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Fractures: What is a Bone Fracture and What Are the Fracture Types?
Have you ever observed a crack in a wall? Ever wondered why it occurs? It usually happens when the pressure from above surpasses the strength of the bricks, causing cracks to appear along the wall. The same thing can happen to your bone; if an external pressure exceeds the bones’ strength, which is likely during a fall or accident, it may result in a fracture.1
A fracture is a broken bone that requires medical attention.1 This section will brief you about the different types of fractures.
Types of Fractures
Stable Fracture (Non-displaced)
In this type of fracture, the ends of your broken bones are aligned and do not require realignment. Most patients with stable fractures are advised to use a cast or splint and take rest to heal the fracture.1,2
In this type of fracture, the ends of your broken bones are barely aligned, and you may require surgery to realign the broken bone sections.3
This form of fracture is also known as a compound fracture. It occurs when a fractured bone protrudes from the skin, resulting in a wound at the fracture site that can lead to infection and bleeding. Treatment of this fracture is challenging and requires surgery (internal and external fixation).4
In this form of fracture, the bone is fractured but the skin is not broken.3
This form of fracture often occurs in the lower leg or foot as a tiny crack in the bone. It can be caused due to repeated high stress from activities like intense running beyond normal or incase bone is highly weak it may crack easily.5
It is a small crack on one side of the bone that results in the bending of a bone. Children are more susceptible to this type of fracture as their bones are soft and flexible.6
In the case of this type of fracture, the bone is broken into multiple fragments.1 This type of fracture may take more time to heal than other types of fractures.7
This type of fracture occurs when two bones are compressed.3 It commonly occurs in the vertebrae (the bones of the spine). It is common in older people, especially those with osteoporosis.8
In this form of fracture, a part of the bone attached to soft tissue (such as ligament and tendon) gets pulled away from the main bone. This type of fracture commonly occurs in the elbow, ankle, and hip.9
How To Manage Fractures?
In the event of injury, if you feel you may have a fracture or if you are experiencing redness and swelling around the fracture site, consult your doctor right away. A healthcare provider can accurately identify the fracture and provide effective treatment.3
1. AAOS. Orthoinfo. Fractures (Broken Bones). [Internet] [Cited 28 April 2022] Available from: orthoinfo.aaos.org
2. Dalal S. and Barrie J.L. Do patients with stable foot and ankle fractures want a cast? Orthopedic Proceedings 2012 94-B: SUPP_XXII, 52-52.
3. Cleveland Clinic. Bone fractures. [Internet] [Cited 28 April 2022]. Available from: my.clevelandclinic.org
4. AAOS. Orthoinfo. Open Fractures. [Internet] [Cited 28 April 2022]. Available from: orthoinfo.aaos.org
5. Mayo Clinic. Stress Fractures. Symptoms and causes. [Internet] [Cited 28 April 2022]. Available from: www.mayoclinic.org
6. Mayo Clinic. Greenstick Fractures. Symptoms and causes. [Internet] [Cited 28 April 2022]. Available from: www.mayoclinic.org
7. Cleveland Clinic. Comminuted Fracture. [Internet] [Cited 28 April 2022]. Available from: my.clevelandclinic.org
8. Cleveland Clinic. Compression Fractures. [Internet] [Cited 28 April 2022]. Available from: my.clevelandclinic.org
9. Mayo Clinic. Avulsion Fracture: How is it treated? [Internet] [Cited 28 April 2022]. Available from: www.mayoclinic.org