Broken bone

Bone - broken; Fracture; Stress fracture; Bone fracture

If more pressure is put on a bone than it can stand, it will split or break. A break of any size is called a fracture. If the broken bone punctures the skin, it is called an open fracture (compound fracture).

A stress fracture is a hairline crack in the bone that develops because of repeated or prolonged forces against the bone.

X-ray

X-rays are a form of ionizing radiation that can penetrate the body to form an image on film. Structures that are dense (such as bone) will appear white, air will be black, and other structures will be shades of gray depending on density. X-rays can provide information about obstructions, tumors, and other diseases, especially when coupled with the use of barium and air contrast within the bowel.

Fracture types (1)

There are several types of bone fracture, including oblique -- a fracture which goes at an angle to the axis, comminuted -- a fracture of many relatively small fragments, spiral -- a fracture which runs around the axis of the bone, and compound -- a fracture (also called open) which breaks the skin.

Fracture, forearm - X-ray

This X-ray shows broken (fractured) forearm bones (radius and ulna).

External fixation device

An external fixation device may be used to keep fractured bones stabilized and in alignment. The device can be adjusted externally to ensure the bones remain in an optimal position during the healing process. This device is commonly used in children and when the skin over the fracture has been damaged.

Fractures across a growth plate

A green stick fracture is an incomplete fracture in a long bone of a child who has not finished growing. A fracture involving a growth plate (the cartilage plate near the end of the bone of a growing child where growth occurs) can lead to disturbances in growth of the bone, even if treated properly.

Internal fixation devices

An internal fixation device may be used to keep fractured bones stabilized and in alignment. The device is inserted surgically to ensure the bones remain in an optimal position during and after the healing process.

Fracture types (2)

There are several types of bone fracture, including greenstick -- an incomplete fracture in which the bone bends, transverse -- a fracture that goes across the bones axis, and simple -- a fracture which does not break the skin.

Osteoclast

This picture shows a normal osteoclast. It is a large cell with separately identifiable, multiple nuclei. Osteoclasts are needed to repair bone.

Bone fracture repair  - series

Fractures of the bones are classified in a number of ways. A simple fracture involves a single fracture line through a bone. A comminuted fracture is one in which the bone has been fractured into two or more fragments. An open fracture is one in which the fractured bone penetrates the skin.

Considerations

Causes

Symptoms

First Aid

Do Not

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Prevention