A fracture is a condition in which there is a break in the continuity of the bone. This happens almost instantly as a result of an impact, stress, or other type of trauma to the bone. This may also be a result of certain conditions such as osteoporosis or bone cancer.
Signs and Symptoms
Pain. Although bones do not perceive pain, you will feel pain following a fracture on the surrounding tissues. It often happens as a result of an injury, so pain is apparent when there is a fracture.
Swelling – a result of bleeding and the body’s way of healing itself.
Muscle spasms – though this does not happen all the time, it’s the body’s way of holding the bones together.
Age – young children tend to become very active which makes them prone to injuries.
Lifestyle – smokers generally have lower bone density which then increases the risk of developing a fracture after an injury.
Health Conditions – as stated above, conditions such as osteoporosis (decreased bone strength) makes one prone to developing fractures, or otherwise . There are also other conditions that may increase your risk of developing post injury fractures.
The best way to diagnose a fracture is through X-rays. It shows bone structures in your body and makes it easier for doctors to detect the fracture.
Bone densitometry may also be done to determine your bone density. This will help you determine how strong or brittle your bones are.
MRI or CT scans may also be ordered but not that often. This may help doctors determine any soft tissue involvement.
There are different types of fractures. Major classifications of which are the following:
Displaced or Nondisplaced Fractures. Displaced means that the bones are broken apart and are not correctly aligned.
Closed or open fractures. Open fractures means that the skin continuity is altered. Bone fragments may be seen in this case. Closed fractures are fractures that do not involve any skin breakage.
There are many other classifications and types of fractures. You may search more on the internet about them or speak to our orthopedic specialist to know more .
Most orthopedic injuries are acted upon by the use of RICE. Rest. Ice. Compression. Elevation.
Depending on the severity of your condition, your orthopedic specialist may do the following to better treat your fracture:
Splinting – to immobilize the affected area allowing it to heal normally and correctly.
Cast Application – with the use of a fiberglass cast, the affected body part is immobilized so as to better facilitate healing.
Fixation – Fixation using pins and/or metal plates may be used to treat fractures. This is only needed when the fracture is severely displaced that your doctor may need to realign the fracture for it to heal correctly.
Bone Grafts – Only needed when fractures are way too fragmented that it is very difficult to put them together.