Fractures Treatment

Fracture Treatment

What is a Fracture ?

A fracture, also known as a broken bone, is a condition that changes the contour (shape) of the bone. Fractures often occur when there is a high force or impact put on a bone.

Fractures are common and can be caused by a number of things. People Break Bones in Sports Injuries, Car Accidents, Falls or from Osteoporosis (Bone Weakening Due to Aging). Although most fractures are caused by trauma, they can be "Pathologic" (caused by an underlying disease such as cancer or severe osteoporosis). There are more than one million "Fragility" fractures every year that are due to osteoporosis. Medical care is needed immediately after a bone is fractured.

What are the types of Fractures ?

There are many types of fractures :

  • A fracture can be closed (the skin is not broken) or open, which is also called a compound fracture (the skin is open and the risk of infection significant).
  • Some fractures are displaced (there is a gap between the two ends of the bone). These often require surgery.
  • A partial fracture is an incomplete break of a bone.
  • A complete fracture is a complete break of a bone, causing it to be separated into two or more pieces.
  • A stress fracture, sometimes called a "hairline fracture," is like a crack and may be difficult to see with regular X-rays.

These are the different types of partial, complete, open, and closed fractures :

  • Transverse : the break is in a straight line across the bone.
  • Spiral : the break spirals around the bone.
  • Oblique : the break is diagonal across the bone.
  • Compression : the bone is crushed and flattens in appearance.
  • Comminuted : the bone fragments into several different pieces.
  • Avulsion : a fragment of bone is pulled off, often by a tendon or ligament.
  • Impacted : the bones are driven together.

What are the Causes of a Fracture ?

Fractures occur when a force that is stronger than the bone itself is applied to a bone. Fractures can occur from falls, trauma, and a direct blow to a bone. Repetitive forces caused by running can cause a fracture, as well. These running fractures are often called stress fractures; these are small cracks in the bone. Osteoporosis may also cause a fracture in older people.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Fractures Throughout the Body ?

  • Arm : Pain, Swelling, Abnormal Bend, Difficulty Using or Moving Arm, Warmth, Bruising, or Redness
  • Elbow : Pain, Swelling, Bruising, Stiffness, a 'Pop' Noise at the time of Fracture, or Visible Deformity
  • Wrist : Pain, Swelling, Decreased use of Hand and Wrist, a Crooked or Deformed Appearance, and Unable to Hold a Grip
  • Hand : Pain, Swelling, Tenderness to Touch, Stiffness, and Weakness. Deformities are not Always Common
  • Finger : Pain, Swelling, Unable to Move the Finger, a Shortened Finger, or a Depressed Knuckle
  • Leg : Severe Pain, Swelling, Tenderness, Bruising, Obvious Deformity, and the Inability to Walk
  • Knee : Pain, Swelling, Bruising, Inability to Straighten the Knee and the Inability to Walk
  • Ankle : Severe Pain, Swelling, Tenderness to Touch, Bruising, Deformity, and the Inability to Walk
  • Foot : Severe Pain, Swelling, Bruising, Numbness in Toes and Foot, Decreased Range of Motion, Inability to Walk Comfortably, and Visible Deformity
  • Toe : Pain, Swelling, Discoloration, and Bruising. You should be able to Walk, but not Comfortably

How is a Fracture Diagnosed ?

  • X-Ray : X-ray imaging produces a picture of internal tissues, bones, and organs. Most fractures are diagnosed by using an X-ray.
  • Other Tests : usually not needed if the fracture is obvious on X-ray
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) : An MRI is a procedure that produces a more detailed image. It is usually used for smaller fractures or stress fractures. It is also helpful in differentiating ligamentous injuries from fractures.
  • Computed Tomography Scan (CT or CAT Scan) : A three - dimensional imaging procedure that uses a combination of X-rays and computer technology to produce slices, (cross - sectional images), horizontally and vertically, of the body. This is very useful in fractures involving joint. It helps in determining right kind of treatment for proper joint alignment.

How is a Bone Fracture Treated ?

A bone fracture which is not much displaced is treated with a cast and splint. A cast or splint will immobilize the bone (keep it from moving) in order to encourage the bones to align (straighten) and to prevent use of the bone. In some cases when the bone is small (toes or fingers), no cast is needed and the fracture is immobilized by wrapping. Medication may also be prescribed to ease the pain of the fracture.

Traction may also be used to stabilize and realign fractures before surgery. Traction uses a system of pulleys and weights to stretch the muscles and tendons around the broken bone.

If a fracture is displaced and through a major bone, patient may need surgery. Hip fractures almost always require surgery, because other treatments require that the hip remain immobilized for a long time, and often have poor results. Internal and external rods and pins may be used to hold the bone in place to allow the bones to align.

Fractures involving joints with displacement are treated by surgery with the aim for early fixation and mobilization to prevent joint stiffness, joint incongruity. The paradigm has shifted to aggressive early mobilization for faster recovery and rehabilitation in young and elderly.

With the advent of newer technologies, like image intensifier (C Arm IITV), Fractures are treated with less invasive and accurate method with the focus on early mobilization. Anusha Hospital has the latest High Frequency C arm Image Intensifier which adds to the accuracy of the treatment offered.