Home
Search in�� ��for��
 
Resources
Career Center
New Hospital Update
Learn More About MCI
Bill Payment
Upcoming Events
Find a Physician
Press Releases
Maps and Directions
Visiting Hours
Medical Services
Specialty Programs and Services
Volunteer Services
H2U
Birthing Center Tours
Clinics
Family Care of Eastern Jackson County
Jackson County Medical Group
Family & Friends
Virtual Body
Virtual Cheercards
Web Babies
Decision Tools
Self-Assessment Tools
Natural and Alternative Treatments Main Index
Health Sources
Cancer InDepth
Heart Care Center
HealthDay News
Wellness Centers
Aging and Health
Alternative Health
Sports and Fitness
Food and Nutrition
Men's Health
Mental Health
Kids' and Teens' Health
Healthy Pregnancy
Medications
Travel and Health
Women's Health
Genus MD
Genus MD
Physician Websites
Legal Disclaimers
Nondiscrimination
Privacy Notice



Send This Page To A Friend
Print This Page

Fracture

 

Definition

A fracture is a break in any bone in the body. The bone may be partly or fully broken. It may also stick through the skin or stay inside the skin.

The Bones of the Body

Nucleus factsheet image

Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

 

Causes    TOP

This injury is caused by trauma from:

  • Falls
  • Severe twists
  • Severe bending of a bone
  • Blows
  • Stress on a weakened bone
  • A motor vehicle accident
  • Gunshot wounds

Babies can also some types of fractures as they pass through the birth canal.

 

Risk Factors    TOP

Things that may raise the risk of a fracture are:

  • Health problems that weaken bones, such as osteoporosis
  • Health problems that may cause falls, such as nerve or muscle problems
  • Low muscle mass
  • Playing contact sports
  • Not wearing a seatbelt
  • Poor nutrition
  • A sudden increase in activity
  • Being around violence
  • Side effects from some medicines, such as those used to treat cancer
 

Symptoms    TOP

Symptoms may be:

  • Pain
  • Swelling or bruising
  • Problems moving the injured body part
  • Numbness
  • A change in the way the body part looks
 

Diagnosis    TOP

The doctor will ask about your symptoms and health history. You will be asked how the injury happened. An exam will be done.

Images may be taken. This can be done with:

 

Treatment    TOP

It can take three weeks for a mild fracture to heal. It may take many months for a severe fracture of a long bone to heal. The goals of treatment are to manage pain and support the bone as it heals. Options may be:

  • Medicine to ease pain
  • A splint, brace, cast, or sling to keep bones in place as they heal
  • Crutches to take weight off of a broken bone
  • Exercises to help with muscle strength and range of motion

Children's bones have growth plates that let bones grow and harden with age. A child with a fracture may need to be checked over time to make sure the bone heals the right way and keeps growing.

Putting Bones Back In Place

Some fractures cause pieces of bone to come apart. These pieces will need to be put back into place. This may be done:

  • Without surgery—anesthesia will be used to ease pain while the doctor moves the pieces back into place
  • With surgery—pins, screws, plates, rods, or wires may be used to reconnect the pieces and hold them in place
 

Prevention    TOP

Most fractures are due to accidents. Healthy bones and muscles may prevent some injuries. This may be done through diet and exercise.

RESOURCES:

American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine
http://www.sportsmed.org

Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
http://orthoinfo.aaos.org

CANADIAN RESOURCES:

Canadian Orthopaedic Association
http://www.coa-aco.org

Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation
http://www.canorth.org

REFERENCES:

Distal radius fracture—emergency management. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/management/distal-radius-fracture-emergency-management . Accessed September 25, 2019.

Femoral shaft fracture—emergency management. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/management/femoral-shaft-fracture-emergency-management . Accessed September 24, 2019.

Fractures: an overview. Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Updated October 2012. Accessed September 25, 2019.

Middle phalanx finger fracture. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/management/middle-phalanx-finger-fracture-emergency-management. Accessed September 24, 2019.

Welck MJ, Hayes T, et al. Stress fractures of the foot and ankle. Injury 2017 Aug;48(8):1722.



Last reviewed September 2019 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Warren A. Bodine, DO, CAQSM
Last Updated: 9/25/2019

Health References
Health Conditions
Therapeutic Centers


Copyright � 1999-2007
ehc.com; All rights reserved.
Terms & Conditions of Use
Privacy Statement
Medical Center of Independence
17203 E. 23rd St.
Independence,� MO� 64057
Telephone: (816) 478-5000