A fracture is a broken bone. When you break a bone, the ends of the bone may be smooth or jagged. If the fracture goes through the skin, it is called an open fracture. Fractures are common injuries and can occur in any bone in your body. Treatment depends on many factors, including where and how the fractures occurred. Most fractures will heal on their own with proper care. However, there are some things you can do to help ensure a speedy recovery.
What is a Bone Fracture?
A bone fracture is a break in the continuity of the bone. It can be caused by trauma, such as a fall or a car accident, or by repetitive stress from overuse. Bone fractures can also be the result of a medical condition.
If you are looking for a first aid course at Level 1/174 Gilles St, Adelaide 5000, to further your knowledge and skills in handling bone injuries, contact CPR First Aid for more information.
Types of Bone Fractures
There are many types of fractures, each with unique symptoms and treatment options. The most common fracture type is a bone break, which can occur due to trauma or overuse. A break in the bone can range from a simple crack to a complete break and may require surgery to heal correctly. Other types of fractures include:
A small crack in the bone occurs due to repetitive trauma or overuse. Stress fractures are common in athletes and people who participate in high-impact activities. Treatment for a stress fracture typically includes rest, ice, and elevation.
A partial break in the bone occurs when the bone is bent. Greenstick fractures are common in children, as their bones are more flexible than in adults. Treatment for a greenstick fracture typically includes immobilisation of the affected limb.
A break in the bone occurs when the bone is twisted. Spiral fractures are common in sports injuries and car accidents. Immobilisation of the injured limb is frequently part of spiral fracture treatment.
A break in the bone occurs in multiple pieces. Comminuted fractures are often the result of high-impact trauma, such as a car accident. Bone repair surgery is frequently used as a treatment for this injury.
A break in the bone that penetrates the skin. High-impact trauma, such as a car accident, frequently leads to compound fractures. Surgery to clean the wound and repair the bone is usually the first step in treating a compound fracture.
A break in the bone results in the bone being out of alignment. To repair the bone, dislocated fractures frequently need surgery.
A break in the bone does not result in the bone being out of alignment. Non-displaced fractures can often be treated without surgery.
Causes of Broken Bones
Fractures can occur for a variety of reasons. In some cases, they are the result of an accident or injury. However, fractures can also occur due to underlying health conditions such as osteoporosis.
Common Fractures in Children
The most common injury-related hospitalisations for children are fractures. Children who suffer fracture injuries frequently miss days from school and may have chronic discomfort, limited movement, and a lower quality of life.
Children can sustain many types of fractures, but an arm fracture is the most frequent case. This fracture typically occurs when a child falls and lands on their outstretched arm. Other common types of fractures include breaks in the leg bones.
Common Fractures Among Adults
The most typical break among older adults in Adelaide CBD is a hip fracture, followed by broken bones in the arms and legs.
Risk Factors for Fracture
- Osteoporosis: This disease causes bones to become thin and weak. People with osteoporosis are at a higher risk for fractures.
- Age: As people age, their bones become more vulnerable and fragile.
- Gender: Women are more likely to develop osteoporosis than men and thus are at a higher risk for fractures.
- Certain medications: Some medications, such as corticosteroids, can weaken bones and increase the risk of fractures.
- Smoking: Smoking has been linked to a higher risk for fractures.
- Excessive alcohol consumption: Drinking too much alcohol can also lead to weaker bones and an increased risk of fractures
How are Fractures Healed?
The healing process for a bone fracture involves the formation of new bone tissue (callus) at the site of the break. This new tissue gradually fills the gap and strengthens to support the body’s weight. This process can take several weeks or months, depending on the severity of the fracture.
In some cases, surgery may be necessary to realign the bone and support the healing process. Physical therapy is also often recommended to help regain strength and range of motion in the affected limb. Remember that improper healing of a broken bone can lead to more problems later, such as arthritis.
Broken Bone Treatment
The treatment of fractures in adults and children does not differ much. In most cases, mobilisation may be all that is required. However, more severe fractures require surgery to repair the bone. This may involve using metal rods, screws, or plates to hold the bone in place while it heals.
When to see a doctor?
Bone fractures are a common injury, particularly in older adults. Prompt treatment, most often, makes a full recovery.
Consult a doctor as soon as possible if you have fractured a bone. They will be able to carry out an examination and confirm the diagnosis. If the fracture is severe, you may need to be hospitalised and treated with surgery.
How to Prevent a Bone Break?
- Wear protective gear when participating in activities with a risk of injuries, such as football, hockey, or skateboarding.
- Avoid smoking and excess alcohol consumption, which can lead to bone loss.
- Eat a healthy diet with plenty of calcium and vitamin D to help keep bones strong.
- Do weight-bearing exercises regularly to help maintain bone density.
- See a doctor regularly for checkups, especially if you have a family history of osteoporosis or are taking medication that can lead to bone loss, like those that prevent blood coagulation or anticoagulants, steroids, cancer drugs, and thyroid hormones.
First Aid for Fractures
There are many fractures, but the basic first aid for all of them is similar. Calling triple zero (000) or the local hotline immediately is crucial if you suspect someone may have a fracture. There are various things you may do to assist in the meantime, including:
Keep the person still
It is important to keep the person from moving, as this can worsen the injury. This is to prevent further damage and help reduce pain. You can do this by splinting the area with a firm object such as a stick, rolled-up magazine, or even a belt.
Ice helps to reduce swelling and pain.
Support the injury
Use a splint or sling to support the injured limb or body part.
Elevate the injury
If possible, elevate the injured body part above the heart level to help reduce swelling.
If there is bleeding, apply direct pressure to the wound with a clean cloth.
To sum up, A bone fracture is a break in the bone’s continuity. Trauma such as a fall or automobile accident, recurrent stress from overuse, or osteoporosis can all be culprits.
CPR First Aid (RTO 21903) offers compliant and accredited CPR and first aid courses in Adelaide and many more locations across Australia. Send us your enquiry, and we’ll assist you from start to finish.