When we have bone fractures, it means that our bones are under pressure at a level that is more than the bone structure can take. This often leads to the crack on the structures of the bone. The severity of the fracture, therefore, depends on the strength of the impact, the position of the bone when it was hit, and what type of bone has been affected. This is why bones can break in many different ways. The different cases of broken bones could be compound fractures, closed fractures, stress fractures, and fractures caused by pathological diseases such as osteoporosis.
These types of bone injuries occur because there is difference in the application of the force while osteoporosis weaken the structure of the bones and can cause the bone to fracture even with slight force applied to the bone. Moreover, unlike any part of our body when become diseased or wounded, our bones can show broken bones symptoms with different manifestations.
Types of Bone Fractures / Broken Bones
For open and compound bone fractures, the injured bones can show through the skin because the jagged edges of the broken bones can destroy the covering muscles and tissues. Closed fractures are fractures that are confined inside the body. The condition of the bones will be revealed by the x-ray or other powerful machines like CT scans or MRI scanner.
Stress fractures, on the other hand are caused by the unequal stress and forces of tension that is repeatedly applied on the bone which can cause the bone to develop small cracks and can lead to bigger cracks when more force is applied. Pathological bone fractures are caused by bone degenerating diseases such as osteoporosis, bone cancer, or tumor growing on the bone tissues. The broken bones in foot or hand become weakened and with only trivial pressure, this can already lead to bone breaks.
Bone fracture diagnosis is done by the doctor by initially asking the patient the cause of the injury, when the injury occurred and what other part of the body is in pain. xrays will be taken if the doctor sees bone fracture symptoms through physical examination. If there is a complete fracture with total dislocation of the bone and with fragmented bones, this injury will be considered an emergency case and require surgery and internal fixation. Some doctors straightly recommend the use of MRI or CT scans to see clearer images of the bones and so even the hairline fractures can be detected. If the patient is suffering from osteoporosis, bone scans or xrays may also be recommended to know total coverage of the fracture. Rehabilitation or rehab is necessary.
Signs and Symptoms of broken bones
Broken bone symptoms in children or elderly people will surely manifest once there is the disruption on the normal structures of the bone. The following are the most common signs or symptoms of broken leg, neck, tibia fibula, humerus, radius, wrist, ankle, foot, toe, ribs or other body parts:
• Swelling around the broken bone area
• Bruises will appear in due time after the bone is fractured
• Bleeding when there is an open fracture
• Severe pain in the injured area
• Failure of free movements for the injured body part
• Inability to move the fractured limb when there is nerve damage
• Deformity when there is the displacement of the bone
There are also different ways to treat bone injuries but the most popular type is the use of cast especially if the injured part is anywhere on the limb. The bones that are displaced will be put back in place with the use of bone traction. No surgery is needed if there are no bone fragments that will be revealed by the x-rays. The cast will immobilize the limb until the bones heal. The person will have to undergo physical therapy when the bone has finally joined again but the person must avoid heavy stress to avoid the recurrence of the fracture.
The second option is the surgery and the use of internal fixation. This is done for complete fractures with multiple fragments. The use of wires, pins, and plates is inevitable because there is the need to reattach the bones altogether. For long bones, metal rods are inserted through the bones to join the bones together. External fixation can also be used to properly align long bones. In this type of treatment, the long bones are connected with metal pins and these pins are attached to the external fixator that is placed outside the skin over the injured area. The external fixator is also made up of metal rods with adjusters and it is there to keep the bones from getting out of their position until it heals.
How The Treatment Works:
In internal fixation, when the bone are fixed through wires, pins or metal rods, the bone will produce calluses within the fractured part once bones are joined together. These calluses will hardened into calcium deposits and will be closing the cracks altogether. The same thing goes for bones that underwent bone reduction or casting. Bone healing time or recovery time may be from weeks to months depending on the severity of the fracture and if there are no complications that went along with the treatment. Physical therapy follows after the bone has been removed off its cast. This is to strengthen the muscles and condition the bone so that bone remodeling can take place.
There are many ways in preventing fractured bones from happening but the best way is to avoid doing anything that could cause harm to your body. In sports, there are protective gears which you could wear to protect your body’s bony parts such as knee pads, wrist bands, elbow pads, helmets, and shin pads and so on. Although these things cannot entirely stop the injury, at least the risk of having a severe fracture can be minimized.
When to Seek Medical Help
Broken bone symptoms are the manifestations that the person needs medical help. If the fracture happens and signals nerve damage, internal hemorrhage or an open fracture, call the hospital’s emergency hotline immediately.