Fractures

 
 
 
 

Fractures

 
 
When you break a bone, the medical term is a bone fracture. This break may change the shape of the bone. A fracture can split a bone in two or sometimes in multiple pieces.

Anyone can sustain a fracture, though they are more common in certain situations. Falls, car accidents and sports injuries are common incidents resulting in fractures. Medical conditions such as osteoporosis can make fractures more likely.

 
 
 
Fracture
 
 
 
 
 

Signs & symptoms of fractures include:

 
 
  • Pain
  • Bruising
  • Deformity
  • Loss of ability to use the limb
  • Swelling
 
 
 
Signs of Fracture
 
 
 
 
 

Compound or open fractures:

 
 
This is when there is an open wound or break in the skin near the site of the broken bone.

An open fracture requires urgent treatment because the skin wound allows dirt and other contaminants to enter the wound and cause infection.

Treatment includes cleaning out the wound, tissues, and bone in a surgical procedure as soon as possible. The fractured bone must also be stabilized to allow the wound to heal.
 
 
 
Compound/Open Fracture
 
 
 
 
 
 

Treatment of fractures includes:

 
 
 
 
Casts and splints. These devices immobilize a fracture, allowing the fracture to heal.

Surgery. For some types of fractures, use of screws, plates, rods or frames may be needed to obtain better outcomes.

 
 
 
 
Treatment
 
 
 
 
Compound/Open Fracture
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Complications of fractures include:

 
 
Compartment syndrome. This is where severe swelling or bleeding of muscles surrounding the fracture may lead to long-term damage to the limb.

Stiffness and weakness of the limb.

Deep vein thrombosis. Clots forming in the veins which can dislodge and travel to other parts of the body, especially the lungs. Such complications can be potentially life threatening.

Cast-related complications. These can include pressure sores, skin rash, muscle wasting and joint stiffness.
The fracture fractures may also shift or migrate over time, especially with cast or splint immobilization.
 
 
 
Blisters
 
[Image : Fracture Blisters]
 
 
 
 
 
If you suspect you may have sustained a fracture, it is important to see a doctor urgently. Prompt assessment and management of fractures by an orthopaedic specialist is important for best outcomes. Our specialists are available around the clock, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to attend to and treat fractures.
 
 
 
 
 
Dr David Paul
 
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