Fractures – which are the same thing as broken bones – are usually a fairly innocuous injury. As long as the bone does not puncture through the skin, it should be easily healed in a little more than a month by wearing a cast, sling, or other device that prevents the bone from moving while it heals.
It is important to take a broken bone seriously and not try to let it heal on its own. Let’s take a look at some of the potential dangers from a fractured bone.
Dangers of Fractures
Bones have a constant blood supply, so breaking a major bone like a femur can lead to blood loss. Additionally, with anything other than a simple or hairline fracture, the bone fragments can splinter and cause damage to adjacent tissues and organs – which is why surgical intervention is so important.
When children and young adults break a major long bone, the growth plate may be affected. This can negatively affect the normal growth of the bone, leaving it stunted. To prevent this outcome, your doctor may recommend certain types of invasive treatments to facilitate proper growth again.
Types of Fractures
There are many classes of fractures, including the following:
A closed or simple fracture means a bone cracked but did not shift out of alignment or pierce the skin.
An open or compound fracture is when the bone broke enough to push the bone out of alignment and through the skin. This is a serious break and will require surgery.
A greenstick fracture is a broken bone with splintery ends, as if breaking a new, young, green stick from a tree. This type of fracture tends to happen in children, whose bones are more flexible.
This type of broken bone is complex to repair thanks to all the splintered ends. A pediatrician will evaluate the child’s broken bone for proper treatment.
A hairline fracture means a very small crack has formed in the bone. It is perfectly in alignment and a splint or cast is more than enough to heal this with a minimum of effort.
A complicated fracture may injure surrounding structures, including nerves, veins, arteries, and even the marrow-producing periosteum lining of the bone.
A comminuted fracture is when a bone has shattered into small pieces. This type of broken bone will require surgery to repair the break.
An avulsion fracture is when a tendon or ligament that is attached to a bone snaps and pulls off a small piece of bone. This occurs more often in the knee and shoulder joints, and it requires surgery to repair.
A compression fracture occurs when two bones are forced against one another with enough pressure that one of the bones will give, and break. This type of fracture is quite common in the vertebrae of the spine.
People of advanced age, especially those with osteoporosis, are at an increased risk for this type of fracture.
Orthopedic Surgeons in Metro Detroit
If you are near Clinton Township, Michigan, and you have a musculoskeletal injury or pain, contact us at Movement Orthopedics. We’re experts at treating everything from sports injuries to arthritis pain.
Call us today at (586) 436-3785 or request an appointment online – and have your injury or ailment treated quickly!