A fracture is a broken or cracked bone. It can be a hairline crack in a bone, a partial fracture or a complete break. Fractures are common, and are usually caused by trauma during falls, car accidents, or sports injuries. If the broken bone punctures the skin, it is called a compound, or open fracture. Closed, or simple fractures, do not puncture the skin. Overuse during sports or other activities can cause stress fractures, which are tiny cracks in the bone.
Symptoms of a fracture
- Intense pain in the afflicted area
- Tingling and numbness
- Immobility or limited mobility to move a limb
- Misshapen limb or joint, out–of-place appearance
- Bruising, swelling, or bleeding
While anyone with a fracture, or suspected fracture, should seek medical attention, you don’t necessarily need to go straight to the emergency room.
The doctors at Ozemed Medical centre and Surgery are able to help diagnose and treat most minor-to-moderate bone fractures. Our doctors can take care of your fracture so that it heals correctly and quickly.
For severe fractures, we recommend that patients go to the emergency room of your nearest hospital. These include any fractures that:
- Are severely bleeding
- Involve life-threatening conditions
- Open fracture-either the broken bone is penetrating through the skin or a wound penetrates down to the broken bone
- Involve head injury
- Cause loss of consciousness
If your fracture injury doesn’t include any of the above conditions, come and see one of the doctors at Ozemed Medical centre and Surgery.
Diagnosing a fracture
- X-ray: X-ray imaging produces a picture of internal tissues, bones, and organs. Most fractures are diagnosed by using an x-ray.
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): An MRI is a procedure that produces a more detailed image. It is usually used for smaller fractures or stress fractures.
- Bone scan.
- Computed tomography scan (CT, or CAT scan): 3D imaging procedure.
Treating a fracture
Once the fracture has been diagnosed, treatment is then focused upon realigning the ends of the bones to help it recover its strength, mobility, and sensitivity fully. In most cases a cast or splint will be required to keep the bone in place while it heals, but in more severe cases surgery is required to insert plates or screws to keep the bone in place is necessary. Treatment varies widely depending on the severity and location of the break. After the limb has been cast and set properly, it is very important to avoid activity or stress to the limb, as it could cause the break to not heal properly.
Medication may also be prescribed to ease the pain of the fracture.
The average healing process takes anywhere from 6 to 8 weeks, depending on the location of the fracture, the severity of the break, age, and nutritional status.
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