All About Fractures
A fracture is a break, usually in a bone. If the broken bone punctures the skin, it is called an open or compound fracture. Fractures commonly happen because of car accidents, falls, or sports injuries. Other causes are low bone density and osteoporosis, which cause weakening of the bones. Overuse can cause stress fractures, which are very small cracks in the bone.
Symptoms of a fracture are :
- Intense pain
- Deformity – the limb looks out of place
- Swelling, bruising, or tenderness around the injury
- Numbness and tingling
- Problems moving a limb
You need to get medical care right away for any fracture. An x-ray can tell if your bone is broken. You may need to wear a cast or splint. Sometimes you need surgery to put in plates, pins or screws to keep the bone in place.
Diagnosis and Treatment
A doctor will carry out a physical examination, identify signs and symptoms, and make a diagnosis. Doctors will often order an X-ray. In some cases, an MRI or CT scan may also be ordered.
Bone healing is a natural process which, in most cases, will occur automatically. Fracture treatment is usually aimed at making sure there is the best possible function of the injured part after healing.
Treatment also focuses on providing the injured bone with the best circumstances for optimum healing (immobilization). The patient is usually asleep under a general anesthetic when fracture reduction is done. Fracture reduction may be done by manipulation, closed reduction (pulling the bone fragments), or surgery.