What Type of Fracture Do You Have?

Broken bones can happen just about anywhere in your body. Some bones break more easily than others, but the end result of most breaks is usually pain and trouble moving the injured area. Sometimes, though, you could have a very mild fracture and not even know it. That’s because there are many different types of fractures, each with their own symptoms.

At University of Toledo Physicians, our team helps determine what type of broken bone you have, and gets you quick and efficient treatment. Dr. Nabil Ebraheim, our skilled physician, is knowledgeable about the many different types of fractures. No matter what kind of injury you sustain, Dr. Ebraheim has a treatment for you. 

Causes of Fractures

Broken bones are unfortunately something that a lot of people experience at some point in their lives. Not only do they cause pain, but they leave you laid up and unable to work or enjoy the activities you love. But how can your bones, which are supposed to be super strong, break so easily?

The truth is, there are many different ways you can break a bone, and many different bones you can break. Some bones are not as strong as others, making them more vulnerable to injury. Conditions that cause your bones to become brittle, like osteoporosis, make you more prone to fractures and getting hurt. 

Probably the most common cause of a break is some kind of trauma to the injured area. This could include a sporting injury, car accident, or even a fall. Trauma, especially a blunt force, puts excessive pressure on your body, sometimes causing your bones to suffer a break. Fractures can also be caused by overuse injuries.

In most cases, a broken bone causes pain, or a least some kind of discomfort. However, there are other signs and symptoms of a broken bone you may experience, including:

If you’ve broken a bone in your leg, you’ll probably have trouble putting weight on that side, and will probably lose some function until it heals. The specific symptoms you experience depend on the type of fracture.

Common Fracture Types

Broken bones come in all shapes and sizes, and that's actually how they’re classified. To determine what kind of fracture you have, Dr. Ebraheim considers where your fracture is located, complications from the fracture, and if your skin is intact around the break. Some of the common types of fractures we see include:

Compound Fracture

This type of fracture occurs when your bone breaks through your skin. This poses a risk for bleeding and infection, and sometimes requires surgical treatment.

Greenstick Fracture

Greenstick fractures are mostly seen in children younger than 10 years old. It occurs when the bone bends and splits, instead of breaking completely. 

Spiral Fracture

Spiral fractures happen when your bone breaks due to a twisting or rotational trauma. The bone breaks the whole way through, and has a spiral look at the fracture site.

Comminuted Fracture

With a comminuted fracture, your bone breaks into multiple fragments, at least three or more. This makes it harder for the bone to come together and heal.

Oblique Fracture

An oblique fracture is named for the way the bone breaks. With this type of fracture, your bone breaks at an angle.

Stress Fracture

This type of fracture occurs from repetitive use of a certain area of your body. The repeated stress on the bone causes it to break.

Treatments to Consider

The treatment you need for your broken bone depends on factors such as the location and severity of the break. Dr. Ebraheim uses imaging like X-rays, MRI, or CT scan to determine the extent of the injury. 

If your fracture is stable and nondisplaced, Dr. Ebrahiem may stabilize the break with a splint or a cast. This allows your bone to heal naturally in its proper alignment. You may need to be in the cast for several weeks in order for it to fully heal.

More severe fractures may require more aggressive treatment like surgery. If your fracture is severe enough, Dr. Ebraheim may recommend a surgical procedure called an ORIF. This stands for open reduction internal fixation. The procedure is done under anesthesia, and it involves resetting your bone and stabilizing it with a plate and screws

With any fracture, rest and keeping the area immobile is recommended so that you regain full function of the injured bone. Taking your cast off or using the bone prematurely may delay the healing process.

If you've suffered a broken bone and need professional treatment, call our office at 419-383-3761, or book a consultation online today. You can also get more information about orthopedic injuries on our YouTube channel.

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