A fracture means that one or more of your bones have been broken due to an impact with more force or pressure than your bones can support.
Fractures can be open or closed. Open fractures occur when the ends of a broken bone break the skin and are exposed. Closed fractures are also known as simple fractures, and happen when the bone does not break the skin.
Fractures can also be classified by the way the bone breaks:
- Greenstick fracture: an incomplete fracture in which the bone only breaks on one side, while the other side is merely bent.
- Torus fracture: an incomplete fracture where the bone is broken on one side and this causes a bump on the other side.
- Non-displaced fracture: when a bone breaks into even pieces that can be aligned in place afterwards.
- Displaced fracture: when a bone breaks into pieces that cannot be aligned.
- Hairline fracture: as the name suggests, this fracture occurs when the bone is broken in a thin crack.
- Single fracture: when the bone only breaks in one place.
- Compression fracture: when the bone is crushed.
- Comminuted fracture: when the bone is crushed or broken in three or more pieces.
- Segmental fracture: when the bone breaks in two places, leaving a piece of bone unattached.
Regardless of the type of bone fracture, the following symptoms are usually present:
- Swelling, bruising, or bleeding.
- Intense pain.
- Inability or limited ability to move the affected area.
- Numbness or tingling over the affected area.
What To Do When Someone Breaks a Bone
Immediate medical attention is required for any person who has just suffered from a bone fracture. Call 911 or transport the person to the nearest hospital for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Some of the immediate steps you can take when someone suffers from a broken bone are:
· If the person has suffered major trauma or injury and they are unresponsive or not breathing, begin CPR and call 911.
- Do not move the person unless absolutely necessary.
- If there is any bleeding, apply pressure to the wound with a clean cloth to stop the bleeding.
- Immobilize the broken limb but do not try to realign and push the bone back into place.
- If there is swelling, wrap an ice pack in a piece of cloth and apply to the affected area to reduce swelling and relieve pain.
- If the person feels faint or is having trouble breathing, ask them to lie down and elevate the legs in order to treat for shock.
What to Do to Prevent Bone Fractures
Nobody wants to go through the pain and discomfort that come with a broken bone. In addition to taking precautions when practicing activities that put you at risk of bone fractures, such as driving, practicing sports, etc. these are some other measures you can take to prevent breaking one or more bones:
- Meeting your required daily intake of calcium: Calcium is needed to maintain healthy and strong bones. It is recommended that men and women under 50 intake 1,000 mg of calcium every day, while people over 50 should increase their calcium intake to 1,200 mg every day.
- Meeting your required daily intake of vitamin D: Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium. The recommended amount of vitamin D for people under 70 years of age is 0.015 mg (or 15mcg). People over 70 should increase their intake of vitamin D to 0.020 mg (or 20mcg).
- Reduce sodium consumption: The more sodium a person consumes, the more calcium they need in order to excrete urine. Maintain your sodium consumption low so that you can retain the calcium you need for your bones.
Breaking bones can be very painful, so make sure you take the steps necessary to prevent this from happening. However, no one is immune to accidents, so if you or someone you know ever suffers from a broken bone, be sure to look for the symptoms mentioned in this article, follow the instructions provided, and get medical attention as soon as possible.