Wondering what the difference is between a fracture vs. a broken bone? You may be surprised to learn that a fracture is actually the same thing as a broken bone. In fact, the term “fracture” is the official medical term used to identify a broken bone. However, there are various types of fractures. Here we’ll discuss the most common ones and what type of treatment is required for each.
A closed fracture occurs when the bone breaks but does not puncture through the skin. Treatment options, in this case, are determined by the severity of the crack or break. Depending on the location and type, the doctor may be able to reset the bone and apply a splint or cast to be worn for up to 2 months. For more serious injuries, surgery may be required to insert plates, screws, pins, or an external fixator to help heal the bones.
If the bone breaks and punctures through the skin, it’s called an open fracture. This kind of break needs immediate attention because there’s a potential risk of a bone infection. The faster you get medical care, the less chance there is of it becoming infected.
This type of fracture occurs when the bone shatters in at least three pieces. The ends will also have moved so that they’re not lined up. A displaced fracture often results from a trauma where excess pressure has caused the bone to break. It’s commonly found following a vehicular accident, fall or blow to the body. It can be very painful and include swelling as well as small protrusions in the area. If you suspect that you have this kind of fracture, it’s important to have it examined in case any sharp edges have caused damage to surrounding muscle or organs.
This is the same type of fracture as a displaced one, but the bones tend to crack, splinter apart or all the way through while still maintaining proper alignment. They also won’t move out of place. These are often caused by high-impact trauma such as in vehicular accidents. In most cases, surgery is required to fix and reconstruct the bone.
An angle-style break is considered to be an oblique fracture. They are caused by forceful twisting motions and are more often seen in long bones such as your femur or tibia, and in the hands and feet. These are commonly found in slip and falls and sports injuries with the severity depending on the type of bone that breaks. The main symptoms are usually pain and swelling in the area as well as skin discoloration. If the fracture is closed, then a splint or cast is likely needed, but if an option fracture forms, surgery may be the only option.
Fractures can have major complications if not treated quickly and properly. You may also need to take time off of work to allow your injuries to heal. Recuperation time will depend on the type of fracture, your age, and your health. For some, it can take months to heal, making it difficult to move around and to work. If you’ve experienced a fracture because of someone else’s negligence, you may be eligible for compensation. Contact us at Zuber & Brioux Injury Attorneys, and we’ll help you get the justice and compensation you deserve.