The Most Commonly Fractured Bones and Their Symptoms

The Most Commonly Fractured Bones and Their Symptoms

The human bone is incredibly strong—as strong as steel, though 50 times lighter. However, repetitive force or a direct blow to it can take a toll on its strength and integrity and cause it to break.

While each of the 206 bones in your body has the potential to break, there are those that are much more susceptible than others. Let’s discuss the most commonly fractured bones, their symptoms, and where you can go to seek treatment for a fracture.


An ankle fracture can occur from an injury to one or more of the three bones in the ankle joint. Ankle fractures account for nearly 20 percent of visits to sports medicine clinics. They are common in people who are involved in activities that put a strain on the ankles. These include ballet dancers, basketball players, snowboarders, and skydivers. Ankle fractures can also occur from a fall from a high place, a slipping on icy pavement, or a direct blow to the ankle during an accident.

If you broke your ankle, you may experience some of these symptoms:

  • Bruising
  • Deformity
  • Difficulty or pain with walking or bearing weight
  • Immediate, severe pain
  • Swelling
  • Tenderness


A collarbone fracture is a break in the long, slender bone that connects your breastbone to each of your shoulders. Collarbone fractures account for up to 5 percent of all fractures, occurring mostly in people under the age of 25 and in those over the age of 70. Collarbone fractures are typically caused by falls, sports injuries, and vehicular accidents.

For newborn babies, collarbone fractures are caused by delivery trauma, such as when the baby gets stuck in the birth canal or when tools are used to assist with the delivery.

These are the common symptoms of a fractured collarbone:

  • A bulge on or near your shoulder
  • Bruising
  • Grinding or crackling sensation with shoulder movement
  • Pain that increases with shoulder movement
  • Stiffness or inability to move your shoulder
  • Swelling
  • Tenderness
  • For newborn babies, they will be unable to move their arms for several days after a birth-related collarbone fracture.


Forearm fractures occur at different locations: near the wrist, at the farthest end of the bone; in the middle of the forearm; or near the elbow, at the top end of the bone. Forearm bone fractures are common among children, accounting for over 40 percent of all childhood fractures. They are also among the most common injuries in adults. Forearm fractures typically occur from a fall on or a hard hit to the arm, or traffic accidents.

Forearm fracture symptoms include the following:

  • Bruising
  • Deformity (bent arm or wrist)
  • Difficulty turning your arm (from palm up to palm down or vice versa)
  • Severe pain, which might increase with movement
  • Swelling


A hip fracture occurs when there is a break in the upper portion of the thighbone. Hip fractures are prevalent among elderly patients whose bones have become brittle because of osteoporosis or aging. Every year, there are over 300,000 older people— 65 years and older—who are hospitalized for hip fractures.

When hip fractures happen in younger patients, they are typically caused by high-intensity sports or high-impact accidents, such as a fall from a ladder or vehicle collision.

The following are the common symptoms of a hip fracture:

  • Bruising and swelling in and around the hip area
  • Inability to put weight on the leg on the side of the injured hip
  • Outward turning of the leg on the side of the injured hip
  • Severe pain in the hip or groin


A wrist fracture can happen when you break any one of the eight small bones in the wrist. Wrist fractures account for more than 15 percent of emergency room visits. Wrist fractures are most common in people with osteoporosis and those who engage in contact and high-intensity sports, such as inland skaters, hockey players, basketball players, and gymnasts.

If you have a broken wrist, you may experience these symptoms:

  • Bruising
  • Noticeable deformity, such as a bent wrist
  • Severe pain that gets worse when gripping, moving the hand, or squeezing
  • Swelling
  • Tenderness

Bone Fracture Treatment in Clinton Township, MI

If you suspect that you have a bone fracture, it’s imperative to seek immediate medical attention for proper immobilization and treatment. Leaving it untreated can result in improper healing, infection, and other serious complications.

At Movement Orthopedics, we are the leading provider of high-quality orthopedic urgent care in Clinton Township, MI. We address all types of fractures and other musculoskeletal injuries and offer many on-site conveniences, such as an imaging center and physical therapy practice. Dr. Jeff Carroll or any one of our bone fracture experts will do a careful examination to assess your overall condition, level of pain, symptoms, and medical history. You can partner with us for a personalized course of treatment, so you can get back to your normal routine as quickly as possible.

To book an appointment, call us at (586) 436-3785. We are always prepared and well equipped to handle all of your orthopedic concerns!

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