Skip to content

Fracture Treatment: What Happens When You Break a Bone?

    Human bones are exceptionally strong and can stand up to fairly strong impacts. In fact, they’re even stronger than steel.

    That doesn’t make them indestructible, though. Like the rest of our body, they too can be affected by disease. Take osteoporosis, for example, it’s a condition that causes bones to become weak and brittle. As a result, you’ll be more prone to fractures.

    Did you recently break a bone? Want to learn about the fracture treatment process? If so, you’ve come to the right place.

    Learn more by reading the rest of the post!

    What Is a Bone Fracture? 

    A bone fracture refers to a broken bone. Depending on the severity, it can range from a small crack to a complete break.

    Some of the most common types include avulsion fractures, compression fractures, impacted fractures, hairline fractures, and comminuted fractures.

    Here’s what to know about fracture codes in ICD-10.

    Symptoms of a Bone Fracture 

    Symptoms will vary depending on which bone is affected. Generally speaking, however, there will be pain, bruising, swelling, and discolored skin around the area. There may also be bleeding if it’s an open fracture.

    Dizziness and nausea can also occur if a large bone such as the femur is involved.

    Potential Causes 

    A number of things can cause bone fractures. For example, it’s not uncommon to break a bone from a car accident or a bad fall. Certain sports can also cause stress fractures, which are due to repeated strains and stresses.

    Generally speaking, the older you are, the greater the chance that you’ll experience a fracture. After all, your bones will be weaker. Not only that, but you’ll also be at a higher risk of falling.

    Bone Fracture Treatment 

    Broken bones are able to repair themselves naturally. For them to do so, however, the end pieces must be lined up—this is known as “reducing the fracture.” More often than not, it’s done under general anesthetic.

    Once the bones are aligned, they must be held in place until they’ve healed. This is usually done with plaster casts, plastic braces, metal plates, or external fixations. Usually, this process takes about 2 to 8 weeks.

    Depending on the fracture, physical therapy may be necessary after the bone has healed. Not only will it help with mobility but it’ll also restore muscle strength.

    Note: Surgery may be required if there’s damage to the soft tissue and skin around the affected bone.

    Potential Complications 

    Left untreated, bone fractures can lead to various complications. For one thing, the bone can heal in the wrong position—this would lead to a deformity called a malunion.

    If there’s a break in the skin, bacteria can also get in and cause an infection. Rarely, it can also lead to bone death.

    Understanding Fractures 

    At the end of the day, fracture treatment depends on the severity. One thing’s for sure, though—you don’t want to wait around if you’re experiencing symptoms. You want to go to the doctor right away.

    Did you find this post helpful? If so, why not check out the rest of our site?