Fractures are broken bones and can occur for a variety of reasons – when enough force is applied – usually due to trauma from an accident, such as a motor vehicle accident; weakening due to osteoarthritis; or repetitive movements and overuse, often associated with athletics. Almost every bone in the body is susceptible to fracture. A bone can be either partially fractured or completely fractured and can happen lengthwise, crosswise, or a fracture can leave the bone in multiple pieces.
Common fracture types are:
Stable fracture – When the fracture does not disrupt the alignment of the bone
Open or compound fracture – When a fracture is accompanied by damage to the soft tissues leaving the bone exposed or when the fractured bone is pushed through the surface of the skin
Transverse fracture – When the bone has a horizontal break
Oblique fracture – When the fracture occurs at an angle through the bone
Comminuted fracture – When the bone breaks or shatters in many pieces
Signs of a fracture:
Swelling – localized to the area of trauma or in the general area
Deformity – if the bone is poking through the skin or if the limb, such as an arm or leg, looks out of place
Your physician will likely perform a physical examination as well as utilize x-rays of the injury to determine the exact location and severity of the fracture. Occasionally, surgery is required to repair the fracture with the use of metal screws or pins – used to stabilize the bone and promote proper healing.
Your fracture may be treated in the following ways:
Cast immobilization – After the bones are repositioned, a plaster or fiberglass cast will provide the necessary stabilization for proper healing
Functional cast or brace – Allows for minor movements of certain joints near the fracture
Traction – Pulling motion used to set a fracture into original position, usually done before casting or surgical repair
External Fixation – Surgical repair of a fracture with the use of pins connected to external plates
Open Reduction and Internal Fixation – Surgical repositioning of multiple pieces of bone and held together with metal pins or screws connected to internal metal bars for stability
Contact COAST Orthopedics today. Dr. Jeffrey Colbert can evaluate and help plan effective treatment for occasional or chronic pain. If pain is a persistent or long-lasting problem in your everyday life, you shouldn’t wait a minute longer. Call today 310-421-2111.