Whether you’re old or young, fractures have one thing in common – they hurt.
Medical conditions like osteoporosis cause 1.5 million fractures annually in the United States. Other causes of fractures are sports injuries, trip and fall, and vehicle accidents.
Read on to learn about the 5 most common types of fractures.
1. Greenstick Fracture
The greenstick fracture is one of the most common types of fractures in children. It occurs when a bone does not fracture completely. Instead, it bends.
In young children, bones are still soft. When those bones are injured, they do not break the same way adult bones do.
The term greenstick comes from comparing the bone to the stick of a green tree branch, which will bend without snapping into two pieces.
2. Stress Fracture
Though appearing less severe than others, a stress fracture can be extremely painful. It is a hairline crack in a bone with minimal separation.
Common in athletes such as basketball players and runners, these types of fractures require several months of rest to heal.
Stress fractures don’t occur overnight. They are often cumulative, caused by months or years of stress on the bone.
3. Open Fracture
Also called a compound fracture, this one is easy to identify. An open fracture is when a piece of the broken bone pierces through the skin.
Sometimes the bone will pierce through the deeper layers of skin without breaking through the top layer, causing a “tenting” effect under the skin.
Other times, the bone will pierce through all layers of the skin, thus significantly increasing the risk of infection, as the fracture is now an open wound.
A fracture that is open to the outside should be considered contaminated and the patient treated with antibiotics.
4. Spiral Fracture
Among one of the most common types of fractures, a spiral fracture happens when a twisting force is applied to the bone.
Also called a torsion fracture, this is typically seen on an ankle, but can be found in other areas of the body too. If you torque your body with one leg planted, the force can cause a fracture that twists around the bone.
If you’re injured and planning to visit your urgent care clinic, it will save you time to bring along your patient forms filled out ahead of time.
5. Comminuted Fracture
Considered to be among the most severe types of fractures, a comminuted fracture occurs when the bone breaks into more than two pieces.
The bone may be crushed or splintered into several small fragments or shards.
A fracture such as this is often found after a high-impact trauma, such as a vehicle accident.
Surgery is common after this injury, requiring precision in removing bone fragments from the body.
All Types of Fractures Need Treatment
Whether or not you can identify the type of injury you or loved one has, the most important thing to do is seek treatment. Symptoms of a fracture include swelling, deformity, increased pain with pressure, and loss of ability to use that body part.
If you suspect an injury, contact your local urgent care today!