Fracture (cont.)

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What are the signs and symptoms of a bone fracture?

When bones break, they cause pain, swelling, and inflammation. The ability to move the joint above or below an injury does not guarantee that the bone is not broken. Instead, it means that the muscles and tendons that move the joint still work.

Unless there is a previous underlying condition that prevents the patient from feeling pain (such as a spinal cord injury or diabetic neuropathy) all broken bones hurt. The pain may or may not be felt at the site of the break but can be referred elsewhere. For example, hip injuries, especially in children, can have knee pain.

Other structures can be damaged when a bone breaks. Numbness and tingling can result if there is nerve inflammation or injury. A limb may be cool and without pulse if the artery at the fracture site is torn, kinked or clots off, preventing blood from circulating.

What are common types of bone fractures?

There are several types of bone fractures for example, stress fractures, compression fractures, open fractures, skull fractures, rib fractures, wrist fractures, hip fractures, leg fractures, and hand, toe, or finger fractures.

Broken wrist

Wrist fractures occur when a victim falls on an outstretched hand causing one or more of the bones that make up the wrist to buckle. Eponyms (names of medical conditions or diseases named after those who discovered or first described them) are common in orthopedics, with types of fractures named after the physicians who initially described them. A Colles' fracture is common wrist fracture whereby a broken distal radius is displaced. A Eponyms  is the reverse of a Colles'. Displaced fractures need to be aligned and kept in position while they heal so that the end result is not only cosmetically normal but also functionally normal. This is especially true if the fracture enters a joint. The joint surface needs to align perfectly, otherwise, over time, arthritis may develop limiting function and causing pain. Wrist fractures are perhaps the most common fracture of people under the age of 75.

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?