A bone fracture happens when any bone in the human body is broken or cracked. Bone fractures can range extensively in severity and can various reasons. A crack in which a bone splits into two parts is usually caused by trauma. Bone fracture can also be a minor injury due to specific medical conditions that weaken the You do not have access to view this node, such as osteoporosis, bone cancer. In such cases, the fracture is then correctly termed as a pathologic fracture. However, fractures can also result from recurring stress. The suitable treatment for a broken bone will rely on the severity of the break and the bone that is broken. Although broken bone and bone break are common terms used for a bone fracture, break is not a formal orthopedic term.
What causes a fracture?
Fractures happen when bone cannot endure the outside forces. Fractures can occur because of direct blows, twisting injuries, or falls. Fracture, break, or cracks all are same. The veracity of the bone has been lost and the bone structure fails during a fracture. Broken bones hurt for a wide-range of reasons including:
Broken bones may bleed and when it is associated with swelling (edema), it causes pain.
Muscles that surround the injured area may go into spam when they try to hold the broken bone fragments in place and these spasms cause additional pain.
The nerve endings that surround bones contain pain fibers and these fibers become irritated when the bone is broken or bruised.
Mostly, a fracture is easy to detect, as there is clear deformity. On the other hand, sometimes, it is not easily diagnosed. It is vital for the doctor to take a history of the injury to decide what major problems might exist. In addition, fractures don't always occur in isolation, and there may be associated injuries that need to be taken care.
What are the different types of fractures?
Physicians classify fractures in the following ways:
Complete fracture: A complete fracture occurs when the bone has broken into two pieces.
Greenstick fracture: A greenstick fracture occurs when the bone cracks on one side only, not from end to end.
Single fracture: A single fracture occurs when the bone is broken in one place.
Comminuted fracture: A comminuted fracture occurs when the bone is broken into more than two pieces or crushed.
Bowing fracture: A bowing fractures occurs only in kids when the bone bends but may not break.
Open (compound) fracture: An open fracture occurs when the bone is sticking through the skin that may therefore expose bone to contamination. Open injuries carry a higher risk of infection.
Closed (simple) fracture: This fracture occurs in which the skin is intact.
Compression fractures: Compression fracture happens in the body part called ‘vertebrae’, for instance, when the front portion of a vertebra in the spine disintegrates due to osteoporosis (a medical condition which causes bones to become fragile and prone to fracture, with or without trauma).
Linear fracture: A fracture that is similar to the You do not have access to view this node's long axis.
Transverse fracture: A fracture that is at a right angle to the You do not have access to view this node's long axis.
Oblique fracture: A fracture that is diagonal to a You do not have access to view this node's long axis.
Spiral fracture: A fracture where at least one part of the bone has been twisted.
Impacted fracture: A fracture caused when bone fragments are obsessed into each other.
What are the symptoms of a bone fracture?
Usually, when a bone fracture happens in any part of the body, the immediate symptoms is a sharp pain. However, the pain is often like the deep ache a person may get due to a super bad stomachache or headache. In case of an open fracture, the pain is very sharp. Breaking a bone is a big shock to the whole body. It's normal for a person to receive strong messages from all parts of the body that aren't anywhere close to the fracture. A person who had fracture may feel the following sensations from the shock:
Pain, swelling, and sometimes bruising are the most common signs of a fracture in the foot.
Edema of nearby soft tissues caused by bleeding of torn blood vessels creates pressure pain.
Damage to adjacent structures such as nerves or vessels, spinal cord and nerve roots (for spine fractures), or cranial contents (for skull fractures) can cause other precise signs and symptoms.
How to treat a bone fracture?
One can take first aid measures to care for most breaks before calling for emergency help or getting help from a doctor.
It is vital to call 911 and get emergency help without delay in the following cases, such as, if the bone had cut the You do not have access to view this node, if there is discoloration around the affected area, if a person is caring for an impassive injured person, or if one suspects a neck or skull fracture.
The affected area should be kept elevated above the level of the heart. If a bone in the leg is fractured, lie down and hold the foot up on a pillow or chair.
The area around the broken bone should be treated with ice for 20 minutes every two hours. Wrap the ice in cloth to avoid damaging the You do not have access to view this node.
Anti-inflammatory medication, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen should be taken to decrease inflammation and pain.
The affected area should be wrapped with a compression bandage when ice is not applied, in order to reduce the swelling further.
Reach a physician to schedule an appointment for the assessment of the broke bone and to seek for further treatment to have the bone assessed.
In case of a clean fracture, one may not need to request immediate care in an emergency room. Taking appropriate first-aid measures is sufficient. The doctor will then instruct to handle the situation.
With the help of crutches or an arm sling, keep all weight off the broken bone to aid immobilize the affected area.
A person had his bone fracture should visit a doctor as soon as possible and follow the recovery plan. The doctor will probably take x-rays and may place the fractured bone in a cast or splint to immobilize it and encourage appropriate healing.
It is vital to eat a balanced diet, take enough calcium, stick to the recovery plan and especially quit smoking to speed up the healing process.
Is surgery recommended for a bone fracture?
Surgical methods of treating fractures have their own risks and benefits, but typically surgery is done only if traditional treatment has failed or is expected to fail.
Rarely, bone grafting is used to correct a fracture.
Occasionally, bones are reinforced with metal including titanium and its alloys. These implants must be designed and installed with care. In this case, the problem is abridged, but not eliminated, by the use of low-modulus materials. The heat generated by the friction of installing hardware can easily accumulate and damage bone You do not have access to view this node, reducing the strength of the connections.
What are the complications of a fracture?
A few fractures can lead to serious complications including a condition known as compartment syndrome. If not treated, compartment syndrome can result in amputation of the affected limb.
Other complications may include non-union, where the fractured bone fails to heal or mal-union, where the fractured bone heals in a deformed manner.
It is also possible that complications such as a neuro vascular injury, infection, post-traumatic arthritis, growth abnormalities in children, delayed and mal union of bone can occur.
What is the Recent treatment for a bone fracture?
A study conducted by the University of North Carolina's medical school predicted that a stem cell treatment could be used to treat bone fractures that are failing to heal normally. Adult stem cells supplemented with insulin-like growth factor (IGF-I) were transplanted into non-healing bones in mice by researchers from the University of North Carolina. Researchers then used computed tomography (CT) scans to track the speed of healing in the mice. They found that stem cells empowered with IGF-I restored the formation of new bone in a mouse lacking the ability to repair broken bones. This is the first evidence that stem cell therapy can address a deficiency of fracture repair.