Broken Bones (Fractures)
A broken bone or bone fracture is sometimes is a bone that may be completely fractured or partially fractured in any number of ways (crosswise, lengthwise, in multiple pieces). A bone fracture can be the result of high force impact or stress, or a minimal trauma injury as a result of certain medical conditions that weaken the bones, such as osteoporosis, bone cancer, or osteogenesis imperfecta, where the fracture is then properly termed a pathologic fracture. Read about shoulder fractures.
Types of Broken Bones (Fractures)
Bones are rigid, but they do bend or "give" somewhat when an outside force is applied. However, if the force is too great, the bones will break, just as a plastic ruler breaks when it is bent too far.
The severity of a fracture usually depends on the force that caused the break. If the bone's breaking point has been exceeded only slightly, then the bone may crack rather than break all the way through. If the force is extreme, such as in an automobile crash or a gunshot, the bone may 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.
Common types of fractures include:
The broken ends of the bone line up and are barely out of place.
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.
This type of fracture has a horizontal fracture line.
This type of fracture has an angled pattern.
In this type of fracture, the bone shatters into three or more pieces.
Do you handle after hours emergencies for bone fractures?
We do have a number that is answered 24-hours for medical-related questions. That number is 817-529-1900. However, for any medical emergency requiring immediate attention, please dial 911.
Orthopedics Today is a walk-in injury clinic examining and treating disorders of or injuries to the bone, muscle, joint, and ligament. Phone 817-423-2329