Surgery

Types of Bone Fractures and how they Possibly Happen



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Bone fractures are extremely painful to the person enduring them. Not only do they reduce mobility until they have healed, they introduce the possibility of infection and may require surgery, further extending the healing time. There are different types of fractures, depending on how they occurred and which bones are affected.

Displaced and non-displaced bone fractures

In this type of fracture the bone breaks in more than one spot, causing a piece of the bone to move. When the bone moves, the ends don't match or touch each other and they are not aligned. With non-displaced fractures, the bone may or may not be split all the way through. It is able to move, but it stays aligned.

Closed and open fractures

A closed fracture is one in which the bone breaks, but it doesn't break through the skin. Open fractures break through the skin and may or may not retract. These are dangerous because they introduce a high risk of infection.

Childhood fractures

Children often break bones because they are always running, jumping and climbing. Because their bones are usually softer, fractures occurring in children may be different than those experienced by adults. In a buckle or torus fracture the bone bends on one side causing it to buckle, while the other side is unaffected. Greenstick fractures resemble what happens when a person tries to break a green stick. It bends to the point that a break finally occurs on the other side. Avulsion fractures occur where bones meet tendons or ligaments. When this injury happens, the tendon or ligament tears off a piece of the bone. These are also common in athletes who fail to stretch properly before each activity.

Mature fractures

As a person ages, the bones harden, typically resulting in complete fractures. The bones don't bend as much as they did when the person was younger. This is where open or closed fractures and displaced or non-displaced fractures are more likely to happen. Due to occupational hazards and missteps due to age, impacted or compression factors are common in adults. With compression fractures, intense force pushes two bones together. These occur commonly in the spine and may be a result of weakened bones due to osteoporosis or when a person falls. Impacted fractures are similar, except that it occurs in one bone. With this type, force is applied on both ends of the bone causing it to fracture into separate pieces that jam together. This type is often a result of car accidents or falls.

Not all injuries result in a fracture of a bone. Often, it's the muscles, tendons or ligaments that are affected resulting in intense pain. If it is suspected that a bone may be broken, medical attention is required immediately. The bone needs to be set properly to allow for normal use after the healing process, preventing further medical problems.

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ARTICLE SOURCES AND CITATIONS
  • InfoBoxCallToAction ActionArrowhttp://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/understanding-fractures-basic-information
  • InfoBoxCallToAction ActionArrowhttp://kidshealth.org/parent/general/aches/b_bone.html#