If you’ve ever suffered a hard hit or fall, two questions often come to mind. Is anything broke? And if yes, how bad is the break?
With those questions in mind, we took a deep dive into the world of broken bones, identifying severity, symptoms and types.
- Incomplete fractures don’t extend completely through the bone.
- Non-displaced fractures completely break the bone but the ends stay aligned.
- Displaced fractures will cause bone ends to no longer align and have potential to damage surrounding tissue.
- Open fractures protrude from the skin.
Is it broken?
If a bone is broke it may be hard to tell.
These symptoms are common:
- Tenderness over the bone.
- Swelling, bruising or bleeding.
- Numbness or tingling.
- Limb deformity.
- Increased pain with motion.
- Limited or no ability for movement.
- Grinding or grating feel or sound with movement.
- Inability to bear weight.
11 types of broken bones
Given varying degrees of severity, numerous types of bone fractures exist:
- Avulsion – bone separates at a ligament or tendon attachment.
- Impacted – bone compresses into the bone tissue usually in the long axis of the bone.
- Spiral – sudden rotation or twist while the foot is firmly planted breaks bone.
- Oblique – a sudden twist of one end of the bone while the other remains fixed.
- Transverse – a fracture across the shaft caused by a direct blow.
- Linear – a fracture along the length of the bone.
- Comminuted – three or more fragments at the site of the break.
- Greenstick – an incomplete break in a young bone; common in adolescents.
- Contrecoup – fracture that occurs at a site opposite from point of blow.
- Depressed – a flat bone fracture that causes a depression.
- Blowout – fracture at the orbit of the eye.
Keep your workout stress-free
Stress fractures are the most common fracture injury in athletes. These fractures occur when too much stress is put on a bone by doing too much, too fast and too soon.
Tips to avoid stress fractures:
- Use proper conditioning techniques without overtraining.
- Allow adequate time to recover between workouts and competition and for rehab following sports injury. See our video series on recovery from an ankle injury.
- Switch activities and playing surfaces.
Know what to do
Although symptoms may not be immediately clear, fracture injuries should be taken seriously. If you suspect a bone fracture, take these actions:
- For serious injury to the head, neck or back do not move the athlete and call 911.
- If a broken bone is sticking through the skin, call for help and attempt to control bleeding.
- For less serious injuries apply ice. If you’re able, splint the injury in the position found with ridged materials like a piece of cardboard, elastic bandage and tape. Seek medical care.
This post provided by Sports Wrap, from Marshfield Clinic Sports Medicine