The human bones are powerful and can withstand reasonably strong impacts. However, you may develop fractures in East Brunswick due to significant trauma or underlying medical conditions such as osteoarthritis. Broken bones or fractures result in mild or intense pain depending on the severity of the condition. Other symptoms include bruising, swelling, and tenderness around the injured area. Through a diagnosis, your doctor can establish the type of fracture you have and administer effective treatment to alleviate your symptoms.
The types of bone fractures
A fracture or a broken bone may occur in different parts of your body, including your arms, legs, spine, and hip. Below are the different categories of fractures.
- An open or compound fracture occurs when a broken bone pierces through the skin. This is a severe type of fracture that requires immediate medical attention to prevent infection of the bone.
- Stable fracture. When a bone breaks, it can be slightly out of position and have a visible split but still line up. This type of fracture requires no surgical intervention for treatment.
- Incomplete fracture. This refers to a cracked bone that is not split into two parts.
- Complete fracture. You are said to have a complete fracture when your bone snaps into two or more different parts.
- Greenstick fracture. This type of fracture occurs when the bone partially breaks. This is most common in children because children’s bones are more flexible than adults.
- A displaced fracture occurs when two broken bones are not aligned. Your doctor may recommend surgery for treatment to realign the bones.
How is a fracture treated?
Before treatment, your doctor will use x-ray imaging to evaluate the extent of your injury. If you have a displaced fracture, your specialist may need to reposition the bones properly before using a splint. Since bones heal naturally, treatment is focused on providing an effective environment for healing. Some of the methods your specialist may use to facilitate healing include:
This is the most common type of treatment for a fracture, which involves using plastic casts or functional braces to restrict the movement of the broken bones. Your doctor may also suggest that you use a cane or crutches for a span of six to eight weeks to keep weight off the fractured bone.
Over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen may help alleviate inflammation and discomfort. It is essential to take these drugs as prescribed by your doctor. However, sometimes the pain may be severe, and your specialist may prescribe more potent painkillers to minimize your pain.
In most cases, fractured bones heal with immobilization techniques. However, your specialist may recommend surgery if you have multiple fractures, the fractures extend to a joint, or damage the surrounding ligaments.
Since part of treatment involves the restriction of movement, your muscles and bones may get weak and rigid. Physical therapy, which involves exercises, will help reduce stiffness and improve mobility in the injured area. This may take several months or longer, depending on how severe your injury was.
While fractures are common injuries, you can keep your bones strong by having a diet rich in calcium and engaging in weight-bearing exercises. If you would like to learn more about fractures, reserve a session with your specialist at Mid Atlantic Orthopedic Associates, LLP.