Types of Broken Bones: Symptoms, Treatment, Healing

Types of Broken Bones Symptoms Treatment Healing

Our bones are amazingly strong, but they can break if they are unable to withstand the amount of external force being placed on them or if their internal integrity is reduced. Symptoms of broken bones include pain, swelling, bruising, the inability to move the affected body part, and deformity.

Let’s talk about some of the various types of bone fractures and where you can go for an evaluation and treatment if you have musculoskeletal pain.

Types of Broken Bones

Bone fractures are designated by the shape of the break, how many pieces it has broken into, whether the bone fragments have moved out of place, and whether the bone has penetrated the skin. The fracture types are as follows:

  • Stable fracture. The broken bone is barely out of place and is still in alignment.
  • Incomplete fracture. The force did not fully break the bone into two pieces but is only partially broken.
  • Greenstick fracture. A type of incomplete fracture in which the bone is partially broken and is slightly bent out of shape. It can occur in young children, because their bones are still growing and are thus still slightly bendable.
  • Complete fracture. A break across the bone that causes a separation into two pieces.
  • Comminuted fracture. The bone breaks into more than two pieces due to high-impact trauma.
  • Closed fracture. A type of break where the bone does not pierce through the skin. Also called a simple fracture.
  • Open fracture. A type of break where the bone pierces through the skin.
  • Displaced fracture. A break that leaves a gap between the two ends of the bone. It requires surgery to close the gap.

Treatment for a Bone Fracture

Treatment for a broken bone depends on the severity of the break. It will almost always require a period of immobilization of the area, where the doctor will place a cast or an arm sling around the broken bone in order to allow the bone fragments to remain in alignment for proper healing.

In severe cases, such as with comminuted or open fractures, the broken bone will require surgery – either external or internal fixation. External fixation involves the use of metal pins and screws attached to an external stabilizer in order to keep the broken bone fragments in proper position as they heal. Internal fixation involves the repositioning of the bone fragments, holding them in place using metal plates, screws, and rods. The hardware may later be removed or left to stay there, depending on the fracture.

Healing and Recovery from a Broken Bone

It can take anywhere from several weeks to several months to heal from a broken bone. A critical part of healing involves physical therapy exercises to restore the surrounding muscle strength, flexibility, and range of motion when the patient is ready.

Urgent Bone Fracture Treatment in Clinton Township, Michigan

If you need treatment for a bone fracture or an evaluation of your musculoskeletal pain, head directly to our orthopedic urgent care clinic at Movement Orthopedics here in Clinton Township. Board-certified orthopedic surgeon Dr. Jeffrey Carroll can quickly diagnose and treat your broken bone or other musculoskeletal issues you may have.

If you have any questions, would like to check into the urgent care before your arrival, or would like to schedule an appointment, call us at (586) 436-3785. You may also fill out our appointment request form online. We look forward to seeing you here!

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