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Fractures

  • What are Fractures?

    A fracture is a break in the bone caused by stress or a strong enough impact. It could happen to any healthy bone. Medical conditions, such as osteoporosis, that cause the bones to weaken will increase the risk of bone fractures.

  • A fracture occurs when the physical force put on the bone is stronger than the bone itself. Greenstick fractures may occur during infancy and childhood because their bones are softer and more flexible than those of adults. Although broken bones occur mostly during childhood, a bone can still fracture at any age. Older people who have more brittle bones (osteoporosis) are more likely than young people to fracture a bone in a fall.

  • Symptoms of a fracture include:

    • Bone protruding from the skin (only in open fractures)
    • Deformity of the injured area, such as in a limb
    • Loss of function in the injured area
    • Pain in the injured area
    • Swelling or bruising in the injured area
  • Treatment usually involves immobilising the affected bone. This can be done by surgery to ‘pin’ the broken bone together or by a cast to stop you from moving the affected area. Bones can take 6 weeks or more to heal.

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