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- The bone may be fractured but stable, which is known as a simple fracture or a closed fracture.
- Bone fragments may be sticking through the skin, which is known as a compound fracture or an open fracture.
- Chip (avulsion fracture)—A small piece of bone is broken away from the main bone and usually attached to a ligament or tendon.
- Compression—The bone is compressed together, such as vertebrae.
- Comminuted—The bone is in pieces.
- Greenstick—One side of the bone is broken and the other side is bent but not broken.
- Intra-articular—The joint is affected.
- Growth plate fracture —A child's developing tissue is fractured.
- Transverse—The bone is broken in a horizontal line that is perpendicular to the surface of the bone cortex.
- Oblique—The bone is broken in a line that is less than a 90° angle to the surface of the bone cortex.
- Spiral—The line of the fracture forms a spiral.
- Stress—A thin fracture line occurs due to overuse rather than a single traumatic incident.
|The Bones of the Body|
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- Decreased muscle mass
- Osteoporosis —decreased bone mass which weakens bones and affects both men and women
- Certain medication used to treat type 2 diabetes
- Accidents or violence
- Participation in sports
- Certain chronic diseases
- Child abuse
- Conditions that increase the risk of falls, such as nerve or muscle disorders
- Certain congenital bone conditions—rare
- Pain, often severe
- Instability of the area around the break
- Inability to use the limb or affected area normally
- Swelling or bruising
- Without surgery—you will have anesthesia to decrease pain while the doctor moves the pieces back into place
- With surgery—pins, screws, plates, rods, or wires may be needed to reconnect the pieces and hold them in place
Healing and Rehabilitation
- Delayed union—It takes longer than usual to heal, but does heal.
- Nonunion—The bone does not heal and needs some special treatment.
- Infection—This is more likely to happen after an open fracture or surgery.
- Nerve or artery damage—This usually occurs as a result of severe trauma.
- Compartment syndrome—This is severe swelling in the spaces of the limbs that causes damage to body tissues.
- Late arthritis—This may happen if the surface of a joint is badly damaged.
- Avoid putting yourself at risk for an accident or other trauma to the bone.
- Do weight-bearing exercise regularly to build and maintain strong bones.
- Do strengthening exercises regularly to build strong muscles and prevent falls.
- Wear protective equipment when playing sports.
- Use proper fitness techniques.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 09/2016
- Update Date: 09/25/2014