A fracture is a condition in which the bones of a person becomes broken due to several reasons. This could cause discomfort to the patient, thus, it should be given prompt medical attention.
Causes Of Fracture
Most fractures result from bone trauma - automobile accidents, sport-related injuries, falls and many others. Aside from that, it could also be from bone-related diseases such as osteoporosis, in which the bones become more prone to breakage. It is characterized by bones having many perforations when seen via x-ray. Overuse of the bone could also lead to fractures, and it could be determined with small cracks that could be seen at the bone’s surface.
Classifications Of Fracture
Closed fracture - In this kind of fracture, the skin of the patient is intact.
Open or Compound fractures - The bone that was fractured will cause the skin to break and become punctured. Because of the open wound, the bone is very susceptible to getting infected. This kind of fracture should be given immediate treatment- both antibiotic and surgical to avoid infection and to recover as quick as possible.
Simple fracture - This kind of fracture, as the name suggests, happens only on one line, and is characterized by a simple split. Recovery in this kind of fracture does not take too much time compared to other kinds of fracture.
Multi-fragmentary fracture - Contrary to simple fracture, the bones here break into different pieces This kind of fracture is also open to infection, and takes a lot of time to heal as wells.
Compression fracture - This takes place in vertebrae, and is mostly caused by osteoporosis rather than falls, accidents or any kinds of trauma.
Complete fracture - Segments of bones separate in this kind of fracture.
Incomplete fracture - Fractured bones in it is still joined.
Linear fracture - This happens parallel to the bone’s long axis.
Transverse fracture - This happens to the bone’s long axis but at right angles.
Oblique fracture - This occurs diagonal to the long axis of the bone.
Spiral fracture - This kind of fracture has a characteristic of a twisted bone.
Compacted fracture - This kind of fracture is characterized with bones that split apart from each other.
Signs Seen During Fracture
A person having fracture could be seen having a joint or a limb that is out of shape, or out-of-place. Bleeding, bruising or swelling, tingling and numbness is present on the affected area, and there is pain even when the slightest pressure is applied. This is because of the overstimulation of the nociceptor or the pain sensors around the bone, as well as the muscle spasms. Sometimes, the tissues that surround the fracture bleed.
The patient’s motor activities will also be hampered, depending on the location of the fracture and the intensity of bone breakage.
A broken bone could be determined if there is a snap or sound similar to that of a crack in one of the areas of the body. This area then would swell, and become deformed.
Diagnosis And Treatment
If there is any suspicion of having a fracture, series of x-ray will be taken to confirm it. Then, first aid will be applied to the affected area. Splint will be placed on the affected area to minimize pressure and sudden movements that might cause pain and aggravate the fracture. The doctors will then determine the kind of fracture based on the results of the x-ray.
The patient may undergo surgery to return the bones to its proper places, particularly if the fracture involves the hip bones, or if the fracture involves a great deal of damage or infection. Patients would also be subject to surgery when the joints are damaged. It is to resume to normal motor activities. If the bones separate, or cracks into small pieces, metal implants, screws, surgical nails etc. may replace them. Then, the affected area will be secured with splint, plaster of fiberglass cast to hold the bones in place and disable movements that may cause to aggravate the fracture.
For fractures located on smaller bones, buddy wrapping would be necessary to limit the movement of the affected area.
Fractured bones heal in a matter of weeks or months. In these times, the bones will be surrounded by blood clots. These clots will then form into a material resembling a jelly, and will bring in white blood cells. All these will be replaced by collagen, and the collagen will become calcium hydroxypatite crystals. When these crystals stiffen, it will become bones again. Depending on the severity of fracture, this will take several weeks, to a month, or a year.