What are fractures?1,3
A fracture is the medical term for a broken bone. Although most bone fractures are caused by high impact falls, car accidents or sports injuries, fractures may also occur as a result of certain medical conditions. In addition, there are several different types of bone fractures one may experience. A bone may be completely fractured or partially fractured in a number of ways (crosswise, lengthwise, or in multiple pieces).
Therefore, not every bone fracture is the same. That’s why we will try to cover everything you need to know about bone fractures in this article. Let’s dive right in!
More about bone fractures2,4-6
Bone fractures are a common fact of life. The risk of experiencing a bone fracture depends on a number of factors. The bones that are most commonly affected and the type of fracture one might experience varies by a person’s age, gender, and physical activity. One big factor is your age. For instance, children may break a bone when they fall or have an accident while playing. On the other hand, the risk of a bone fracture rises among adults over the age of 40 years due to a decrease in bone strength caused by a gradual loss of bone calcium, called osteopenia or osteoporosis.
Some facts on bone fractures:3,4
- Fractures can occur in any bone in your body
- A crack in one of your bones is also known as a fracture
- Most bone fractures are caused by falls, accidental trauma or sports injuries
- Bone fractures can also be caused by diseases such as osteopenia, osteoporosis, or bone cancer. These fractures are referred to as “pathological fractures”
- The healing of a bone fracture is a natural process
Healthy bones are extremely tough and resilient. The healthier your bones are, the greater the impact they can withstand. On the other hand, the weaker your bones are, the more likely it is that even a relatively small impact may cause a fracture.4
How can you be sure that you have a bone fracture? Luckily, there are many signs and symptoms that tell you whether or not you have experienced a bone fracture. Of course, this varies depending on the affected bone, your age and health status, and the severity of the injury. However, common signs and symptoms of a bone fracture often include:1,2,4,6
- Acute onset of intense pain
- Swelling and bruising
- Localized inflammation
- An unusual, bent angle to the affected area
- Inability to put weight on the affected limb
- Barely able to move the affected area
Now that we know more about the background of bone fractures, let’s look at the different types.
Different types of bone fractures1
Of course, there are different kinds of fractures that you might have. But what makes one fracture different from another? Well, that has everything to do with the strength of the force that causes the break. Every bone has its own breaking point of force that it can withstand. When this breakpoint is exceeded slightly, your bone will likely crack. But when the breakpoint is exceeded to the maximum, your bone will break all the way through. If the force is extreme, such as in an automobile crash or a gunshot injury, the bone may shatter.
Now, let’s take a look at the most common types of fractures:
- Stable fracture1
The broken ends of the fractured bone line up and are slightly out of place
- Open or compound fracture1
This means the broken bone pierces your skin. This can also be caused by a blow that breaks the skin at the time of the fracture. With an open fracture, the bone may or may not be visible in the wound
- Closed fracture2,4,6
This means there is no open wound in the skin caused by the broken bone
- Displaced fracture6
This means the fractured bone snaps into two pieces that are not lined up straight
- Transverse fracture1
A bone fracture with a horizontal fracture line
- Oblique fracture1
The fracture has an angled pattern
- Comminuted fracture4
The fractured bone is shattered into pieces
- Hairline fracture4
This means that only a part of the bone is cracked or fractured
- Pathological fracture4
Fractures that are caused by underlying diseases or conditions that weakened the bone
- Stress fracture4
This type of fracture is common among athletes. The fracture is caused by repeated stress and strain
The severity of a bone fracture always depends on the type and location of the fracture. Severe fractures often have dangerous complications if they are not treated promptly. These complications often include damage to surrounding blood vessels or nerves, and infection of the bone or surrounding tissue.2
How EXOGEN helps you recover from a bone fracture
Of course, everyone needs a little downtime. But a bone fracture may give you a lot more downtime than you’d want. Luckily for you, there’s something you can do to accelerate the time it takes to heal from a bone fracture.
For instance, have you ever tried the EXOGEN Ultrasound Bone Healing System? This treatment may be helpful, especially when a fracture is not healing as it normally should. In these cases, EXOGEN may be your best treatment option. With just 20 minutes a day, you get safe treatment that can accelerate your natural bone-healing power. This treatment facilitates faster healing to certain* broken bones, and restores healing to a fracture that has failed to heal.
Just make sure you use the device on a daily basis or as prescribed by a physician. The monitor automatically records each treatment, so you can track your daily progress. Read more about how EXOGEN works here, and find out if it’s right for you!
- Fractures (broken bones). Last updated October 2012. https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases--conditions/fractures-broken-bones.
- Wedro B. Broken fracture (broken bone). Last updated July 17, 2019. www.emedicinehealth.com/bone_fracture_broken_bone/article_em.htm#bone_fracture_facts.
- Fractures. Last updated December 13, 2019. https://medlineplus.gov/fractures.html.
- Brazier Y. What is aa fracture? Last updated December 14, 2017. medicalnewstoday.com/articles/173312.php.
- Looker AC, Isfahani NS, Fan B, Shepherd JA. FRAX-based estimates of 10-year probability of hip and major osteoporotic fracture among adults aged 40 and over: United States, 2013 and 2014. Natl Health Stat Report. 2017;(103):1-16.
- Wedro B. Broken bone (types of bone fractures). Last updated July 17, 2019. www.medicinenet.com/broken_bone_types_of_bone_fractures/article.htm.