You have more than 200 bones in your body, ranging from the large bones like your femur (thigh bone) to the little bones in your feet. Any of these bones could break under enough pressure, but if you suffer a fracture, Michael Blackwell, MD, at the Center for Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine in Tomball and The Woodlands, Texas, can help. Dr. Blackwell is a highly skilled orthopaedic and sports medicine specialist who has considerable expertise in treating fractures, so call the Center for Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine today or request an appointment using the online booking tool.
Fractures are broken bones. Bones are generally pretty tough and can withstand a good deal of stress. They also flex a little, but if they’re bent too far or hit a solid object with enough force, they can fracture.
As you age, your bones get weaker, a problem which is much worse if you have a disease like osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a common problem that mainly affects women in their later years. It causes your bones to become brittle, and in serious cases, they can fracture under very little pressure.
There are quite a few different types of fractures. Some of the main types of fractures are:
The ends of the broken bones are still in place, so there’s no misalignment.
If you have a compound fracture, it means the broken bone is sticking out through your skin. An open fracture is one where you can see down to the bone because of the extent of the tissue damage.
Open, compound fractures pose more of a risk because the broken skin allows bacteria to gain access. This can lead to infection in the muscles and other tissues and even the bone.
A greenstick fracture most often affects children whose bones are more flexible than adults. The bone bends and cracks, but doesn’t snap into two pieces.
Comminuted fractures are those where the bone breaks into three or more pieces and is often seen in car accidents where bones get crushed.
Stress fractures are a little different from other types of fractures because they happen slowly rather than being an acute break. Typically due to overuse or repetitive strain, a stress fracture starts with tiny hairline cracks in the bone that increase in number over time. Stress fractures tend to cause chronic pain and gradual loss of function.
Treatment for fractures varies depending on which bones are broken, how badly, and in what way they’re broken, and the general health and well-being of the patient.
Stable fractures are the easiest to treat, as they only require immobilization so the bone can heal. It’s often possible to treat fractures where the bones are slightly misaligned using manual manipulation, with X-ray confirmation that the broken ends are in the right position.
More complicated fractures generally require surgery. Dr. Blackwell, at the Center for Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, might need to use screws, plates, rods, or other fixtures to repair the break. You might also have to have an external fixation, where you can see the framework that’s holding your bones in place.
If the fracture is in a joint, and there’s no way of repairing it, you might need to undergo total or partial joint replacement. If so, Dr. Blackwell uses state-of-the-art Mako Robotic-Arm Assisted Technology, where possible, to carry out precise, minimally invasive procedures.
Call the Center for Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine today to find out more or request an appointment online.