Seeking immediate and proper medical attention from a top facility, such as Connecticut Urgent Care Centers, if you suspect a broken or fractured bone is crucial to complete, and proper recovery. Determining the treatment needed will be affected by several factors, including which bone or bones were affected, how severe the fracture is, and what the potential dangers of re-injuring are. While some fractures will require a cast to stabilize the area, and immobilize the limb, other fractures and breaks might require surgery to repair the damage.
What To Expect – Types Of Fractures
The first determination that will be made by your Connecticut Urgent Care physician will be what type of fracture you have suffered and the nature of the injury. This is key to ensuring you receive the right treatment, giving you the best chances at a full and complete recovery. There are four basic bone injury categories, and your doctor will work with you to determine which one best fits your situation.
1) Stable Fracture
A stable fracture is both the least severe and simplest of all bone injuries. A fracture is said to be stable when the bone remains in place even though it is broken, and the bone has maintained it’s original shape and position. On an x-ray a stable fracture will resemble a scratch or line on the bones surface. In the majority of cases there is no noticeable gab or space between the pieces of bone.
2) Hairline Fracture
A hairline fracture, or partial fracture, is when the break only transverses part of the bone, and isn’t all the way through. On an x-ray the line will only show on part of the bone.
3) Open Compound Fracture
An open compound fracture an extremely serious form of bone injury, where not only the bone is broken clean through and separated, but the surrounding flesh is also compromised. In some cases the bone sticks through the flesh leading to further complications. Treatment requires surgery to repair the bone, muscle, and tendons.
4) Comminuted Fraction
When the bone is broken and separated into more than three pieces it is called a comminuted fracture. This is by far the most serious form of fracture, and usually requires extensive surgery, metal plates, and screws to secure the pieces of bone and help them heal together. This form of fracture is commonly seen in serious accidents.
How Can I Tell if I Have a Fracture? What Does It Look And Feel Like?
The most common symptom of a broken or fractured bone is pain, swelling, and tenderness. The area will be sensitive to the touch, and especially to pressure. In many cases where the injury occurred close to the joint, you will be unable to move the affected limb without a lot of pain.
In some cases there will also be extensive bruising and in the case of a compound fracture, there will also be a lot of bleeding and visible bone. In cases of fracture to a large bone, such as the femur or hipbone you might feel light headed or faint. You might look pale, and feel clammy and ill.
At that point your physician will generally order x-rays to determine whether or not you have suffered bone injury, and to determine the best course of treatment.
How are Fractures Treated?
Casts and braces are the most common treatment for fractures and are used to immobilize the area. A splint is usually used temporarily to allow swelling to go down for a better fitting cast. This is key to proper healing and keeping the bones in their proper place in order to make a full recovery. The length of time you will need to keep the cast on will be determined by your physician and will vary depending on your age, health, severity of the fracture or break.
In cases where the injury was more severe, warranting surgery or several surgeries, the recovery time will naturally be much longer. In some cases physical therapy might be needed to regain full mobility and strength in the affected area.