Fractures | Types of Fractures | Fracture Treatment

Fractures Key Points

  • Usually break in bone called Fracture
  • Most Fractures are caused by accidents
  • Bone Fractures due to underlying cause are called pathological fractures
  • Fractures that cause injury to overlying skin are called compound fractures
  • Different types of fracture usually include avulsion, comminuted and hairlineBone healing is usually a natural process.


It is a condition in which there is partial or complete break in the continuity of usually result from accidents, high force impact stress or underlying medical conditions such as osteoporosis, osteopenia, or bone cancer. Fracture can be crosswise, lengthwise, in several pieces or into many pieces. Broken bone and fracture bone are the same things.

Types of Fractures:


If the skin does not break or open with the fracture.


If the skin break or open with the fracture.


In this fracture bone break into two pieces.


There is usually a gap where the bone breaks.


There is only a crack on the bone.

Medical terms


The bone break into several different pieces.


A muscle, tendon or ligament pull on the bone.


The bones gets flattened or crushed it usually occur in spongy bone in spine.


It usually involves joint dislocation in which one of the bones of the joint has fracture.


They are incomplete fractures and occur when a bone bends and is usually more common in children.


A small crack or severe bruise within a bone due to stress.


It is usually a break where the ends are driven into each other.


These fractures usually crosses the joint surface they also involve some cartilage damage.


The fracture happen along the length of the bone.


Fracture that happen diagonally to bone axis.


Fracture due to some underling medical condition conditions in which bone already weaken.


Bone fracture due to twisting force.


Tiny cracks in bone due to stress or overuse most common in athletes.


Can occur in any soft or compressible bone but most preferably. Used in context of radius and ulna fracture.


Perpendicular or straight break along the axis of bone.

Sign and symptoms

The sign and symptoms depend on the patients health condition, age and severity of injury.

Some of the common sign and symptoms include;

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Discoloration of skin around the bone break
  • Patient unable to carry weight
  • Movement restriction

When facture occur in large bones it usually have;

  • The patient may look pale
  • Patient may have feeling of dizziness
  • Patient may have feeling of nausea

Causes of Fractures:

Bone break usually occur when your bone come in contact with greater force than usually it can support. Some common causes include;

  • Automobile accidents
  • Sports injuries
  • More stress
  • Fall

Who is at increase risk of fracture?

  • Old age people
  • People having osteoporosis
  • People suffering from endocrine or intestinal disorders
  • Most prone to fractures are those who are physically inactive, drink alcohol and smoke

Pathophysiology of Fractures:

The natural action of healing a fracture starts when the injured bone and surrounding tissues bleed, forming a fracture hematoma. The blood coagulates to make a embolus situated between the broken fragments. Within a couple of days, blood vessels grow into the jelly-like matrix of the embolus. The new blood vessels bring phagocytes to the world , which gradually removes the non-viable material. The blood vessels also bring fibroblasts within the walls of the vessels and these multiply and produce collagen fibers. In this way, the embolus is replaced by a matrix of collagen. Collagen’s rubbery consistency allows bone fragments to maneuver only a little amount unless severe or persistent force is applied. At this stage, a number of the fibroblasts begin to get down bone matrix within the sort of collagen monomers. These monomers spontaneously assemble to make the bone matrix, that bone crystals (calcium hydroxyapatite) are deposited in amongst, within the sort of insoluble crystals. In fact, bone may be a mineralized collagen matrix; if the mineral is dissolved out of bone, it becomes rubbery. Healing bone callus on the average is sufficiently mineralized to point out abreast of X-ray within 6 weeks in adults and fewer in children. This initial “woven” bone doesn’t have the strong mechanical properties of mature bone. The whole process may take up to 18 months, but in adults, the strength of the healing bone is typically 80% of normal by 3 months after the injury.

Diagnosis of Fractures:

  • Doctor will do physical examination ,identify the signs and will make diagnosis
  • Doctor will also ask for X-ray, MRI or CT scan


Bone healing is usually a natural process which will occur automatically. Treatment usually focuses on providing suitable circumstances for optimum healing. For natural healing ends of broken bone need to lined up this is known as reducing the fracture. It usually done by surgery, manipulation, or closed reduction.


It is usually done so bones stay aligned while healing, It includes;


This hold the bone in position until healing.


Plates usually use to hold the broken pieces of bone together while screws are used to attached the plates with bones. They may be left in place or they may be removed in some cases.


Mostly closed fractures are treated through internal fixation with medullary or interlocking nails. They do not provide rigid fixation so some movements exist at fracture site.


This is usually a type of scaffolding in which steel pins like plates and screws go into the bone directly through small incisions into skin and muscles the pins, plates and screws are usually attached to a bar outside the skin.

Usually fractured area is immobilized for 2-8 weeks. But duration depend on site of fracture and underlying conditions.


Healing is usually a natural process. If a broken bone has been aligned properly and kept immobilize the healing process is usually fast.

  • Osteoclast remove dead cells
  • Osteoblasts are bone forming cells
  • Callus is a newly formed structure it forms on either side and grows toward each side until gap is filled. EvenTually the excess bone smooths off as the bone before.

Healing depend on type of fracture age of patient and which bone is affected.

Smoking has direct relation with healing. Those who smoke while require greater time for healing as compared to non smoker.

Physical therapy for Fractures:

After healing it is necessary to restore movement and muscle strength of the fractured site. If fracture occur on a joint or near a joint there are chances of arthritis or stiffness the patient may not be able to move the affected area as before


As in open fracture with bone skin, muscles and soft tissues also this situation plastic surgery may be required.

Delayed and NON Unions:

Delayed unions are those that take greater time to heal than usually required for healing. Non-Union fracture are those which unable to heal due to several reasons

In delayed healing usually low intensity ultrasound therapy is given on daily basis to increase the process of healing

Bone graft:

In non unions natural synthetic bones are grafted for stimulation of fracture bone.

Doctor may also prescribe some medications to treat pain, infection or to manage other complications



If there is break in a skin bacteria can get in and affect the bone which can lead to a persistent fracture.

Mal union

Healing in wrong position is one of the most common complication.

Avascular necrosis

If due to some conditions bone loses its blood supply result bone death.



Our body needs vitamin D to absorb calcium. Sunlight is one of the natural source of vitamin D.


Human body need adequate nutrients for healthy bone. Vitamin C is essential for healthy bone. Sources of vitamin C include dairy products dark green vegetables ETC.

Physical activity:

Weight bearing exercises make the bones more stronger and denser.


On menopause estrogen level decrease which require for calcium regulation. Consequently, women should be more careful after menopause for bone health.

The following indications may help reduce post menopausal osteoporosis;

  • Stop smoking or drinking alcohol or reduce its amount
  • Do weight bearing exercises on weekly basis
  • Get adequate exposure to sunlight
  • Take food enrich wit calcium

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