Bone fracture or broken bone is a common injury, affecting millions of people every year. While bone fractures are common in older people with high bone porosity, anyone at any age can have a bone fracture.
A bone fracture commonly occurs when a force is applied to the bone greater than the force that the bone can withstand. A bone fracture can range from a hairline crack to a complete break that separates the bone into two parts.
Causes of Fractures
Traumas are the most common cause of bone fracture. Trauma to the bone can occur during a car accident, falls, or sports injuries. Sometimes, repetitive force can also result in a fracture, known as a stress fracture.
Bone conditions like osteoporosis can also greatly increase the risk of fractures.
Symptoms of Fractures
A break in the bone can result in severe and debilitating pain, swelling, tenderness, and inability to move the affected limb or body part like you usually can. Fractures can also cause bruising and discoloration of the skin. Some people also notice an unusual deformity or bump on their body.
Bone Fracture Diagnosis
Bone fractures have many types. To diagnose a particular type of bone fracture, your orthopedic doctor will determine the pattern of the fracture, the cause of the fracture, and where in your body the bone is broken.
For this, they will do a physical exam and order imaging tests like X-rays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computerized tomography (CT scan), and bone scan.
Treatment of Fractures
The way your orthopedic doctor will treat your fracture depends on the type of fracture, the cause of the fracture, and the extent of damage to your bone.
Typically, the treatment options for bone fractures include:
Immobilization is recommended for a mild and non-displaced fracture (a fracture in which the broken parts of the bone do not move far out of their place). Your orthopedic doctor may immobilize your broken bone with a splint or cast.
A severe fracture is treated with a closed reduction – a nonsurgical process in which orthopedic doctors physically push and pull the body on the outside to realign the broken bone inside the patient.
Splinting or casting is done after a closed reduction to prevent broken bone from moving out of place.
Bone Fracture Surgery
Some bone fractures may require surgery. A surgical approach to the bone fracture may include:
Internal Fixation– Broken bone pieces are realigned correctly and fixed in place with rods, plates, screws, pins,or wires.
External Fixation – The broken bone pieces are fixed with screws inside the body. These screws are then connected to a brace or bracket around the bone outside of the body.
Bone Grafting – If your bone is not healing back together as well as it should, or if your fracture is severe, your orthopedic may use a bone graft to rejoin the fractured bone. After placing the bone graft, internal fixation is performed to hold the pieces together while the bone grows.
How Bone Fracture Can Be Prevented?
If you are at risk for bone fracture, you can adopt the following lifestyle changes and home remedies to reduce your risk for bone fracture.
- Incorporate calcium-rich foods into your diet
- Engage in exercises that improve muscle mass and bone density
- Use a cane or walker if you have an increased risk of falls
- Use protective equipment for your physical activities and exercise
Bone Fracture Treatment in San Antonio, TX
A bone fracture is an orthopedic emergency for which you should seek care as soon as possible. Here at the Center for Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine, our highly trained and skilled orthopedic surgeons and sports medicine doctor provide top-notch care for orthopedic injuries like bone fractures.
For more information about our trauma center and bone fracture treatment, call us today at 210-692-7400. If you wish to make an appointment with us, call the aforementioned number or fill out our online appointment request form.