What Are Fractures?

Referring to a break in the bone, fractures can happen at any part of your body. As it can hinder mobility and cause enormous amounts of pain, it is important to get it treated right away.

 

The human skeletal system may be capable of withstanding enormous amounts of pressure, but it is still capable of breaking. Fractures are typically placed in 2 categories: closed or open fracture. A closed fracture refers to a break in a bone that does not break through the skin. An open fracture (also called a compound fracture) is one in which the broken bone fragments are in communication with the external environment. This type of fracture is more serious and requires immediate medical attention. Fractures also range in severity from a hairline crack to a complete break in the bone.

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Causes and Risk Factors of Fractures

There are two main causes of fractures – a strong external pressure applied to the bone or an underlying medical condition. As such, the risk factors of fractures are as follows:

 

  • Experiencing a bad fall or being in a motor vehicle accident
  • Age – the bones get weaker over years which increases the chances of getting a fracture
  • Repeated stress or strains to the bones (typical in athletes)
  • Underlying medical conditions such as osteoporosis, metabolic disorders of the bone, underlying bone cysts or bone cancers.

 

Here are the common fractures for each body part:

 

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Fractures Each Body Part May Experience

Lower Body (Hips, thighs, knees, ankle, and foot)

  • Hip Fractures
  • Femur Shaft Fractures
  • Fractures Around the Knee
  • Tibia Fractures
  • Ankle and Foot Fractures

Upper Body (Shoulders, elbows, wrists, and hands)

  • Clavicle Fractures
  • Proximal Humerus Fracture
  • Humeral Shaft Fractures
  • Fractures Around the Elbow
  • Radius and Ulna Fracture
  • Distal Radius Fractures
  • Hand and Finger Fractures

Spine

  • Spine Fractures

 

Common Symptoms of Fractures

The symptoms of fractures vary according to the location and severity of the injury. Your age and general health also have an impact on the symptoms. Besides pain, swelling, and bruising, other symptoms of fractures include:

 

  • Experiencing a grating sensation at the injured bone or joint
  • Discoloured skin around the affected area
  • The affected area may be bent at an unusual angle
  • Being unable to put weight on the injured area
  • Being unable to move the affected area
  • Bleeding from an open fracture
  • Dizziness and nausea may occur when a large bone is injured (such as the thigh or the hip)

 

If you think you have experienced a fracture, call for medical help immediately and try not to move in case of further damage.

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