- Posted on: Oct 15 2017
Some people confuse when a bone is described as fractured. They believe this to be somehow less than a “broken” bone. For instance, when their favorite quarterback has a fractured ulna, they may think this is less than broken.
Nope. A fracture is simply the medical term for a broken bone.
It’s not like they’re rare, either. Whether you broke your collarbone when playing touch football or broke your wrist when slipping on ice, join the crowd. Americans average two fractured bones in their lifetime.
At Urgent Orthopedics, we treat fractures regularly.
What is a fracture?
The definition of a fracture is a break or crack in a bone that occurs when the bone cannot withstand the amount of force being placed on it. Most fractures are the result of trauma, such as a fall or impact to the body. Fractures can be complete or partial.
The type of fracture dictates the treatment. For instance, a partially fractured bone may simply need to be immobilized for a period to heal. A displaced fracture may require the broken bones to be realigned in a surgical procedure before splinting or casting.
Types of fractures
The main categories of fractures are displaced, non-displaced, open, and closed.
- Displaced fractures— The bone snaps into two or more parts and moves so that the two ends are not aligned. If the bone has broken into many pieces, it is known as a comminuted fracture.
- Non-displaced fractures— The bone cracks either part or all of the way through, but it does not move, and it maintains the proper alignment.
- Open fractures— The bone breaks through the skin. It may initially break through the skin and then recede into the wound.
- Closed fractures— The bone breaks, but there is no puncture or open wound in the skin.
Many fractures require emergency treatment. Some minor fractures that won’t require emergency treatment may be something like a fracture of the tip of a baby toe.
Fractured bones need to be set in proper position to heal properly and return normal function. Setting the bone is called reduction. If this can be done without surgery, it is known as closed reduction. Most serious fractures require open reduction. This will involve repositioning and possible use of pins, plates, screws, rods, or bone glue to hold the bones together.
If you think you may have a fracture, call the team at Urgent Orthopedic Specialists. Our surgeons will provide expert care, getting you back to what you like to do as soon as possible. Call us, 432-520-3020.
Posted in: Fracture Care