Fractures | Sprains | Bruising

Though our bones bend somewhat, they can only go so far before breaking. Depending on the severity of the force, a bone may only crack, or it can break all the way through or shatter. If the bone breaks in such a way that bone fragments stick out through the skin, or a wound penetrates down to the broken bone, the fracture is called an “open” fracture. This type of fracture is particularly serious because once the skin is broken, infection in both the wound and the bone can occur.

Comminuted Fracture

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

Oblique Fracture

This type of fracture has an angled pattern.

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.

Stable Fracture

The broken ends of the bone line up and are barely out of place.

Transverse Fracture

This type of fracture has a horizontal fracture line.

Causes

The most common causes of fractures are:

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.

Trauma. A fall, a motor vehicle accident or a tackle during a football game can all result in fractures.

Symptoms

Many fractures are very painful and may prevent you from moving the injured area. Other common symptoms include:

  • Swelling and tenderness around the injury
  • Bruising
  • Deformity—a limb may look out of place or a part of the bone may puncture the skin.

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