There is a range of fracture types, including:
- Avulsion fracture – a muscle or ligament pulls on the bone, fracturing it.
- Comminuted fracture – the bone is shattered into many pieces.
- Compression (crush) fracture – generally occurs in the spongy bone in the spine. For example, the front portion of a vertebra in the spine may collapse due to osteoporosis.
- Fracture dislocation – a joint becomes dislocated, and one of the bones of the joint has a fracture.
- Greenstick fracture – the bone partly fractures on one side, but does not break completely because the rest of the bone can bend. This is more common among children, whose bones are softer and more elastic.
- Hairline fracture – a partial fracture of the bone. Sometimes this type of fracture is harder to detect with routine xrays.
- Impacted fracture – when the bone is fractured, one fragment of bone goes into another.
- Intraarticular fracture – where the break extends into the surface of a joint
- Longitudinal fracture – the break is along the length of the bone.
- Oblique fracture – a fracture that is diagonal to a bone’s long axis.
- Pathological fracture – when an underlying disease or condition has already weakened the bone, resulting in a fracture (bone fracture caused by an underlying disease/condition that weakened the bone).
- Spiral fracture – a fracture where at least one part of the bone has been twisted.
- Stress fracture – more common among athletes. A bone breaks because of repeated stresses and strains.
- Torus (buckle) fracture – bone deforms but does not crack. More common in children. It is painful but stable.
- Transverse fracture – a straight break right across a bone.
The signs and symptoms of a fracture vary according to which bone is affected, the patient’s age and general health, as well as the severity of the injury. However, they often include some of the following:
- discolored skin around the affected area
- angulation – the affected area may be bent at an unusual angle
- the patient is unable to put weight on the injured area
- the patient cannot move the affected area
- the affected bone or joint may have a grating sensation
- if it is an open fracture, there may be bleeding
When a large bone is affected, such as the pelvis or femur:
- the sufferer may look pale and clammy
- there may be dizziness (feeling faint)
- feelings of sickness and nausea.
If possible, do not move a person with a broken bone until a healthcare professional is present and can assess the situation and, if required, apply a splint. If the patient is in a dangerous place, such as in the middle of a busy road, one sometimes has to act before the emergency services arrive.
Most fractures are caused by a bad fall or automobile accident. Healthy bones are extremely tough and resilient and can withstand surprisingly powerful impacts. As people age, two factors make their risk of fractures greater: Weaker bones and a greater risk of falling.
Children, who tend to have more physically active lifestyles than adults, are also prone to fractures.
People with underlying illnesses and conditions that may weaken their bones have a higher risk of fractures. Examples include osteoporosis, infection, or tumor. As mentioned earlier, this type of fracture is known as a pathological fracture.
Stress fractures, which result from repeated stresses and strains, commonly found among professional sports people, are also common causes of fractures.
Diagnosis and treatment
A doctor will carry out a physical examination, identify signs and symptoms, and make a diagnosis.
The patient will be interviewed – or friends, relatives, and witnesses if the patient cannot communicate properly – and asked about circumstances that caused the injury or may have caused it.
Doctors will often order an X-ray. In some cases, an MRI or CT scan may also be ordered.
Bone healing is a natural process which, in most cases, will occur automatically. Fracture treatment is usually aimed at making sure there is the best possible function of the injured part after healing.
Treatment also focuses on providing the injured bone with the best circumstances for optimum healing (immobilization).
For the natural healing process to begin, the ends of the broken bone need to be lined up – this is known as reducing the fracture.
The patient is usually asleep under a general anesthetic when fracture reduction is done. Fracture reduction may be done by manipulation, closed reduction (pulling the bone fragments), or surgery.
Have Any Questions?
Specialist in treating a wide variety of injuries and conditions that impact bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles and nerves.
Dr. Nourian is affiliated with American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, American Board of Orthopedic Surgery, California Medical Association, North American Spine Society, Ventura County Medical Association.
What Patients Think About Dr. Nourian
Awesome awesome doctor!!!very nice to all his patient! Dr. Nourian is very kind and caring. A very pleasant man and easy to communicate with. He saw my son when he injured his hip and He took extra good care of him. After 2 wks he was able to resume sports. He’s not only a very good orthopedic surgeon but also an amazing Spine doctor. He always make sure he always gets the job done. 2 Thumbs up to this Doctor!!!??
Dr. Nourian was fantastic! He was able to alleviate my back pain. I would recommend him to anyone
Dr. Nourian is the best. His bedside manner is friendly and professional and his staff is excellent. I went to see him after a terrible whiplash injury when I rear-ended while driving. After receiving my MRI results, the doctor was quick to reach out and went over my options with me. He really cares about his patients.
Michelle Sadighpour Shophet
Dr. Nourian is an outstanding physician. I injured my back while exercising recently. I went to see him, and he explained my injury to me in detail. He told me that my injury would most likely heal without surgery, but if I needed surgery in the future he would get me through it. He is honest, intelligent, and forthcoming. I am thankful for him as my spine physician.
Dr. Nourian was absolutely fantastic. I was struggling with intense lower back pain. He took his time 40 minutes to be exact to see me and review everything with me after another follow up we decided to do surgery. Thank god!!! I’m back to working out, picking up my child, and living my best life. I was so hesitant to do surgery but he was a true god send. He would call me weekly to see how I’m doing.
Dr. Nourian is smart, caring, attentive and super knowledgeable. I highly recommend him as an orthopedic surgeon!
Sharon Darouvar Greiner
Great with patients and consciences of patient’s time as well as needs. He will spend time to assure the patients with respect to treatment plan and follow-up was amazing with my auntie’s back issues.
An extremely knowledgeable doctor with wonderful bedside manner. He clearly explained every step of the procedure and eased all my worries. My back is feeling great thanks to Doctor Nourian
After seeing three doctors and all of them saying I should operate Dr Nourian was able to address and issue without and surgery. I got an epidural and did physical therapy and I’m able to run around with my grand child. He’s truly a gem. Everyone at the office was friendly and supportive.
Dr. Nurian explained everything very well and preformed the surgery exactly as planned. I woke up pain free and the surgery pain was gone in five days. Could not give him enough praise.