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Broken bones (fractures) happen to people of all ages. Most often they occur as a result of an automobile accident, fall or sports injury. When a fracture occurs, it is often an emergency situation. This is especially true if the fracture occurs in a larger bone, like the humerus (upper arm bone), femur (thigh bone) or tibia and fibula (lower leg bones) or if the broken bone breaks through the skin.

There are two primary types of fractures: open and closed. An open fracture is when the broken bone goes through the skin, and is often accompanied by bleeding. A closed fracture, which is the more common type of fracture, is a broken bone that does not penetrate the skin.

A fracture needs to be diagnosed and treated immediately as it is very painful and may be accompanied by nerve and blood vessel damage. If left undetected or untreated, it poses risks of compartment syndrome in the short term or deformities and non-unions in the medium to long term.

The goal of treatment is to reduce pain, maintain the fracture in a proper position, identify and treat any complications and to return the patient to his or her pre injury state in a reasonable amount of time. Doctor will most likely choose one of the following forms of treatment:

  • Fixation This is a type of orthopedic surgery that involves the repositioning of bone fragments. The fragments are then held together with special screws, metal plates or rods.
  • External Fixation This procedure involves the use of a stabilizing frame to hold the bone fragments together. The orthopedic surgeon will put pins or screws around the broken bone. After that, the broken bone will be repositioned. Eventually the external fixation device is removed, but sometimes it may also require an internal fixation procedure as described above.
  • Traction With this treatment option, the orthopedic surgeon will align the broken bone by using a pulling force applied through the use of skin tapes or a metal pin. Sometimes this is used as a first step to align the bones before another type of treatment is sought.
  • Casts, Slings, Splints, Braces The fracture can’t heal if it’s not kept in place. These devices allow the broken bone to stay in one place so it can heal. Based on your injury, your orthopedic doctor will determine how long you will need one of these devices and if it can be removed for special circumstances, like bathing or exercising.
  • Walkers, Canes, Crutches These devices help provide mobility support so you don’t have to put all of your bodyweight on the broken bone. Depending on where the fracture occurred, you may have to use a walker, cane or pair of crutches to help you get around until the bone can bear weight.

We are ready to care for any patient who may have a traumatic fracture or other orthopedic condition. Broken bones can be painful and can lead to other health problems if not properly treated, which is why we’re here to help correct the problem as quickly as possible.