Bone Fracture
(Broken Bone)

Fracture Summary
Fractures occur when bone cannot withstand the outside forces applied to the bone. Fractures can be open or closed. Types of fractures include: greenstick, spiral, comminuted, transverse, compound, or vertebral compression. Common fractures include: stress fracture, compression fracture, rib fracture, and skull fracture. Treatment depends upon the type of fracture.
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Bone fracture facts

  • Bone fracture, broken bone, bone crack all mean he same thing. The bone has been damaged such that. None of these terms indicate the severity of the bone damage.
  • Bones are the body's storage place for calcium. Under hormone control, calcium content of bone is constantly increasing or decreasing.
  • Bones break when they cannot withstand a force or trauma applied to them. Sometimes the bones are so weak that force may be just gravity, such as compression fractures of the back in the elderly.
  • Fracture descriptions help explain how the breakage appears. For examples, whether or not the fragments are aligned (displaced fracture) and whether or not there is skin overlying the injury is damaged (compound fracture).
  • Fractures may be complicated by damage to nearby blood vessels, nerves and muscles and joints.
  • Fractures in children may be more difficult to diagnose because their bones lack enough calcium to be seen on X-ray, and because growth plates in the bones may disguise or hide the fracture.
  • Diagnosis of a fracture includes a history and physical examination. X-rays are often taken. Occasionally, CT or MRI scans are ordered to find an occult or hidden fracture, or provide more information regarding the damage to the bone and adjacent tissues.
  • Fractures of the skull, spine and ribs have their own unique diagnosis and treatment complications.

Introduction and definition to bone fracture

Bones form the skeleton of the body and allow the body to be supported against gravity to move and function in the world. Bones also protect some body parts, and bone marrow is the production center for blood products.

Bone is not a stagnant organ. It is the body's reservoir of calcium and is always undergoing change under the influence of hormones. Parathyroid hormone increases blood calcium levels by leeching calcium from bone, while calcitonin has the opposite effect, allowing bone to accept calcium from the blood.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/9/2013

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Fracture - Describe Your Experience Question: Please describe what type of fracture you experienced.
Fracture - Causes Question: What caused your fracture?
Fracture - Treatment Question: Besides surgery, what types of treatment did you have for your bone fracture?
Bone Fracture - Signs and Symptoms Question: How did you know you had more than a sprain or strain? What were your signs and symptoms of a broken bone?
Bone Fracture - Surgery Question: Did you have surgery to fix your broken bone(s)? Which bone(s) did you fracture?