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Understand the Different Types of Fractures

Your bones are pretty sturdy. As the frame for your body, they’re meant to carry a lot of pressure. But sometimes they can break under pressure or force.

A broken bone is also known as a fracture, but not every fracture is equal. Some fractures can be minor and heal on their own, while other fractures can be more complex and may even require surgery. In this blog, the providers at Wellington Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine explain more about the different types of fractures.

Causes of bone fractures

The most common cause of bone fractures is trauma or injury. This may include a fall on the stairs, a car accident, or a hit during sports. 

Another common cause of bone fractures is osteoporosis. The name literally means “porous bones,” and it describes a loss of bone density. This condition can increase with age, and it’s particularly common among women. You may be able to prevent getting this condition by engaging in weight-bearing exercise and taking in sufficient levels of calcium.

Another common cause is overuse of certain bones. Runners and other athletes may especially be at risk of developing these injuries due to repeatedly striking the pavement.

Children are also more prone to bone fractures, usually as a result of playing. However, many childhood bone fractures are less complicated than adult fractures, because children’s bones are stronger and less brittle.

Symptoms of a bone fracture

It’s usually not hard to tell when you have a bone fracture. The most common symptoms of a fracture include the following:

If you have a bone fracture, you should always get medical attention right away. 

The different types of fractures

There are basically four types of fractures, and a break can fall into one or more of these categories. The categories are open fractures, closed fractures, displaced fractures, and nondisplaced fractures. 

Open fractures

An open fracture occurs when the bone breaks through the skin. If you have this type of fracture, you have a higher risk of developing a deep bone infection.

Closed fractures

A closed fracture occurs when the bone breaks but the skin is not punctured.

Displaced fractures

With a displaced fracture, the bone breaks into two or more parts and will not line up. These fractures usually require surgery to realign the bones.

Nondisplaced fractures

A nondisplaced fracture occurs when a bone breaks fully or partially, but the bone doesn’t move out of alignment.

There are subtypes of each of these categories as well, and they help determine the severity of a fracture and how it should be treated.

Bone fractures are always serious and they always require medical attention. Some minor fractures, including stress fractures, may heal on their own, but you should still get a professional evaluation to determine the most appropriate treatment.

If you get a fracture, seek emergency care. Then follow up with us for treatment by booking an appointment online or over the phone with Wellington Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine today.

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