A break in a bone is a 'fracture'

 

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Fractures occur commonly, particularly in childhood. Although bones can flex to absorb the force of a blow or fall, when a force is extreme the bone may break.
 
The most common causes of fractures are:
  • Trauma – a fall, car accident or a tackle during a football game can result in fractures
  • Osteoporosis – this disorder weakens bones
  • Overuse – repetitive motion can tire muscles and place more force and stress on
 
A bone may be completely or partially fractured. The severity of a bone fracture depends on the type of bone, the nature and cause of its injury, as well as the person’s age and health.
 
Broken bones can almost always heal themselves by making new bone. However, a bone may not heal correctly if the fractured pieces are out of alignment. X-rays, MRI or CT bone scans can indicate the type and severity of a fracture and if a procedure to align the broken bone will be necessary.

Closed fractures

Closed

Where the skin over the broken bone is intact.

Open fractures

Open

Where the skin or  another surface (mouth, intestines) has been pierced, either by the broken bone or the accident that caused the fracture.


Common types of fractures

Stress or hairline fracture

Stress-or-Hairline

Common in athletes' or osteoporotic bone, this is an overuse injury, where repeated physical stress can cause cracks in the bones of the legs and feet.

 Simple fracture

Simple

Where the bone only has one fracture line.

Comminuted fracture

Comminuted

Where the bone has broken into several pieces.

Greenstick fracture

Transverse

The bone is fractured on one side only, and bent on the other side. These commonly occur in children.

Transverse fracture

Transverse


This type of fracture has a horizontal fracture line.
 Oblique fracture

Oblique



This type of fracture has an angled pattern.

Displaced fracture

Displaced



Where the pieces of broken bone have moved out of place.