Fractures refer to a medical condition wherein a bone is broken. Usually, breaks and fractures are often treated as different but they are actually the same. If any of your bone has been hit by a strong force coming from the outside, the result would likely be a crack or a break on your bone. The amount of force that can be taken by the bone is only limited and when the applied force exceeds what your bones can take, a fracture can be expected to happen. Although there are many different classifications, there are two basic classifications, which are also commonly used that will be discussed in this article.
Two Basic Types of Fractures / Classification:
• Simple fracture. This is the type wherein the broken bone does not pierce the skin. Moreover, the bone is only broken into only two pieces and not more. The surrounding tissues of the broken bone are only slightly affected. It is also called as closed fracture.
• Compound fracture. This is the type of injury wherein the broken bone has pierced through the skin, hence forming some wounds. This is why it is also called as an open fracture. When compared to the simple fracture, the open wound has made this one even more dangerous as the person suffering from it is exposed to infection from external agent. Thus, operation will likely be needed in order to keep the skin from any possible infection.
Simple Fracture Symptoms
For simple fracture, there are a couple of symptoms that you need to take note of so that you would not immediately be worried about what kind of fracture you are having.
• Recurring severe pain that never goes away so easily
• Pale area surrounding the broken bone
• Tingling and numbness
• An obviously misplaced limb or joint
• Difficulty in carrying some weight
For compound fracture, all the other symptoms apply except that there is this single obvious thing that makes the difference obvious – a protruding bone that pierces through the skin. There are cases when you can no longer see the bone actually peeking out of the wounded skin but the piercing of the bone would visibly leave an open wound. The broken bone might have went out of the skin but pulled itself back in. The wound is reason enough for worry of exposure to infection that might be caused by dirt, debris, and many other external elements.
First Aid Treatment for Both Fractures
In order to not worsen the fracture, the first aid treatment should be applied. People who do not have any knowledge on such should not move or touch the person in any way to avoid further complications.
1. Assess the bone fracture and locate where it is.
2. Do not allow the person to move or be moved so as to avoid making the injury worse.
3. Realign the fracture if necessary.
4. Clean all wounds.
5. Remove any tight clothing or jewelry to let the blood flow better. Broken bones need more blood to reach them.
6. Check the circulation, motion, and sensation in the surrounding area of the fractured bone.
7. Make a splint for the fracture.
8. Do step six again.
9. Put the bone injury in elevation at six to ten inches to avoid too much swelling.
10. Put a cold pack to the bone injury but make sure that there is no risk to frostbite.
11. Monitor possible shock. Prevent shock by letting the person lay on a flat surface but elevate the feet twelve inches high above the head. Use blanket or coat to cover the head but be careful in moving the head especially with back, head or neck injury.
12. If the person is not under shock, give ibuprofen for pain relief.
Simple Fracture Treatment
Simple bone injuries are quite easily treated than do compound fractures. What makes the latter more complex and more of an urgent case is the wound that has to be addressed immediately. There are certain problems which are related to bone fractures. The person could suffer from the danger of blood loss, stunted bone growth, and possible injury to organs.
Simple fractures would still need much medical attention for such fracture can also be deemed harmful when broken bones are moved unnecessarily. In most cases, this kind of fracture will need ice, pain medication, elevation, and bracing. If some operation is needed, this might be done to align the bones and keep them in place. Limbs would be secured with bandage before the wet plaster is applied for casting. For expected swelling, the plaster can be split into two but wrapped with another layer of plaster outside.
Simple Fracture Healing Time, Recovery Time: It may take more than 8 weeks.
On the other hand, compound fractures should have wounds cleansed well before the person should be brought to the operating room. The cleansing will try to remove debris, dirt or many other elements that might infect the wound. Immobilization is also needed to give the bones some time to heal on their own. This might use external or internal splints plus plates and screws if the fracture is even more severe.