Pacifica Orthopedics, Huntington Beach, California.

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What is a fracture?


A fracture means a break in the bone-the hard skeleton that frames our bodies. They will all be seen by localized swelling, pain in the area and inability to move some part of the body. There may be obvious and immediate bruising and, if the break is bad, the emergency action taken by the body may result in light headedness for the patient.

Bones are generally pretty tough and causes of fractures are usually excess force on one part of the bone. The bone may be lent on until it breaks, like snapping a twig, or may be hit hard so that it shatters like a hammer hitting a rock.

Young children suffer these breaks more rarely than others since their bones are softer and more flexible. Older people, especially those with osteoporosis, are more likely to find their bones are brittle and weak, suffering more breaks.

There are several types of fracture and some are listed below:

  1. Simple fracture. This is where the bone just breaks in two
  2. Stress fracture. This is very thin break usually along the bone. This is often hard to see, even for modern science. As the name suggests, this is less of an impact or twisting fracture than one caused by repeated stress.
  3. Compound fracture. This is where the bone has broken and is now poking through the skin. It takes a lot of force to do this and is sometimes seen on the sports field.
  4. Comminuted fracture. This is the shattering kind of break where the bone has been broken into several pieces. This would usually be the result of a serious transport accident or unfortunate sports collision.
  5. Impact fracture. This is where one broken bone has been forced into impact with another.

For any type of fracture an Orthopedic Doctor or surgeon’s advice should be sought.

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