A fracture is the breaking of a bone or cartilage, and is usually accompanied by soft tissue injury, pain and swelling in the surrounding area.
Types of Fractures
Open or Compound Fracture – Where the bone protrudes through the skin, bleeding can be profuse, possible risk of infection.
Closed or Simple Fracture – The skin stays intact, bleeding occurs into the tissues.
Complicated Fracture – Vital organs are damaged. Example, fractured ribs can puncture the lungs.
Causes of a Fracture
Direct force – a blow that breaks the bone at the point of impact, eg. A rock falls on an arm; a steering wheel hits the rib cage.
Indirect force – the bone breaks a distance away from the point of impact, eg. You fall on your outstretched hand and break your upper arm.
Abnormal Muscular Contraction – a sudden contraction of a muscle may result in a fracture. Example, an elderly man fractures his hip after tripping while trying to stop himself from falling
Signs and Symptoms may include:
- You may hear the break when a person falls.
- Casualty may feel the bone break.
- Pain at or near the injury site.
- Deformity – the limb could be positioned at the wrong angle.
- One limb seems shorter than the other limb.
- The limb has a loss of power.
- Tenderness and swelling
- Increase in pain as swelling increases.