Broken Bones

Bones are rigid, but they do bend, or give somewhat when an outside force is applied to them. When this force stops, bone returns to its original shape. However, if the force is too great bones will break (fracture), just as a plastic ruler breaks after being bent too far. The severity of a fracture usually depends on the force that caused the fracture. If the bone's breaking point has been exceeded only slightly, then the bone may crack rather than breaking all the way through. A comminuted fracture is when the bone fragments into several pieces. An impacted fracture occurs when a bone fragment is embedded into another bone fragment.

A compound fracture is when the bone protrudes though the skin. This is also known as an open fracture. A complete fracture is when the bone snaps completely into two or more pieces. An incomplete fracture occurs when the bone cracks, but does not separate. This is also referred to as a hairline fracture.

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A compression fracture is to the bones, or vertebrae, that make up the spine, and occurs when the vertebral body collapses.

All forms of treatment of broken bones follow one basic rule: the broken pieces must be put back into position and prevented from moving out of place until they are healed. The type of treatment depends on the location and severity of the fracture. Various treatments fork to fractures include cast immobilization, functional cast or brace (limited movement is allowed), and traction (aligning a bone or bones by a gentle, steady pulling action). These are called closed reductions.

Surgery can be utilized to treat a fracture. This is called an open reduction. At times, a fracture requires pins, plates, screws and wires to properly align and hold the fracture together. Each of these treatment methods can lead to a completely healed, well-aligned bone that functions well.

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For related information go to: Back Injuries, Dangerous Condition of Public Property , Foot & Ankle Injuries, Hip Injuries, Insurance Bad Faith, Knee Injuries, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Negligence Law, Pain, Premises Liability and Products Liability.

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