Description of Bone Fracture
Any break in a bone, which may be complete or incomplete. There are many different forms of fracture, and these are listed below:
. Simple fracture (or closed fracture). In this type, the skin remains more or less intact.
. Compound fracture (or open fracture). An open wound connects the bone with the surface. This type of fracture is more serious as it provides a greater risk of infection and more blood loss.
. Pathological fracture. A fracture in a diseased bone, which often occurs in people, especially women, with osteoporosis.
. Stress fracture. Occurs in a bone that suffers recurrent, persistent stress e.g. the march fracture sometimes seen in the second toe of soldiers after long marches.
. Greenstick fracture. This occurs only in young children, whose bones are still soft and tend to bend. The fracture occurs on the opposite side to the causal force.
. Complicated fracture. This involves damage to surrounding soft tissue including nerves and blood vessels.
. Depressed fracture. This refers only to the skull when a piece of bone is forced inwards and may damage the brain.
. Comminuted fracture. A serious injury to a bone in which more than one break occurs, accompanied by splintering and damage to the surrounding tissues. It usually results from a crushing force with damage to nerves, muscles and blood vessels, and the bone is difficult to set.
Persons most commonly affected by Bone Fracture - all age groups and both sexes.
Organ or part of body involved in Bone Fracture - bones.
Symptoms and indications of Bone Fracture
Symptoms include pain, bruising, swelling and bleeding. Also, if nerves are damaged there may be numbness or even paralysis below the level of the injury. If a limb is fractured there is severe pain on movement and an inability to perform normal activities, and the affected limb may appear deformed or rotated. Occasionally there may be a loss of pulse below the fracture site, particularly in the region of the hands and wrists or feet and ankles. Immediate and often emergency medical attention is needed if a person has a fracture or suspected fracture.
Treatment of Bone Fracture
Involves admittance to hospital where X-rays (radiography) are taken to determine the nature and extent of the injury. Surgery is often necessary to repair or set a fracture and the bone or body part is usually immobilized, generally by means of a plaster cast and splints. Sometimes traction is needed, which involves the use of weights and pulleys to apply a pulling force. This ensures that the bone is kept in correct alignment while healing takes place. Once recovery is well under way, physiotherapy is often needed to restore movement.
Causes and risk factors of Bone Fracture
With more serious and complex fractures particularly, healing may take a long time or be only partial. Also, there may be shock and death because of haemorrhage if the injury is severe. There may be damage or obstruction of arteries causing problems in blood circulation or embolism. Fractures are caused by trauma to the bone through accident or injury or repeated stress.