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What is a Broken Bone? Edit

A broken bone or a fracture happens when excessive force is applied to your bone and this causes it to break or shatter. Broken bones can happen after accidents, falls, or being struck by something. Some fractures break the bone completely, while others just cause a crack in the bone. Fracture types vary depending on the circumstances of your injury and the amount of force applied to the bone. The risk of broken bones often depends partly on a person's age. Broken bones can be common in childhood and older age.

Types of Broken Bones Edit

Common types of fractures include:

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• Stable fracture: The broken ends of the bone line up and are barely out of place.

• Open, compound fracture: The skin may be pierced by the bone or by a blow that breaks the skin at the time of the fracture. The bone may or may not be visible in the wound.

• Transverse fracture: This type of fracture has a horizontal fracture line.

• Oblique fracture: This type of fracture has an angled pattern.

• Comminuted fracture: In this type of fracture, the bone shatters into three or more pieces.

How do Broken Bones Affect the Skeletal System? Edit

The adult human skeletal system consists of 206 bones, as well as a network of tendons, ligaments, and cartilage that connects them. The skeletal system performs vital functions: support, movement, protection, blood cell production, calcium storage, and endocrine regulation which enables us to survive. If a broken bone occurred it would be difficult for these functions to occur.

X-ray-of-broken-thigh-bone

Causes Edit

The most common causes of fractures are:

•Trauma: A fall, a motor vehicle accident, or a tackle during a football game, or anything in that nature can all result in fractures.

•Osteoporosis: This disorder weakens bones and makes them more likely to break.

•Overuse: Repetitive motion can tire muscles and place more force on bone. This can result in stress fractures. Stress fractures are more common in athletes.


Signs and Symptoms Edit

  • Swelling or bruising over a bone.
  • Deformity of the arm or leg.
  • Pain in the injured area that gets worse when the area is moved or pressure is applied.
  • Loss of function in the injured area.
  • In open fractures, bone protruding from the skin.
Hand cast

Diagnosis Edit

If more pressure is put on a bone than it can stand, it will split or break. A break of any size is called a fracture. If the broken bone punctures the skin, it is called an open fracture (compound fracture). A stress fracture is a hairline fracture in the bone that occurs because of repeated or prolonged forces against the bone.

Treatment Edit

When this situation occurs, call 911 immediately or get to an emergency room as soon as possible, apply ice packs to reduce pain and swelling, and avoid movement. If the wound is open, place a dry clean cloth over the bleeding area. Your doctor will do a careful examination to assess your overall condition, as well as the extent of the injury. He or she will talk with you about how the injury occurred, your symptoms, and your medical history. The most common way to evaluate a fracture is with x-rays which provide clear images of the bone. Your doctor will likely use an x-ray to verify the diagnosis. X-rays can show whether a bone is intact or broken. They can also show the type of fracture and exactly where it is located within the bone. A cast is to be worn on the area of the broken bone for 3-6 months and no sports are to be played until after the 6 month period.

Broken Bones

Broken bones, also referred to as fractures, occur when more pressure is applied to a bone than it can stand. A broken bone that breaks through the skin is called an open fracture. A stress fracture is a hairline fracture in the bone that occurs because of repeated or prolonged forces against the bone. Common causes are: falling from a height, motor vehicle accidents, repetitive forces, etc. Some symptoms include: visibly out-of-place limb or joint, swelling, bruising, bleeding, intense pain, numbness, tingling, broken skin with bone coming out, and limited ability or inability to move a limb. When this situation occurs, call 911 immediately or get to an emergency room as soon as possible, apply ice packs to reduce pain and swelling, and avoid movement. If the wound is open, place a dry clean cloth over the bleeding area. 

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