A fracture is a condition in which there is a break in the continuity of the bone. This happens almost instantly as a result of an impact, stress, or other type of trauma to the bone. This may also be a result of certain conditions such as osteoporosis or bone cancer.
Fractures are due to the breaking or cracking in the bone. Here are a few of the common types of fractures:
- Displaced or Nondisplaced Fractures. Displaced means that the bones are broken apart and are not correctly aligned.
- Closed or open fractures. Open fractures means that the skin continuity is altered. Bone fragments may be seen in this case. Closed fractures are fractures that do not involve any skin breakage.
- Pain. Although bones do not perceive pain, you will feel pain following a fracture in the surrounding tissues. It often happens as a result of an injury, so pain is apparent when there is a fracture.
- Swelling – a result of bleeding and the body’s way of healing itself.
Muscle spasms – though this does not happen all the time, it’s the body’s way of holding the bones together.
Most orthopedic injuries are acted upon by the use of RICE. Rest. Ice. Compression. Elevation.
Depending on the severity of your condition, your orthopedic specialist may do the following to better treat your fracture:
- Splinting – to immobilize the affected area allowing it to heal normally and correctly.
- Cast Application – with the use of a fiberglass cast, the affected body part is immobilized so as to better facilitate healing.
- Fixation – Fixation using pins and/or metal plates may be used to treat fractures. This is only needed when the fracture is severely displaced that your doctor may need to realign the fracture for it to heal correctly.
- Bone Grafts – Only needed when fractures are way too fragmented that it is very difficult to put them together.
The best way to prevent fractures is to take care of yourself. Here are a few cases where the risk of a fracture is greater.
Age – young children tend to become very active which makes them prone to injuries.
Lifestyle – smokers generally have lower bone density which then increases the risk of developing a fracture after an injury.
Health Conditions – Conditions such as osteoporosis (decreased bone strength) makes one prone to developing fractures, or otherwise. There are also other conditions that may increase your risk of developing post injury fractures.