thing and the terms can be used interchangeably in the medical field.
3 Ways to Tell If You Have a Fracture
If it is difficult for a physician to tell if their patient has a fracture or not simply by using an X-ray for proof, there are other ways to find out the severity of the pain they’re experiencing. You may have a fracture even if you haven’t experienced an accident. In the case of a stress fracture, for instance, you could have a small break due to the overuse of certain muscles. So, just because you haven’t fallen or been involved in an accident does not rule out the fact that you could have a fracture.
Here are a few things to keep in mind if you suspect you may have a fractured bone.
When bruising occurs, it means that there has been some tissue damage. Blood has managed to escape from the capillaries and therefore something isn’t right. Bruising can occur with any type of tissue damage with or without bone breakage. But, if you suspect that you may have a fracture and there is also bruising in the area, it is very possible that a break has occurred.
It is very common for broken bones to cause swelling. Certain injuries will cause fluids and blood to leak into the soft tissues of our body. These tissues include fat, muscle, and skin. All this additional fluid causes our soft tissues to swell. Although swelling can occur due to a number of medical conditions that do not involve trauma, if it occurs following an injury, it’s very likely that the swelling is related and that there is a fracture.
Deformity is possibly the best indication of a bone fracture. Any time your arm or leg bends where it isn’t supposed to, it’s a sign that a bone is not in place. This is also true if a bone is sticking out through the skin. However, there are times when the bone could just be dislocated and not broken.
When to Go to The Emergency Room
It isn’t always an emergency situation when you have a bone fracture. Going to your family physician for a break, or to an urgent care center if the injury occurs after hours should provide the right amount of treatment and care. Primary care physicians can often perform an X-ray in the office. But if not, they may send you to the ER to have the test done if needed.
If you suspect you may have a fractured bone, do not put off going to the doctor any longer, especially if you are in pain. Because it is often difficult to determine if a bone is fractured, you could end up with a break that is more serious than you realize. For fast assistance with broken bones, or other common health concerns, get in touch with BASS Urgent Care today for assistance. We are here to help when you are unable to visit your doctor in time.