Types of fractures
What is a fracture?
A fracture is a break in the bone or cartilage. It usually is a result of trauma.
It can, however, be a result of disease of the bone that leads to weakening, such as osteoporosis, or abnormal formation of the bone from congenital diseases at birth, such as osteogenesis imperfecta.
What are symptoms of a fracture?
Fractures generally cause pain. Sometimes the pain is not elicited until the bone is stressed by use.
Swelling, tenderness, discoloration, and inability to move the affected body part are common. Sometimes deformity of the affected body part is noted. The location and severity of the fracture determine the symptoms and signs.
How are fractures classified?
Fractures are classified by their character and location. Examples of classification include: “spiral fracture of the femur,” “greenstick fracture of the radius,” “impacted fracture of the humerus,” “linear fracture of the ulna,” “oblique fracture of the metatarsal,” “compression fracture of the vertebrae,” and “depressed fracture of the skull.” A “comminuted fracture” is a fracture in which bone is broken into a number of pieces. (This should be distinguished from the “compound fracture” as described below).
Fractures are also named by the trauma event that caused the bone breakage. Examples include: “boxer’s fracture” of the metacarpal bone of the hand, “blowout fracture” of the bones behind the eye, and “stress fracture” of the bones of tibia.”
Some fractures are also named by conditions associated with the bone breakage. For example, a “compound fracture” is a fracture in which there is an associated open wound of the skin which leads directly to the broken bone.
How are fractures treated?
The treatment of a fracture depends on the type of fracture, its severity and location, as well as the underlying condition of the patient.
Fractures are usually treated with resting, non-weight bearing, splints, casting, and surgical procedures.
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