Bone fractures are commonly the result of an accident – whether it’s a clumsy fall, an automobile accident, a work-related injury or a sports-related injury. Elderly patients who suffer from osteoporosis are at a higher risk for developing a bone fracture. Their osteoporosis weakens the bones, making them fragile and breakable at the slightest bump or fall.
Types of Bone Fractures
There are two common types of fractures: a compound fracture and a closed fracture. A compound, or open fracture, occurs when the bone breaks and comes through the skin. A closed, or simple fracture, occurs when the bone breaks and does not puncture the skin. (There are also minor fractures known as stress fractures, which are tiny cracks in the bone that develop because of overuse during a strenuous activity. These usually occur when playing a sport.)
Symptoms of a Bone Fracture
The most common symptoms of a bone fracture are:
- Powerful, sharp pain in the afflicted area
- Immobility or limited mobility of a limb or body part
- Bruising, swelling or bleeding
- A numbness and/or tingling sensation
- Distorted limb or joint
If you have a fractured bone, your treatment options can vary, depending on the severity of the fracture. In most cases, resetting (or repositioning) the bone will ensure that it heals back together properly. You will likely need to wear a cast or splint to enforce immobility of the limb and promote a healthy recovery. In more critical cases, orthopedic surgery may be necessary. During surgery, you may have metal pins placed through the fractured portion of the bone to hold everything in place. You will then be put into a cast or splint. Once the fracture is healed, you will either have the pins removed or they will remain in place indefinitely. If the fracture is complex enough, metal plates and screws can also be used with or instead of the pins.
If you or someone you know exhibits any symptoms of a bone fracture, please call our office and schedule an appointment. We will complete a comprehensive examination of the ailment. Our physician can create a personalized treatment plan tailored to meet your specific, individual orthopedic needs.