Bone fractures and dislocations are common injuries that affect people of all ages and are generally caused by traumas, like falls or sports injuries. Fractures and dislocations are relatively commonplace, and most can expect to make a full recovery and resume their daily routine once the bone heals.
If you feel you may have fractured or dislocated a bone, schedule an appointment or walk in to your nearest Local MD Urgent Care. Our highly skilled staff will stabilize the injury, ensuring you get back to your life as soon as possible.
What is a fracture?
A bone fracture is the medical term for a broken bone. Fractures are usually the result of bodily trauma. Falls, sports injuries and car accidents are just some of the ways breaks occur. Certain medical conditions, like osteoporosis, can increase your risk for fractures.
In some cases, surgery may be required to repair the broken bone. But in most cases, fractures can be treated with a cast, splint, brace or sling. The recovery time period for a fracture varies based on which bone is broken and where and how the break occurred.
The different types of fractures
While they’re examining your injury, you may hear your provider refer to a number of different types of fractures. To over simplify it, the different names demonstrate the pattern, cause and severity of the break.
Stable Fracture – If you have a stable fracture, that means the broken ends of the bone line up and are barely out of place.
Compound Fracture – With a compound fracture, sometimes called an “open fracture,” the skin around the injury is broken and, in some cases, the broken bone could be visible or protruding from the skin.
Transverse Fracture – Transverse fractures are breaks that have a horizontal fracture line.
Oblique Fracture – Oblique fractures are breaks in an angled pattern.
Comminuted Fracture – With a comminuted fracture, the bone breaks into three or more pieces.
Spiral Fracture – In a spiral fracture, one part of the bone has been twisted that the point of the break.
Stress Fracture – Sometimes called a “hairline fracture,” stress fractures are usually the result of overuse or physical activities that put too much pressure on a bone.
How to tell if a bone is fractured or bruised
Fractures and bruises occur the same way, when a force strong enough hits your body. If enough force hits your body, your bone can bleed without actually breaking. That blood gets trapped under the surface of the bone, resulting in a bone bruise.
The easiest way to determine if a bone is fractured or just badly bruised is via medical imaging technology, like an x-ray. So if you’ve experienced a trauma and there’s a question of whether it’s fractured or bruised, the best course of action is to have it looked at immediately.
What are dislocations?
Dislocation is the medical term for when a bone is knocked out of its usual place or joint. From fingers to shoulders, dislocations can occur at any joint in your body and are almost always the result of traumas, like sports injuries or falls.
Never try to force a dislocated joint back into place on your own. It’s best to seek the help of trained medical professionals. Should you need assistance, walk-in to your nearest Local MD clinic.
Please note, with your optimal care in mind, if your injury is severe, the Local MD team may refer you to a local emergency room.