A fracture is a medical term for a broken bone. Bone fractures are a common injury among patients of all ages. They occur in different ways and require different treatments to achieve the best outcomes.
Falls and high-impact injuries are the primary causes of bone fractures. Others develop from medical conditions that weaken bones, such as osteoporosis and certain types of cancer.
Fractures can be classified in many different ways, including:
- A simple fracture occurs along one line, splitting the bone into two pieces.
- A comminuted fracture occurs when the bone shatters into multiple pieces.
- A non-displaced fracture refers to a broken bone that has not separated or moved out of place.
- A displaced fracture refers to a break in which the two ends of the bone are separated from one another.
- A closed fracture occurs when the broken bone does not break through the skin.
- An open (or compound) fracture refers to a break that punctures the skin and exposes the bone.
- A stress fracture is a small crack in a bone that is typically caused by overuse and repetitive activity.
- A compression fracture occurs when the front portion of a vertebra in the spine collapses due to osteoporosis, injury or trauma.
Many fractures are very painful and may prevent you from moving or bearing weight on the limb or joint. There may also be swelling, tenderness and/or bruising over the site of the fracture, and the limb may look deformed.
Treatment will depend upon the type of injury and the specific bone involved. Some fractures can be treated by stabilizing and immobilizing the limb or joint in a cast to keep the broken ends of the bone in proper position while they heal. Other fractures may require surgery, with or without internal fixation (metal plates and screws) to realign the bones and repair possible injury to arteries or nerves.
Lancaster Orthopedic Group offers a comprehensive range of treatment options for all types of fractures, helping each patient receive the most appropriate and most effective care.