July - Fractures

Bone Fractures: Treatment Options

 

The medical term given to a broken bone is fracture.

Fractures are very common.

Statistics show that an average person will have at least two fractures in their lifetime.

When the physical force exerted is way stronger than the bone, a fracture will most likely occur.

Types

While there are different kinds of fractures, the main categories are closed, open, non-displaced, and displaced.

Displaced fracture occurs when the bone is snapped into two (or more parts).

However, when there is a crack but the alignment of the bone is still present, it is called a displaced fracture.

When the bone breaks through the skin, it is classified as an open fracture. However, if there is no puncture or wound, it is aptly called a closed fracture.

Other fracture types include:

Greenstick fracture

This type is very common among children. This is also considered an incomplete fracture characterized by a bent bone.

Transverse fracture

This type occurs when the broken piece of the bone is found at a right angle to the bone’s axis.

Buckled fracture

This is also commonly known as impacted fracture. This occurs when the bone ends are driven into each other.

Comminuted fracture

This type occurs when the bone has been broken into several pieces.

Symptoms

Common fracture symptoms can include but are not limited to the following:

  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Pain (especially when moved or when pressure is applied)
  • Deformity
  • Loss of function

Causes

Fractures often develop as a result of falls, blows, and other traumatic events.

Fractures that are caused by other illnesses like cancer are called pathologic fractures.

The condition weakens the bones and fractures of this kind will manifest without any trauma.

At least 1.5 million of fractures that occur annually is often attributed to osteoporosis.

Diagnosis

In order to accurately diagnose bone fractures, doctors will require X-rays and will have to physically examine the area.

In some cases, however, X-rays will not suffice when checking for fractures.

For instance, in order to diagnose stress, hip, and wrist fractures accurately, a bone, MRI, or CT scan might be recommended.

In other instances, special tests like X-ray of the blood vessels, angiogram, etc. will be necessary to ensure there are no damage on the surrounding tissues.

Treatment

In majority of the cases, immediate medical attention will be required for fractures.

Immobilization of fractures are carried out using a cast or a splint.

In certain cases, traction is used to minimize pain and promote healing.

In cases of open fractures, antibiotics are prescribed to keep infection at bay.

Rehabilitation will also be recommended the soonest possible time even if the cast is still in place.

This is to help ensure stiffness is prevented, muscle tone is maintained, and blood flow is promoted.

Once the cast or splint has been removed, swelling and stiffness can still be experienced in the area surrounding the fracture.

However, in most cases, it will disappear after a few weeks.

It will often take 4 to 6 weeks before strength is regained in the bone.

To play safe, it is advisable to ask the doctor regarding safe activities you can already do.

In most cases, key elements like the type of fracture and the patient’s overall health will be taken into consideration.

Prevention

To ensure bone fractures are prevented, the following measures should be kept in mind:

  • Ensure the stairs are free from objects that can actually cause one to trip.
  • When doing recreational activities, proper safety equipment like helmets, safety pads, etc. should be worn.
  • For patients that are diagnosed with osteoporosis, talk to doctors about calcium supplements and other possible remedies and ask for exercises that can help enhance both strength and balance.

If you suspect you have fracture or a broken bone, visit www.bjios.sg for proper and competent help and guidance.

 

 

 

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