Fractures vs. Breaks: Everything You Should Know

Fractures vs. Breaks: Everything You Should Know

You have 206 bones of substantial size in your adult body. Any of those bones can sustain a break or fracture in certain circumstances.

At the Center for Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, we’re familiar with breaks and fractures of all kinds, from long bone injuries to spinal problems. We can evaluate your condition after an injury or trauma, determine if the damage is a full break or a small fracture, and point you to the right steps for treatment and recovery.

The Center for Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine team, led by Dr. Michael Blackwell, supports new and existing patients from around the Tomball, Kingwood, and The Woodlands, Texas, region. We’re ready to help you out with treatment for a fracture or a break this summer season.

Stress fracture vs. compound break: types of bone injury

Your bones can be both strong and flexible, but when a bone is hit with a strong enough force, it can fracture or completely break. Factors like age and bone density can make you more prone to breaks and fractures.

Strictly speaking, a fractured bone is a broken bone. If you suffer from a stable fracture, both ends of the bone remain in place, without risk of misalignment. With a comminuted fracture, sometimes the result of being crushed, the bone breaks into three or more pieces.

In a compound fracture, also called an open fracture, the broken bone breaks through your skin. Often, you’re able to see all the way down through the damaged tissue to your bone. You’re at risk from invading bacteria with this type of injury.

Greenstick fractures are most common in children, due to the high flexibility of younger bones. In this type of injury, the bone bends and cracks, but it doesn’t break in two.

Stress fractures occur over time, rather than all at once as a result of a single trauma. After multiple repeated stresses or overuse, the bone starts to develop hairline cracks. These cracks then increase in number and severity over time. You end up suffering from progressive loss of function, as well as chronic pain.

Treating a fracture or a break

No matter which of your bones is damaged, or what type of fracture you’re dealing with, the team at the Center for Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine can help.

Once we’ve diagnosed the location and type of your bone injury, we can recommend the best treatment options to restore your bones to wholeness and health. We may need to use X-rays to confirm your diagnosis and learn more about the exact positioning of your broken bone.

A stable fracture can heal with the help of simple immobilization, using a cast to hold the bone in the right position. We may be able to manually reposition bones that are only slightly misaligned.

In the case of a more complex fracture, your best bet for full recovery may be surgery. Dr. Blackwell can repair even compound breaks using surgical plates, rods, and other fixtures. For fractures that affect a joint, we offer full or partial joint replacement using Mako SmartRobotics™ arm-assisted technology,

To schedule an appointment at the Center for Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine and take advantage of our expertise with bone injuries and fractures, call now, or go online to request your appointment.

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