Evulsion fractures are types of bone fractures wherein small pieces of bones are chipped away from the main body of the bones because of physical traumas or sudden muscle contractions. They are also known as avulsion fractures and most of the times these happen on the ligaments because of the application of strong external forces on the body. Such situations involve accidents like falling from a height or over pulling of the joints. Another common cause is muscle contraction. Because some muscles are stronger than other bones, with the strong resistance the muscles put on the bones, the bones give in and the bone is chipped away. Evulsion fractures commonly happen to highly trained athletes who usually undergo extreme trainings.
Evulsion Fracture Types
• Type I evulsion fracture. The bone is not entirely displaced from the body of the main bone body and the distance of the fragmented shard is less that 2cm away from the main bone.
• Type II and Type III evulsion fractures. This types of fractures may need surgical operation because they can cause tension to the whole bone area and there could be an extension of damage to the nearby areas.
Most evulsion fractures are closed fractures only so they do not require immediate emergency treatment. As for the diagnosis, a patient with an evulsion bone fracture will undergo the common steps in diagnosing bone fractures such as physical examinations and bone scanning. A brief interview by the doctor regarding the medical history of the patient will be conducted followed by the physical examination which involves stretching and flexing tests. As for the bone scanning, there will be two bone scans the doctor may need or depending on the state of the patient’s bone injury. CT scans can be included along with the diagnosis to help the doctor identify the exact distance of the ripped fragment from the main bone. In some situations wherein no fracture is detected by the x-ray, the use of MRI can help identify whether the injury has caused damage on the neighboring soft tissues. Rehabilitation or rehab is needed.
• Accidents like falling
• Sudden, powerful muscle contractions
• High energy trainings (athletes)
• Sports activities
Evulsion Fracture Symptoms
• Pain on the area
• Pain on the injured area when weight is put on it
Evulsion Fracture Treatment
Evulsion fractures can be treated internally or externally depending on its severity. An evulsion fracture which has caused damages on the sciatic nerves is one major indication that the fracture needs immediate surgery. For example, if the fragmented piece of bone is more than 2cm away from the main bone body and there is continuous pain despite of previous application of reduction treatments, this calls for surgery. There are two choices being used for surgical procedures for evulsion fractures. The first is resection wherein the ripped fragment is totally cut away. The second option is open reduction which involves surgically rejoining the bone back through the use of pins or screws. Surgery can bring the best results such as sure and rapid recovery.
On the other hand, cases that do not fall under the said indications are likely to undergo conservative treatments like the use of casts, braces, or the application of physiotherapy rehabilitation. In applying these conservative treatments, the first goal is to make the pain as manageable as possible. This can be done through the application cold compress and taking anti-inflammatory drugs. The second goal is to make the injured area return to its normal condition. This is done by putting the patient under a lengthy period of rest and helping him to do exercises like balancing and weight shifts.
Evulsion Fracture Healing Time, Recovery Time: More than 8 weeks for evulsion injury.
Prevention of Evulsion Bone Injury
Since most evulsion fractures happen to athletes who are exerting too much energy during their trainings, one thing they can do is to have brief warm-ups before doing things that are highly physical. By conditioning the body, the muscles will be more conditioned to stress and become flexible. Doing trainings in a gradual process also helps because the muscles are gradually subjected to stress until these can handle powerful contractions when needed.
When to Call a Doctor
People who feel pain, numbness, and stiffness on the injured area should immediately seek the doctor’s attention. Though there are cases of evulsion fractures which can be treated by prolonged rest, experiencing symptoms of evulsion injury is an indication that the injury can be a serious one. However, you do not have to call an ambulance or the emergency number for an evulsion case. Just bring the person to the hospital and let the doctor do his diagnosis and he knows what to do.