A displaced fracture is a fracture wherein the two ends of the broken bone are separated from each other. Therefore, if the two ends stay in their position, the fracture is an undisplaced fracture. Displaced fractures usually have three classifications and these are the axially displaced, the angulated, and the rotated. Axially displaced fractures in specific classifications are those fractures where the two ends of the bones tilted out of their position that the broken bones do not maintain a straight position anymore. The angulated displaced fracture can be characterized by the angular position of the two pieces of bones. On the other hand, the rotated displaced fracture is characterized by which the bones do not have a certain degree of angle but they are displaced far from their original position because of the sudden twisting of the bones.
Displaced Fracture Types
Generally, there are two kinds of displaced fracture if deformities are concerned and they are the following:
• Bayonette deformity. The fragments of the fractured bones are 100 % displaced. Some of the bone parts are shorter than the others or sometimes the bones will overlap due to total bone displacement.
• Distraction deformity. The fracture fragments went out of their places near the alignment of the bone. A distracted bone segment that is more than 0.5 cm gap is already considered a displaced deformed fracture and this takes longer time to heal.
Displaced fracture can be of the colles, toe, supracondylar, rib or wrist. It is also called a displacement fracture.
The usual diagnosis for a patient that is suspected to suffer from a displaced bone fracture is the conduct of clinical assessment of the injury to rule out other complicating injuries. Plain x-rays will be considered and if required, the use of CT scans or MRI will also be included so that the doctor can be able to specifically identify the real issue of the bone injury and if other damage has been done. The patient will also undergo examination for ischemia or blockage of the artery, compartment syndrome, and radial nerve injury. If the patient is suffering from osteoporosis, he or she may undergo bone scan density procedure, cortical margin, and trabecular pattern examination. Rehabilitation or rehab is needed here.
Displaced Fracture Causes
Most of the causes of displaced fractures are commonly from vehicular accidents, falls from heights, trauma, and direct blows to the bones or anything that can plant sudden force and make the bone fracture. Accidents from physical sports are also becoming more common these days because sportsmen are becoming more competitive but do not usually practice wearing protective gears with their sports. Osteoporosis and other bone pathological diseases such as bone cancer can also result in different types of bone displacement.
Displaced Fracture Symptoms
• Severe and stabbing pain in the injured area
• Tenderness even with the slightest of touch
• Numbness especially when nerves are damage
• Swelling due to damage tissues, damaged nerves and ischemia (blockage of arteries)
• Unbearable pain when the injured part is moved
• Inability of the injured part to move or bear weight
Displaced Fracture Treatment
There can be many considerations in the treatment of bone displacement. If there is bone angulations or if there is severe bone displacement, the need for bone reduction will be considered. This means the bones will be manually manipulated so that they will be guided in their proper position. If the injured part is part of the leg or arm, the limb will be put in plaster cast so that it will be immobilized until it heals. If the fracture is anywhere on the body including the neck and spine, the fractured part will be supported by a brace and lot of rest to promote rapid bone healing.
Surgery will be needed depending on what bone is broken, how severe the break was and where the fracture is located because the orthopedic surgeon would like to know if there could be bone fragments that must be reconnected, removed or replaced. Surgery may include closed reduction and casting and for severely displaced bones, metal hardware may need to be inserted to hold the bones together. If the fracture has severely destroyed some parts of the bones, some of these metals may stay on the bones permanently but if the bones can improve and heal, these metals will be removed surgically.
Displaced Fracture Recovery Time, Healing Time: A period of more than 8 weeks may be needed to fully heal.
Prevention of Displaced Bone Injury
Needless to say, we all need to be cautions with whatever we do especially if there are risks involved. Sports is an example of activity people love to do but a high percentage of bone fractures come from sports accidents. It is only logical, therefore that proper gears should be worn anytime you engage yourself with active sports. Accidents are unavoidable and anyone can be harmed in an instance by accidents. But we can also lessened the probability of accidents if we can avoid doing risky things, staying away from places where hazards are most probable and eliminating sources that can possibly bring us the trouble of having accidents.
When to Call a Doctor
Displaced fractures are always considered bone fractures that require immediate medical attention especially if the fracture is an open fracture. If there is already swelling, numbness and severe pain on the injured part, call medical assistance as soon as possible because most cases of displaced fractures especially the ones that are caused by vehicular accidents can involve damage to the nerves and other sensitive tissues which can bring about permanent damage to the body.