Broken bones, also referred to as fractures by medical professionals, are some of the most common accident injuries. Unfortunately, they also happen to be the most painful, expensive and often call for long treatment times. Bones are meant to preserve the structural integrity of a body, but when they experience excessive stress or pressure, they break. There are numerous causes of bone fractures, which we shall delve further into in the next section of this read. If you have sustained an injury that resulted in broken bones, the next step is to seek the right treatment. Physiotherapy is without a doubt one of the most effective ways to treat injuries, helping to prevent injuries from worsening while building up strength. The practitioners at Hurt 911 have been in this line of work for decades, helping people who suffered different types of fractures. If you need broken bones treatment in Atlanta, don’t hesitate to reach out by calling 855-475-2588.
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What Are Some of the Common Causes of Bone Fractures?As earlier mentioned, a broken bone is referred to as a fracture. You can break your bone partially or completely. This is caused by three common reasons:
- Trauma: This includes car accidents, fights, sports injuries, falls, and twisting injuries
- Conditions that Weaken the Bones: This includes medical conditions such as osteoporosis, chronic steroid use, infections, and tumors that happen in bones.
- Overuse Injuries: Stress fractures, prevalent in athletes are usually a result of repeated stress and motions of the bone. Kids are also more susceptible to bone fractures, particularly in their legs and arms as they are more active compared to adults.
What Are Some of the Symptoms Associated with Fractures?Broken bone symptoms depend on which bone fractures. For instance, you will probably know right away if you have an issue with your finger, arm, or leg. If you are not certain, be on the look for the following symptoms:
- Tingling and numbness
- Extreme pain
- Bruising, bleeding, or swelling
- Inability to move a limb or limited mobility
- Misshapen or a visibly out of place joint or limb.
- Broken skin with a bone protruding
What Are Some of the Most Commonly Broken Bones?A bone fracture is an injury that can happen to people of all ages. Some forms of bone fractures are more prevalent in children, while others happen more among seniors or adults. Also, not all bone breaks are the same. As matter of fact, there are numerous types, all depending on how the bone breaks. Also, the treatment and recovery time varies, depending on the type and extent of the fracture. That said, here are some of the most common types of bone breaks:
Broken WristIf you fall, chances are you will attempt to catch yourself by putting out your hands. The outcome can easily be a broken wrist. It is, in fact, one of the most prevalent fractures in children and seniors. A fractured wrist is usually a distal radius break (where the fracture is at the radius, near the wrist, in the arm, or at the end of the long bones. Sports injuries, falls from a substantial height and car accidents are often the cause of wrist fractures. Typical treatment includes a splint, cast, or surgery. Physical therapy can also be used to restore strength and movement.
CollarboneAlso referred to as the shoulder bone or clavicle, the collarbone tends to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. It is long and not particularly thick and tends to sit high on your body, in an area that makes it particularly susceptible, particularly in contact sports. The clavicle does an important job of keeping the arms attached to the body. When it breaks, it tends to do so right in the middle. Fortunately, a collarbone fracture can be treated with a few weeks of your arm in a sling, although some situations may call for surgery.
Hip BreakFractured hips are also common, especially among older adults. Hip fractures are also one of the most severe breaks in older people. The femur or the long bone of the leg, connecting to the hip joint is what breaks. The fracture usually occurs due to a fall. Having an object hit your hip hard or landing on the hip can result in a fracture. Surgery helps accelerate the healing process, but not everyone is healthy enough for this form of treatment In such cases, alternative treatment methods include bed rest and physical therapy.
Vertebral BreakThe vertebrae are the bones surrounding the spinal cord, protecting it from injury. These types of breaks are the most common among individuals with osteoporosis, a condition that makes the bones weak. When these bones become too weak, the simple act of twisting, sneezing, or coughing can break the vertebra. Vertebral breaks can sometimes be an initial sign of osteoporosis. However, a healthy individual can also break these bones, usually by accident. An example is a hard fall. Mild fractures to the vertebral often get better with rest, but the severe ones may call for surgery.
Arm BreakWe all know at least one person who has sustained a fracture injury in their arm. Arm fractures are some of the most common, particularly among children and young people active in sports and similar activities. Arm breaks happen in both the lower and upper arms.
How Is a Broken Bone Diagnosed?When it comes to testing for a bone fracture, your doctor will first conduct a physical evaluation, identify the symptoms and conduct a diagnosis. Also, you or your loved ones will be interviewed (if you can’t communicate properly) and asked about the conditions that contributed to or caused the injury. For further diagnosis, the practitioner will conduct one or more imaging tests which include:
X-RaysX-ray imaging provides a 2D photo of the fracture. Doctors tend to turn to this form of imaging first.
Bone ScanDoctors may also utilize a bone scan to find breaks that do not show up on an X-ray. A bone scan takes longer, but it can help locate some breaks.
MRIAn MRI produces extremely detailed pictures by leveraging strong magnetic fields. Also known as magnetic resonance imaging, MRI is usually used to diagnose a stress bone break.
CT ScanA computerized tomography or CT scan utilizes X-rays and computers to produce detailed cross-sections or slices of the injured bone.
What Is the Treatment for a Broken Bone?The initial bone fracture treatment starts with stabilization and immobilization. Rest, ice, compression, and elevation can help make you more comfortable and prevent the broken bones from moving. Usually, the pain that comes with a fracture is a result of muscles spasm, in an attempt to avoid movement. Splinting can also help alleviate some of that pain. For non-open bone breaks, the aim is to immobilize the injury in order to preserve anatomic alignment, thus allowing the bone to heal. The human bone heals in the following stages:
- Reactive Stage: The blood clot that forms at the site of fracture starts to organize and your body’s building blocks begin to bridge the gap between the broken bone’s two ends.
- Repair Stage: Periosteum, the specialized cells found in the outer lining of the bone start to form grids or latticework of bone and cartilage which spans the fracture.
- Remodeling Phase: Your body will still try to re-sculpt this bone mass into its original shape and size, over the next several years.