General Fracture Information
A fracture is a common injury that involves breaking or cracking a bone. The most common reason fractures occur is trauma, such as a motor vehicle accident, repetitive overuse, or a fall onto the bone. Bones are among the strongest tissues in the body but can be partially or completely fractured in various ways. The severity of the fracture will depend on how and where the bone breaks along the bone.
Bones are strongest in the middle and decrease in strength toward the ends, where fractures often occur. Certain risk factors can increase your chances of fracture, such as bone density, calcium or vitamin D deficiency, and aging.
- Bruising, swelling, and point tenderness over the site of injury
- Pain with most motions of the limb affected
- Deformity of the tissue affected
- Dull ache at rest and sharp pain with movement
Fractures are diagnosed with X-rays, which provide clear images of bones. X-rays can show what type of fracture has occurred and what other tissue may be involved around the broken bone.
The fracture type and its location in the body will dictate treatment and healing times. The most common treatment is a cast to immobilize the tissue and let the bone heal itself. If there is too much damage for the bone to heal, then surgery may be needed to stabilize the bone through an internal or external fixation.