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.
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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