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Understanding Fracture Treatment and Symptoms

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Understanding Fracture Treatment and Symptoms

A bone fracture is a relatively common injury where one of the 200-plus bones in the body gets damaged. The United States has over 6 million reported cases of this injury yearly.

A common cause of bone fractures is trauma, and an example of trauma is falling from a height and using your arm to brace the impact. The speed and positioning of the arm can lead to the bone snapping into two.

While bone fractures are traumatic injuries, it is possible to recover from them with the proper treatment. Some cases only require a sling or brace. Other times, more complex bone fracture treatments are needed.

3 Types of Bone Fractures

Bone fracture treatment depends on the type of injury. The three primary considerations are:

  1. The pattern of the fracture. This is a medical term that describes the shape of the break or how it looks. Examples include traverse fractures characterized by a straight-line break, oblique fractures which show a diagonal pattern and impacted fractures which happens when two bones are forced into one another.
  2. The cause of the bone fracture.
  3. The specific bone that breaks.

Your doctor will investigate all three aspects to determine the best fracture treatment.

Bone Fracture Symptoms and Causes

The most common symptom of fractures is a lot of pain. You can observe tenderness, swelling and bruising around the area of the injury. Deformity is another common symptom. When bones break, they create unnatural angles affecting the damaged limb.

Depending on which bone was fractured, the injured person may have difficulty moving the affected area. In some cases, they lose overall control due to nerve damage.


Diagnosing Bone Fractures

Once patients stabilize after an accident, they will undergo different tests to determine if they have bone fractures. Some breaks are easy to spot, while others require special tests. For example, it is easy to spot a broken arm, but a damaged rib can be tricky.

The following tests may be performed to diagnosis a bone fracture:

  • X-ray: Used to confirm the extent of the damage.
  • Computerized tomography (CT) scan: Provide a detailed picture of the bone and tissues around it.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): Provide the best image of the entire area, including the bone, tissues, ligaments and cartilage.
  • Bone scan: Used to find specific fractures.

Bone Fracture Treatment

The treatment a person receives depends on the diagnosis. Once the medical personnel checks the damage, they can plan their approach to fix it.

Immobilization is a bone fracture treatment used when the bones do not move too far from each other. A splint or cast can keep them together as they heal.

A more severe break will need a closed reduction; a non-surgical procedure that realigns the affected bones by pushing them back. Local anesthetics or sedatives are used to help prevent pain.

The last recourse is surgery, reserved for severe cases where any other bone fracture treatment won't work. Doctors open the affected area and realign the bones from there. In some cases, foreign objects are introduced in the procedure. For example, steel plates or screws can keep bones together as they heal.

ProMedica Toledo Hospital

Get Immediate Bone Fracture Treatment at ProMedica Toledo Hospital Emergency and Urgent Care

Bone fractures commonly happen in accidents and other athletic events. The adrenaline may cover up the pain for a while, but it is crucial to get immediate medical attention.

ProMedica Toledo Hospital Emergency and Urgent Care provides patients with quality care and services. Staff are ER-trained to determine patient conditions, and patients only pay for the level of service they receive - either ER or urgent care. The emergency department is open 24/7 and the urgent care clinic is open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. You don't need an appointment; all walk-ins are welcome.

ProMedica Toledo Hospital Emergency and Urgent Care is located at 1075 Medical Center Parkway, Maumee, OH 43537.