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Fracture care

Bones fracture, or break, in a number of different ways. In general, bones are somewhat flexible, but a force may crack or break the bone. Extreme force from things like an automobile crash or a gunshot may shatter the bone.

Common types of fractures include: stable fracture, where the broken ends of the bone line up and are only slightly out of place; an open, compound fracture, where the skin may be pierced by the bone or by a blow that breaks the skin at the time of the fracture; a transverse fracture, which has a horizontal fracture line; an oblique fracture, which has an angled pattern; and a comminuted fracture, when the bone shatters into three or more pieces. Fractures usually cause fairly severe pain. Other symptoms of a broken bone include swelling and tenderness, bruising, and a deformed appearance.

Broken bones need medical attention to heal properly. Without proper treatment, a fracture can cause a number of additional medical problems. For diagnosis, a doctor will use physical examination and x-rays or other imaging.

Fracture treatment depends on the location and severity of the injury. Traction, a gentle, pulling action, may be used to align a broken bone. External fixation is a surgical procedure that attaches pins and screws to an external support bar. Internal fixation with open reduction uses rods, screws and plates to hold together pieces of the bone together.

A plaster or fiberglass cast is a common fracture treatment. A functional cast or brace may be used to allow some movement of unaffected nearby joints.

Previous Page Last Review Date: January 5, 2018
Fracture care Team
Jonathan Hersch, MD, FAAOS

Jonathan Hersch, MD, FAAOS

Orthopaedic Surgery, Sports Medicine, Shoulder, Knee & Hip Arthroscopy
Boca Raton 33428
Michael Kindya, MD

Michael Kindya, MD

Orthopaedic Surgery, Sports Medicine
Fort Lauderdale 33312
Bradley M. Lamm, DPM, FACFAS

Bradley M. Lamm, DPM, FACFAS

Orthopaedic Surgery, Pediatric Specialists, Podiatry
West Palm Beach 33407
Pedro A. Piza, MD

Pedro A. Piza, MD

Orthopaedic Surgery, Sports Medicine, Total Joint Replacement, Hip, Shoulder & Knee Reconstruction
Delray Beach 33484 , Boca Raton 33428
Alejandro Posada, MD

Alejandro Posada, MD

Orthopaedic Surgery, Sports Medicine
Miami 33133