A bone is fractured when there is a break in the continuity of the bone cortex. Similar terms used to describe a fracture include broken, crack, greenstick or buckle; all are used to refer to the same thing – a broken bone. The break is often described by its location (i.e. bone) and its direction (horizontal, oblique, transverse).
HOW IT HAPPENS
Fractures can happen in a variety of ways. Most fractures are due to trauma, while others are due to pathological conditions or overuse. Trauma can vary from high-energy injuries such as motor vehicle accidents to low energy injuries such as simple falls.
TYPES OF FRACTURE
1. Open or compound fracture – the skin overlying the fracture is also broken.
2. Comminuted fracture – the bone is broken into multiple pieces
3. Avulsion fracture – a muscle or ligament pulls the bone away, fracturing it.
4. Fracture Dislocation – when a fractured bone is associated with a dislocation of a joint.
5. Pathological fracture – a fracture through bone weakened by an underlying condition – e.g. cancer, osteoporosis.
6. Stress fracture – a fracture due to overuse repetitive stresses and strains.
7. Stable fracture - The broken ends of the bone line up and are barely out of place.
8. Transverse fracture - This type of fracture has a horizontal fracture line.
9. Oblique fracture - This type of fracture has an angled pattern.
10. Comminuted fracture - In this type of fracture, the bone shatters into three or more pieces.
The most common causes of fractures are:
1. Trauma- A fall, a motor vehicle accident, or a tackle during a football game can all result in fractures.
2. Osteoporosis- This disorder weakens bones and makes them more likely to break.
3. Overuse- Repetitive motion can tire muscles and place more force on bone. This can result in stress fractures. Stress fractures are more common in athletes.