No matter whether you call it a fracture or a broken bone, both terms describe
the same thing: the loss of continuity of bone. Bones break in many different
ways, hairline fractures to a complete shatter. Common types of fractures include:
- Stable – the broken ends of the bone line up
- Open, compound – the bone sticks out of the skin/skin around the
fracture is compromised
- Transverse – the bone is broken in a horizontal line
- Oblique – the bone is broken at an angle
- Comminuted – the bone has shattered into three or more pieces
Common symptoms of a fracture include:
- Severe pain and/or lack of movement in the area of the injury
- Swelling and tenderness around the injury
- Bruising or discoloration
While many times a fracture can be obvious, some types of fracture may
not be. For example, if everything looks OK externally but you find that
you cannot put weight on the affected area, a fracture is more likely.
Some fractures can be life-threatening, therefore all require immediate
attention. Open fractures, for example, expose bone to the environment,
increasing the risk of infection.
Fractures do not discriminate – they can happen to anyone regardless
of age. However, the risk of a fracture increases with age as a result
of age-associated thinning and weakening of bone. Common causes of fractures
include trauma (such as a fall, car accident or sports injury); Osteoporosis;
and overuse, which can stress a bone, resulting in a fracture.
While some fractures will heal on their own, it is best to have every fracture
examined by a medical professional. The most common types of treatment
for fractures are casting or bracing. Sometimes surgical treatment is
necessary to ensure bones are properly aligned so the body can rebuild the bone.
King’s Daughters specialists treat fractures of all types, including:
One Patient Story - Trent Salyers