What is a Fracture?
Put simply; a fracture is a broken bone. It can range from a thin crack to a complete break. A fracture can happen lengthwise, crosswise, into many pieces or in several places. A fracture could happen to anyone; however, people with low bone density or brittle bones are at a higher risk of developing a fracture.
There are different types of fractures and are largely classified as open or closed and complete or incomplete.
Open – In an open fracture, the ends of the broken bone tear your skin
Closed – In a closed fracture, the broken bone doesn’t injure your skin
Complete – In a complete fracture, the bone breaks completely
Incomplete – In an incomplete fracture, the bone doesn’t break completely, it only cracks. This is the most common type of fracture. Types of incomplete fractures include hairline fracture, greenstick fracture and buckle or torus fracture.
What Causes a Fracture?
Generally, a fracture occurs when a bone is impacted by more pressure or force than it can support. The pressure tends to be very intense or occurs suddenly. The severity of the fracture depends on the strength of the force. Causes of fractures include injuries from sports, direct strike to your body, road accidents, falls.
What are the Symptoms of a Fracture?
The most common symptom of a fracture is intense pain when the initial injury happens. The pain may worsen when you touch or move the injured area. In extreme cases, you may even pass out from the pain. You could also feel dizzy or chilled due to the shock. Other symptoms of fracture include:
- Redness, swelling and bruising in the injured area
- Visible deformity in the injured area
- A snap or grinding sound when the injury occurs
- Difficulty in supporting weight with the injured area
How is a Fracture diagnosed?
While diagnosing a fracture, your doctor may ask you to move the affected area in certain ways to check for pain and other signs of injury. If your doctor suspects a fracture, he will ask you to get an X-ray. An X-ray will create images of your bone and reveal signs of damage or a break. X-rays will also indicate the type of fracture and its location. In some cases, an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) or CT scan (computed tomography) may also be ordered to diagnose a fracture.
How is a Fracture Treated ?
The treatment of a fracture depends on its location and type. The general idea is to put the broken bone pieces in their original position and stabilize them as they heal. To do this, the broken bones need to be kept immobile until they heal. For this purpose, your doctor may use a cast. The cast may be made of fiberglass or plaster. In case of complex or compound fractures, your doctor may have to perform surgery. In addition, your doctor may prescribe medication to manage the pain or fight infection. After the initial treatment, you may also have to go for physical therapy or other treatments to regain normal use.
How can a Fracture be prevented?
While a fracture can’t be completely prevented, you can work towards keeping your bones healthy. To this end, consume nutritious food including foods rich in vitamin D and calcium. Also, have an active routine including activities such as walking, running, weight training, hiking, dancing.
We, at all Apollo Clinic, are committed to providing a range of healthcare services to address any kind of health issues. We have state-of-the-art facilities and amenities to help diagnose all kinds of fractures. Our expert and experienced team of orthopedics and support staff leave no stone unturned in offering superior quality care for your fracture.