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Bone Fracture - Understanding the Types + Causes

Dr. Jayini P Ram Mohen 89% (110 ratings)
MBBS, MS - Orthopaedics, Fellow In Joint Replacement , Fellow In Arthroscopy
Orthopedist, Hyderabad  •  15 years experience
Bone Fracture - Understanding the Types + Causes

Broken bone is commonly known as bone fracture a d it occurs when an exorbitant amount of force is applied causing the bone to split or shatter. While some minor fractures lead to cracks and crannies, others may lead to complete breakage of the bones. Despite being hard, bones are formed in such a way that they can absorb pressure to only a certain extent, beyond which they break. Statistically, the incidence of broken bones are most common in children and in old age people.

Causes of Bone Fracture
Bone fracture can be caused due to a number of reasons; both intentional and accidental. Some of them include:
1. Accidents and injuries: Sports injuries, being hit by a car and tripping and falling are some of the typical episodes.
2. Old age: Diseases such as osteoporosis and brittle bone disease are common in aged people. As bones tend to become more fragile among the aged, they are at a greater chance of bone fractures.

Type of bone fractures
Primarily bone fractures are of four types, based on the way the bone splits. They are:

  1. Complete fracture: This type of fracture refers to a complete breakage of the bone wherein the fracture may occur at various parts of the bone.
  2. Incomplete fracture: In this type of fracture, the bone partially breaks instead of splitting entirely.
  3. Compound fractures: This is a type of a fracture wherein the bone breaks past the skin. It is also known as an open fracture.
  4. Simple fracture: In this type of a fracture, the bone breaks without causing an open wound on the skin.

Treatment of bone fractures
In case of a broken bone, the immediate course of action would be to reach for the first aid box. This can be done to stabilize the bone prior to hospitalization. Icing the injury, elevating the injured area to prevent further swelling and covering the wound with bandages are common measures. In many cases, people also make household splints (made of newspapers) to keep the bone stabilized. Hospitalization and especially surgery, can be also opted for in case of severe fractures. Consult a doctor for more details.

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