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  Trauma  
 
 
 
What is Fracture ?
 
  • A broken or cracked bone
  • Occurs when pressure is applied to bone
  • Occurs with / without displacement of bone fragment
 
Types Of Fracture
 
  • Open fracture: Skin breaks causing open wound
  • Closed fracture: Skin not broken 
  • Complicated fractures: Damage of adjacent organs
  • Stress fracture: Hairline crack due to repeated stress
  • Greenstick fracture: In children's flexible bones
 
 Types of Bone Fractures
 
There are several ways to classify a bone fracture, which satisfies specific motives. Each of the bone fracture types, gives us certain information about the fracture, which influences the type of treatment given to a person. Hence, it is very important to understand which of the several types of bone fractures, does one actually have.
 
Displaced Bone Fracture is when the broken ends of a fracture move away from each other and there is a significant gap between them, when seen on an x-ray. The significant gap is different for different types of bone fractures, for example, a gap of 3-4 mm may be insignificant in a humerus bone fracture, but can be significant in a finger phalanx fracture.
Undisplaced Bone Fracture or Hairline Fracture is when a bone develops a crack or breaks through and through, but the broken ends remain in place, without any displacement or gap. These bone fractures, are best treated with a simple fiberglass or plaster cast and generally do not require surgical treatment.
Pathological Bone Fracture is when a bone has been weakened by a disease, like cancer, osteoporosis, etc., and develops a fracture. Such bone fractures do not require a lot of force and are possible after trivial falls or even without any traumatic incident.
Compound Bone Fracture is when the broken bones pierce the skin and create an external wound. These bone fractures are associated with higher rates of infection, due to exposure of the bone to the surrounding dirt and also cause profuse bleeding from the wound.
 
Long Bone Fracture Types
 
Long bones, like femur (thigh bone), tibia & fibula (leg bones), humerus (arm bone), radius & ulna (forearm bones) or clavicle (collar bone), have particular types of bone fractures, where the edges of broken bones have a characteristic shape. This not only influences the outcome of the bone fracture, but also dictates the bone fracture repair method which can be used for treatment.
Spiral Fracture is when a twisting force is applied to a bone, resulting in long curvy edges of the broken bones, like a spiral. Due to the zig-zag nature of the fractured ends of bone, it is slightly easier to treat a spiral fracture of long bones.
Comminuted Fracture is when a bone breaks into several small pieces and is the result of high velocity injuries, like car accidents, or falls from a height. Such bone fractures generally are very difficult to treat, and result in a deformity of the injured part even after treatment.
 
  • Symptoms
  • Severe pain 
  • Difficulty in movement
  • Swelling/ bruising / bleeding 
  • Deformity / abnormal twist of limb
  • Tenderness on applying pressure
 
First Aid
 
  • Depends on type & location of fracture
 
For open fractures
 
  • Control bleeding before treatment
  • Rinse and dress the wound
For open / closed fractures
 
  • Check the breathing 
  • Calm the person 
  • Examine for other injuries
  • Immobilize the broken wound 
  • Apply ice to reduce pain / swelling
  • Consult a doctor 
Do Not :
 
  • Massage the affected area
  • Straighten the broken bone 
  • Move without support to broken bone
  • Move joints above / below the fracture
  • Give oral liquids / food
Prevention
 
Wear protective pads / helmets when driving
Teach children / practice, safe habits