Bone Fractures: Types, Symptoms, and Treatment

Bone Fractures: Types, Symptoms, and Treatment

Broken bones or bone fractures are common in children, though less complicated than in adults. Although most bone fractures are due to traumatic injuries, they can also be caused by medical conditions such as osteoporosis.

Since the bone dislodges from its original position, bone fractures should be treated as a medical emergency. Visit our emergency room in Houston as soon as the injury occurs.

What Type of Bone Fracture Do You Have?

Your bone fracture can either be closed where there is no damage to the surrounding tissues or open where the bone penetrates the skin causing infections.

Other types of fractures:

  • Avulsion fracture where the muscle or ligament pulls the bone causing it to break
  • A compression fracture occurs in the spine and is mostly caused by osteoporosis
  • Fracture dislocation happens when the joint bones break
  • Displaced fractures occur when there is a gap between the two bones, and it requires surgery to correct it

How Do You Know You Have a Fracture?

Bone fracture symptoms vary depending on the type of bone affected, your age, the severity of the fracture, and overall health. Other than bone deformity or penetration, some other symptoms to watch out for include:

  • Swelling and bruising
  • Pain
  • Angulation or bending of the bone
  • Skin discoloration of the affected area
  • A grating sensation of the affected bone
  • Bleeding if it’s an open fracture.

Visit an ER near you when you notice dizziness, nausea, or sickness as it might be an indication of a broken femur or pelvis.

Are Bone Fractures Treatable?

Bone healing will occur automatically, as it is a natural process. However, our doctor may prescribe certain treatment options to enable the full functionality of the affected bone after healing.

Immobilization is often required to stabilize the bone for proper alignment and healing. In certain situations, such as a hip fracture, the doctor may do a surgery. Hip fracture healing takes time, and immobilization provides poor results.

Physical therapy may be recommended to restore muscle strength and mobility of the bone.

Any Associated Complications?

Yes, complications can occur:

  • Malunion. This happens when the bone either shifts or heals in the wrong position
  • Disruption of bone growth. At times childhood bone fractures may affect the growth plate and the normal development of the bone and cause deformity later in life.
  • Avascular necrosis of bone death caused by insufficient blood supply to the bone.
  • Bone marrow infection. When an open fracture occurs, you may get a bacterial infection in the bone, which can trigger persistent infections. You may need to be hospitalized for treatment or surgery.

How Can You Prevent Bone Fractures?

Preventing broken bones is possible:

  1. Nutrition
    Strong bones are less prone to fractures. Calcium is an essential nutrient for the bones—a deficiency in this mineral not only makes your bones brittle, but it also predisposes you to osteoporosis.
    Milk, yogurt, cheese, dark leafy vegetables are good sources of calcium.
    Additionally, you need enough vitamin D from eggs, fish, and the sunlight to promote calcium absorption.
  2. Physical activity
    Weight-bearing exercises help to strengthen your bones. Engage in exercises that pull the skeleton-like running, walking, or dancing.
  3. Reduce menopausal effects
    Estrogen, a calcium regulator, drops with age affecting calcium regulation. So, engage in weight-bearing exercises, don’t smoke, get adequate sunlight exposure, drink alcohol with moderation, and eat calcium-rich diets.
  4. Treat the underlying conditions
    Arthritis and osteoporosis not only make your bone weak but will also affect your movement. Speak to our doctor on the possible management of these bone diseases and get regular checkups to keep track of your progress.
  5. Know your medications
    Certain drugs like antidepressants, high-blood pressure, muscle relaxants, sedatives cause dizziness and affect coordination, which increases the risk of falling. Talk to your doctor about the change of dosage or change of medication is necessary.
  6. Keep your home clutter-free and well-light
    Install overhead lights around the stairs and also get handrails for support. Consider having handrails in the bathroom and toilet. If you live with a senior, get them a bathroom seat or commode for seating while they shower.

Outlook

Bone healing is different from person to person, but younger people recover quickly. For adults, it can take up to eight weeks to get a full recovery, and proper nutrition and treatment will hasten the process.

November 1, 2019