There are many different types of bone fracture but the main ones are called:
Complete – bone breaking into two or more parts
Incomplete – bone cracks but doesn’t break all the way through the bone
Compound – (also called an open fracture), bone breaks through the skin tissue
Simple – (also called a closed fracture), bone breaks but doesn’t come through the skin.
Fracture types are:-
- Comminuted fracture: – Can be caused by a blow/trauma directly onto the bone, or in some cases by acute muscle spasm. The bone will appear splintered or even crushed and fragmented into 3 or more separate parts.
People who may be liable to this fracture are athletic sports men and women, who have a regular contact with a solid surface e.g. road running or bike riding. They are prone to this fracture as they are running/riding on something that doesn’t have a resistance which will then, through action, will jar and fracture bones. Also older people with bone diseases e.g. osteoporosis are liable to have this fracture due to possible lack of calcium and protein in their diets.Treatment for this type of fracture usually involves surgery and putting in metal pins into the bone to aid healing
- Simple Fracture:-This is where the bone fracture causes very little or no damage to the neighbouring tissue. (Closed and skin not broken).
This fracture can be easily treated.
- Greenstick Fracture:-This is when only one side of the bone is broken and the other side is bent. This fracture is more commonly seen and reported in childrenbecause their bones are much softer and a lot more flexible than the bones of adults. Sometimes this fracture can be difficult to diagnose due to lack of swelling or little pain and if the child in question has full mobilisation of the limb with the possible break. Some are misdiagnosed as sprains. Treatment is usually immobilization in a plaster cast.
- Impacted Fracture:-An impacted fracture happens when the actual fracture breaks up into more fragments which then rub and drive against each other. This fracture could be caused someone falling down stairs, with the impact of the fall on the leg and knee bones, therefore causing the breaking and then fragmenting of the bone. This fracture is very difficult to heal and is often only treated by orthopaedic surgeons due to its complexity
- Compound Fracture:-(Open and skin broken)This is a fracture that the bone actually breaks through the skin. The bone fragments which have broken become sharp and begin to lacerate the soft tissue and then break through the wound that it has caused in the skin. A very serious and complicated condition that requires immediate treatment to decrease chance of an infection.
In the UK pain relief can be given by the doctor, who may well need to manipulate the fractured pieces back into their original positions before applying a splint. This process is called reduction. Some fractures are splinted for a day to allow swelling to subside before they are casted.