Fracturing a bone isn’t any fun at all, to say the least. No matter the type of fracture, you’ll likely experience a lot of pain when dealing with this kind of injury. Furthermore, it’s imperative to get medical care for a bone fracture, as to not make the initial injury worse.
Read on to learn more about bone fractures from our AFC Urgent Care Chapman Highway team!
What Is a Bone Fracture?
A fracture is when a bone breaks, whether it’s partially or all the way. These types of injuries usually happen due to car accidents, falls or sports injuries, but they can also be caused by things like osteoporosis and low bone density, which weaken bones.
There are many different types of bone fractures, and we’ve listed some of the most common ones below.
Types of Fractures
- Closed or open fractures: If the injury doesn’t open the skin, it’s called a closed fracture. If the skin does open, it’s called an open fracture or, perhaps more commonly, a compound fracture.
- Complete fractures: The break goes completely through the bone, separating it in two.
- Partial fractures: The break doesn’t go all the way through the bone.
- Stress (hairline) fractures: The bone gets a crack in it, which is sometimes tough to find with imaging.
Will Fractures Get Worse?
They can if they aren’t treated quickly and correctly. For example, when a stress fracture occurs, it can get worse over time and can result in the bone breaking completely if it isn’t treated. Complete bone breaks can cause even more pain and much more complicated treatments.
Also, if you’ve experienced a more serious fracture, like even a partial fracture, a bone that is left untreated can result in a nonunion, which means that it will remain separated and will cause swelling, tenderness and pain to continue to worsen over time. If you think you have a fracture but aren’t sure, the tests we’ve listed below will provide an accurate diagnosis.
Tests that Diagnose Fractures
- X-rays: This is the most common way to diagnose a fracture, as this tool produces a two-dimensional picture of the break.
- Bone scan: This type of test is used to find fractures that don’t show up on an X-ray. This scan takes longer—usually two visits four hours apart—but it can help find some fractures.
- CT scan: A CT scan uses computers and X-rays to create detailed slices or cross-sections of the bone.
- MRI: This type of test is most often used to diagnose muscle and tissue-related injuries, but it can also diagnose a stress fracture.
Whether you have a broken bone or a bad sunburn, we can help! Visit our AFC center today.