Fractures, commonly called broken bones, occur as a result of trauma or injury. They are especially common in aging communities where osteoporosis has weakened bones. They also occur in patients of all ages who have endured accidents, including sports injuries.
Bone fractures can fall into several classifications, including:
- Stable fracture, including hairline fractures, where the broken bone ends line up cleanly and are barely out of place.
- Open or compound fracture, where an open wound accompanies the broken bone. Bone may or may not protrude from the wound.
- Oblique fracture, which occurs at an angle rather than horizontal across the bone.
- Comminuted fracture, where the bone shatters or fragments.
Depending on the type of fracture and your specific situation, treatment may simply require immobilizing the joint until it can heal, or surgery may be required. Some fractures are treated with the use of screws, plates or other stabilizing devices to hold the bone in place until it is healed.
With proper care, bone fractures can heal without incident. However, it is important that the fracture be diagnosed and treated appropriately to allow for proper healing. Physical therapy is also a crucial step of restoring strength and mobility to the area, especially when joints or soft tissues were involved in the fracture.
Are You At Risk?
Fractures can occur at any time as a result of severe trauma. Car accidents and sports injuries are two common causes for fractures. In aging populations, falling can also commonly lead to bone fractures due to the weakening of bone from osteoporosis.
You may be at special risk for bone fractures if you have weakened bones and joints due to osteoporosis or arthritis. Other risk factors include an active lifestyle, poor form while exercising, high-risk outdoor activities, and over-exertion.
If you feel that you may be at a higher risk of fractures due to reduced bone density, call Mid Atlantic Orthopedic Associates today to schedule a consultation about your risk factors or to discuss fracture care for your broken bones.
What Can We Do?
When you suspect a broken bone, it's important to have it immediately examined. An x-ray may be necessary to identify the location and type of fracture. In relatively simple cases, the bone will be immobilized in a cast or similar fashion so that the broken ends of bone can begin knitting back together. In more complex cases, surgery may be required.
The doctors at Mid Atlantic Orthopedic Associates can help you to understand your options and provide treatment, physical therapy and ongoing fracture care to ensure proper healing.