All about fractures & fracture treatments

Fracture Clinic Insights

Hello!

I am extremely delighted to see you reading through this resource page, My name is Dr Salam, and I am an orthopaedic surgeon in Coimbatore.

I practice at One Care Medical Center. I created this resource page to help you understand fractures.

Please take 2 minutes to read through!.

Oh, and do share it with your loved ones!

What is a fracture?

A fracture can be simply defined as a “break in the continuity of the bone”

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Most fractures result from a high impact injury or acute stress that is beyond the load bearing capacity of the bone.

Different bones in the human body have different load bearing ability.

Interestingly though, not all fractures result directly from an injury.

Pathological fractures are a certain type of fracture that result from medical conditions like osteogenesis imperfacta or from certain bone conditions called osteoporosis.

In both conditions mentioned above the bones have become brittle.

Quick facts on bone fracture:

  1. The most common cause of a fracture is a fall or due to a high impact injury (motor vehicle accidents). In our Coimbatore, most of the time, we see patients coming to our fracture clinic after a motor vehicle accident
  2. The most common fracture, is fracture of the extremities that is the hands and legs. The next common fracture is that of the head and neck followed by the chest
  3. Fractures can also be classified into different types. They are compound fractures, avulsion, comminuted and hairline fractures. There are more types of fractures which we will briefly define later
  4. The good thing though is that all bones heal well on their own!.
    The role of an orthopedic surgeon is to just facilitate the healing process by giving the bone its optimal healing conditions

What is the difference between an open fracture and closed fracture?

When a bone breaks and damages the surrounding tissue it is called an open fracture.

In an open fracture the bone will penetrate through the skin and soft tissue.

Open fractures are also called compound fractures are in general a more serious form of fractures

A closed fracture is a type of fracture where the bone does not penetrate through the skin.

What is a hairline fracture?

Hairline fractures result in chronic stress is placed on the bone from aggressive physical activity.

These fractures are very common among athletes.

Bones have the ability to withstand stress for a certain period of time.

However, when a stress becomes chronic, microscopic stress fractures can occur in the bone due to repeated insults.

Most hairline fractures easily get healed with rest though and require no major treatment.

What are the causes of fracture?

Most common fractures are caused by a bad fall or motor vehicle accident!

The risk of developing a fracture though depends on the age of the individual and the inherent strength of the bone

For example, in children bones are softer and more elastic. Thus a fracture that occurs in a child and its healing is different compared to an adult

Symptoms of a fracture:

The common physical signs and symptoms of fracture include

  1. Pain
  2. Swelling
  3. Severe pain on movement

Fractures can be easily diagnosed by a combination clinical history taking, an examination along with imaging studies.

Treatment of fractures

“Bones heal on their own” simple as that!

Fracture of bones and its healing to a certain extend depends on the site of fracture, age of the patient and type of fracture.

More severe fractures where the bone is completely shattered also called comminuted fractures take longer to heal.

However all fractures require 2 important things

  1. To keep the fractured bone immobilized
  2. To keep the 2 ends of bone in strict alignment

Most ortho specialist will used different methods of bone immobilization like POP, lightweight screws and plates or external fixators

When both of the above conditions are met, osteoclast cells (bone destroying cells) remove old bone and osteoblast cells (bone forming cells) deposit new bones

Most fractures usually heal in 8-12 weeks in adults and in about 3 to 6 weeks in children . Post fracture healing, the patient is then given appropriate physiotherapy to restore muscle strength and mobility

So I hope you enjoyed reading this article on bone fractures! Please do share it with your friends and loved ones!

References:

https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1270717-treatment
https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/understanding-fractures-treatment#1

 

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