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Fractures are simply a break in a bone. They can be caused due to injury, (traumatic fractures) or a pre-existing condition like osteoporosis that causes weakening of bones (pathologic fractures). There are many ways to classify fractures. All fractures fall into the major categories of simple and compound fractures. Simple fractures are fractures where bones remain inside the skin and don’t jut out. They are also called closed fractures.
Compound fractures, also called open fractures, are broken bones that penetrate through the skin. These types expose the bone and deep tissues to the environment. Compound fractures are more serious of the two. The healing here may be affected due to deep infections for which antibiotics need to be used. There are many different sub types of fractures and we’re only going to skim through them here.
- Comminuted fractures: Severe fractures in which a bone breaks into several smaller pieces.
- Avulsion fractures: A small piece of bone is completely torn off from the main bone due to fierce pulling off a part of the body.
Other types of fractures are characterised by the many different angles the bone breaks into like transverse, oblique and spiral fractures.
When a bone is broken there are symptoms like swelling that doesn’t subside on its own and pain. In such a case it’s imperative that one goes to a doctor for a diagnosis. Doctors can usually recognise most fractures by examining the injury and taking an X-ray. The X-ray also provides a clear idea about the type of fracture and the degree of displacement of the bone. And, it’s important that the patient doesn’t wait too long before approaching a doctor. This is because bones begin to heal very quickly after a fracture and the bone tissue will heal using any tissue available. This can lead to a misalignment of broken pieces of bone and cause disability and loss of function.
There are cases when X-ray may not show a fracture. This is especially common in fractures in the hip and wrist in older people. For diagnosing these, doctors will get some other tests done such as a computed tomography (CT) scan, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or a bone scan.
Fractures have to be treated by doctors. The doctors set the fractured bones in their proper place and hold them there so that they can heal. Setting a bone is called "reduction." Reduction without surgery is called "closed reduction." But if the fracture is serious, it’s going to require surgery with bone repositioning, called open reduction.
In extreme cases, pins, plates, screws, rods, or glue are used to hold the fractured bones in place, inside the body. Once the bone abutment has been treated, the bone is immobilised to allow the broken pieces to heal. In most cases, the fractured part is set in a rigid cast. The fractured ends of the bone can be fixed into place using metal pins connected to an external frame. This is removed after the bone has healed. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult an orthopedist.
To Prevent Sports-Related Injuries ( 5 Tips)
Do you remember the last time you had a searing knee pain in the middle of your morning run? It was probably because you did not warm up properly. The incidence of injuries in various sports has gone up in the recent times, and it is mostly due to the lack of proper warm up exercises. However, other factors come into play as well, such as the pressure of increased workload on the current batch of athletes, missing a trick or two with the proper technique to be followed, etc.
In order to reduce the risk of an injury, it is advised to follow these simple tips:
Set realistic goals for yourself: Don’t go overboard with anything that includes repetitively stressing and straining your body over a certain degree. If you are planning to go for a run or hit to the gym, make sure you set goals that you can sustain and find feasible. One example of this would be to not increase the amount of weight drastically while lifting weights as it can lead to serious injuries.
Follow the right technique: Proper technique is very important in sports, a lack of which can lead to injuries. Ask your trainer to observe your form when you perform any activity. Focus on your breathing and posture when you are exercising.
Warm up before you begin exercising: Warming up before you exercise or play a sport is important as it helps loosen your muscles and boost blood circulation. It drastically reduces the risks of sustaining injuries, and also prepares your body for the subsequent exercise.
Cool down: Similar to an essential warm up is the need to cool down; it is another aspect that should not be ignored. Cooling down usually consists of stretches and postures that promote flexibility. The muscles become sore after working out. Stretching can help reduce post workout pain and make the joints flexible. Cooling down also helps in eliminating lactic acid from the muscles, which means less pain after exercise.
Listen to your body: During an activity, if you feel that you can no longer carry on, terminate the activity. The chances of injury rise if you continue to push your body over your threshold limit. If you think that you can no longer carry on doing something without risking an injury, avoid doing it altogether. Listen to your body, and it shall never fail you.