How you break your bone determines
what type of fracture you get. Twisting
your ankle in a hole will make a different bone break than falling from a roof. Doctors use bone geometry
to describe these fracture types. Some geometries are more stable and easier to fix than others.
fracture - meaning straight across. The two ends tend to
stay together i.e. it's a stable fracture.
fracture - meaning broken into many pieces. This is bad news as
the fragments will find it hard to stay together on their own. This
generally needs surgery using pins to hold everything together until
the bone heals.
fracture - meaning the bone ends are no longer touching.
This means they'll have to be reduced back together before healing
or crush fracture - meaning the bone has not snapped,
it's been stretched or crumpled like soft chalk. Great prognosis and common in kids.
fracture - this is a small crack in the bone from a repetitive
action like running which is so tiny you may not see it on X-ray,
but it hurts! This has an excellent prognosis if you give the bone a rest from repetitive injury as the damage is mild.
Another broad classification of fracture types is whether the fracture is 'open'
or 'closed'. Open fractures mean that the the skin around
the broken bone has split open. Closed fractures mean the
skin is intact over the fracture. This difference is important because
open fractures need antibiotic cover and may also need external
fixation to heal.
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