Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Bone fractures: Types, Symptoms, Prevention and Treatments

What is Bone Health?
Bones are hard but they are not lifeless. They are growing tissue. Bones are comprised of three major components such as collagen, calcium phosphate mineral complexes as well as bone cells. These components help to keep them strong and flexible. Bone loss occurs as you age and it is necessary to take steps to protect it from getting damaged.

Why bone health is important?
Bones are an important part of the body and it complements our health. The important function of the bones is to provide structure to the body, protect various organs and also to store calcium in the body. At the young age the bones are formed rapidly after that as the age advances you lose more bone mass than you form. The higher your peak bone mass the more bone you have and this reduces your chance to develop osteoporosis as your age increases.

What causes bone fracture?
A partial or a complete breakage of bones is known as bone fracture. It isa medical condition that can be the result of higher impact due to force or may be stress on the bones that cause it to break. Sometimes a minor injury because of some disease such as osteoporosis that makes the bones weak and other medical conditions like bone cancer in which the fracture is termed as a pathologic fracture.

Bone Fractures: Types, Symptoms, Prevention and Treatments

Many types of fractures occur of which the main categories are listed below:

i. Comminuted Fracture – It refers toa bone injury in which there is more than 2 separate bone components, that is resulting in multiple fragments which is termed as comminuted fracture. The fracture also has specific names known as butterfly fragment and segmental fracture.

ii. Delayed Union Fracture – Delayed union fracture occurs in which bone healing does not take place at an expected time period. The bone union that has elapsed does not mean that it is permanent and the bone repair is not possible because it has become a nonunion. Delayed union mainly occurs because of problems such as inadequate immobilization, inadequate reduction, distraction, infection and loss of blood supply.

iii. Greenstick Fracture – Ina greenstick fracture a bone bends and cracks but does not break completely into separate pieces. It is common in children because they have soft and flexible bones. In some cases it becomes difficult to diagnose as a child may not be in severe pain and swelling and also the child is in full motion.
iv. Malunion Fracture – Ina Malunion fracture a breakage in the bone heals in an unacceptable position that lead to significant impairment. In this the bone is bent at a certain angle.

v. Metal Plate for Fracture - Metal plates has been used for a very long time for internal fixation of fractures. By the passing time an initial shortcoming that includes corrosion and insufficient strength have been overcome but the recent designs have not solved all the problems.

vi. Nonunion Fracture - Every fracture has the fear that it may not heal on time and becoming a nonunion. It can occur in any bone, but most commonly in the tibia, talus, humerus and fifth metatarsal bone.

vii. Oblique Fracture - An oblique fracture is a type of a break that has a fracture line that runs diagonal towards the bone shaft. It is similar to spiral fractures.

viii. Pins for Fracture - Pins are used to hold the pieces of bone together. It is used on small bones that cannot be fixed with the help of the screws. The pins are removed after a certain period but in some fractures may be left inside permanently.

ix. Screw for Fracture - The screws are used for internal fixation of a bone. It can be used to hold a fracture and also with rods, plates or nails. It may be designed for a specific type of fracture.

x. Spiral Fracture - A spiral fracture is caused by a twisting force, also known as torsion fractures that refer to the forces responsible to create a spiral fracture. It is difficult to treat a spiral fracture as the break is helical.

xi. Transverse Fracture - A transverse fracture is that in which the bone is completely broken in a way that is perpendicular to the way a bone runs. To understand this, forearm can be used to indicate a bone break essentially the break crosses the bone completely as a result the bone is separated into two pieces.

Bone Fractures Symptoms

When a fracture takes place a person experiences various symptoms and report to a doctor. In this, pain is a common symptom, whereas a rash is a sign. The signs and symptoms of a fracture differ according to the bone that is affected.
The symptoms of a bone fracture include swelling, discoloration of the skin around the affected area, pain, bruising, angulation of the affected area, the affected area cannot move, feel pain on putting weight on the area that is injured, bleeding if it is open fracture and grating sensation in the affected joint.

Bone Fracture Prevention
Bone fractures can be prevented. You have to take steps and follow these safety precautions given below:
  • Don’t ride a vehicle without wearing a seat belt.
  • Wear helmet and other safety equipment for doing the activities like contact sport, riding bikes or snowboarding.
  • Walk properly while climbing stairs that can cause you to fall.
  • Osteoporosis patients should perform regular exercise to improve the strength of the bones and also take calcium supplements suggested by a doctor.
  • Don’t climb on a ladder unless someone holds it for you and avoid going on a top step.

Bone Fracture Treatments
For healing the bone fracture following treatments are used, which are as follows:

a. Splints – The process of splinting is used when the fracture of a bone occurs. It helps to fill the gaps between the limb as well as the splint material. It is done using sticks or other objects to make padding between the injured limb and splint by using a jacket or a shirt filled with grass or anything that can help to make the patient comfortable.

b. Braces – The braces such as knee braces are used to support the bone which is injured that helps to reduce pain. Some persons wear it to prevent knee injuries while playing sports. It is made up of a metal, straps, foam, plastic and elastic material.

c. Plaster cast – A plaster cast is applied to support the fractured bones of the arm or leg to place them properly and to heal the bones. You have to visit the doctor for regular check up to make sure that it is properly fitted or not.

d. Traction – For a complicated fracture a person needs a surgery or a surgical traction or sometimes both. But it is rare and is used to handle severe damage of the bones.

e. Surgically inserted metal rods and plates – When the bone is broken into pieces, metal rods and plates are inserted with the help of a surgery to bring the pieces of bone together.

Bone fracture can be treated with the help of the above effective treatment. But you should take care to prevent severe injuries to prevent it.

Carolina Monroe Written by: Carolina
Way To Be Healthy Updated at: 7:00 AM


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