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Most Common Types of Fractures

Most Common Types of FracturesAlthough bones are strong, they are prone to different accidents that may result in painful fractures. It is essential to seek immediate medical attention when you have an injury. 

At DM Foot and Ankle, we proudly offer quality foot care solutions relying on cutting-edge technology to treat our patients effectively.

WHAT IS A FRACTURE?

A fracture is a break or crack in the bone that may be complete or partial. The break may occur lengthwise or crosswise into multiple pieces. They occur due to falls, sports injuries, car accidents, or direct hits. Osteoporosis, some cancer types, and low bone density are other causes of fractures.

Fractures are categorized into: 

  • Open fractures (compound fractures) occur when the bone pokes through the skin and can be seen or when a deep wound exposes the bone through the skin. Once the skin is broken, there is a risk of infection to the bone and wound.
  • Closed fracture (simple fracture) occurs when the bone breaks but does not break the skin.

TYPES OF FRACTURES

    • Comminuted fracture: The bone shatters into several pieces.
    • Complete fracture:  The bone breaks entirely into two pieces.
    • Displaced fracture: The broken bone forms a gap and may require surgery.
    • Stress fracture: The bone gets a hairline crack.
    • Stable fracture: The broken ends of the bone line up and are hardly out of place.
    • Transverse fracture: The broken bone has a horizontal fracture line.
    • Oblique fracture: The break occurs at an angle (diagonally) across the bone
    • Avulsion fracture:  The bone breaks near a tendon or ligament and pulls off a small piece of bone.
    • Segmental fracture: The same bone is split into two places creating a “floating” bone piece.
    • Greenstick fracture: An incomplete bone break causes the rest of the bone to bend.
    • Pathological fracture:  It is caused by an underlying medical condition that weakens and fractures the bone.
    • Impacted fracture: It occurs when a fractured bone impacts another bone.
    • Spiral fracture: It occurs when a part of the bone twists or spirals during a break.
    • Compression fractures: They occur when a bone is crushed, causing it to be flattened or broader in appearance.
    • Partial fracture:  The break doesn’t go throughout the bone.

    SYMPTOMS

    The symptoms vary for different people and include:

    • Numbness and tingling
    • Intense pain
    • Swelling, bruising, and tenderness in the affected area
    • The limb looks deformed or out of place
    • Discolored skin on the affected area
    • Bleeding if it’s an open fracture
    • Inability to use or move the affected limb
    • Inability to put weight on the affected area
    • Grating sensation on the affected area

    A person may experience dizziness, nausea, and lightheadedness in critical cases. 

    DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT

    The doctor takes into account what happened before the injury, as well as the patient’s age and medical history. A physical examination is conducted to reach a diagnosis. The doctor may also run diagnostic tests like an X-ray, CT Scan, and MRI to thoroughly assess the broken limb/bone.

    Treatment aims to set the fractured bones into their usual places and hold them in position to give time for healing. It also helps to minimize pain, prevent complications and restore normal function of the affected area.

    Treatment options include:

    • Medicine to control pain.
    • Splints or casts to immobilize and stabilize the injured area as it heals.
    • Surgery may be performed to put broken bones back in place to promote healing. It may include external or internal fixation devices (metal rods and pins) inserted through the skin to hold bone fragments as they heal.
    • Physical therapy involves performing specific exercises to restore normal strength and motion in the injured area after healing.

    RECOVERY 

    Fractures take several weeks to several months to completely heal, depending on the severity of the injury. An older person may take a longer time to recover fully.

    PREVENTION

    • Stay fit by doing weight-bearing exercises regularly and consuming a balanced diet rich in calcium and vitamin D to strengthen bones. 
    • Avoid falls or accident-prone areas in your surroundings to help prevent broken bones. 
    • Avoid tobacco and nicotine use since they increase the risk of fractured bones by weakening bones.

    We provide customized treatment plans to enable you to recover from any foot and ankle injury fully.  If you think you have a fractured bone contact us today for expert, compassionate podiatric care at DM foot and ankle.

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