What are Fractures?

A fracture is a broken bone. Any bone in the patient’s body can break. A fracture is usually, but not necessarily, the result of an injury.

A fracture occurs when the physical force exerted on the bone is stronger than the bone itself. Bone fracture can occur at any age. Older people have more brittle bones (osteoporosis), thus are more likely to fracture a bone in a simple fall than younger people. On the other hand, it requires more energy to fracture a bone in young people, which could sometimes imply more severe injuries.

The symptoms of a fracture include:

  • Bone protruding from the skin (in an open fracture)
  • Deformity of the injured area (in a limb)
  • Loss of function in the injured area
  • Pain in the injured area
  • Swelling or bruising in the injured area

Treatment usually aims to immobilise the affected bone after realigning the main fragments. This can be done by surgery to  “pin” or “plate” the fractured parts together or by a cast to stop the patient from moving the affected area. It can take six weeks or even longer to heal fractures.

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