Whenever a person has experienced a broken or fractured bone, it is imperative that they seek immediate medical treatment from a qualified facility like Central Illinois Urgent Care. Exactly what treatments will be prescribed depends upon many factors. There may be those that can heal with only a cast being applied to the area. Others may demand surgical intervention or the use of metal plates or screws to secure the bones together. If you believe that you may have broken or fractured a bone, it is important that you come get immediate medical attention.
The first thing that will happen when you arrive is, the doctor will determine the nature of your injury. This is necessary in order to determine how to proceed. Most bone injuries can be categorized into one of four groups.
1) Stable Fracture: The simplest of all fractures, this describes a bone that is still in place, even after it has been broken. When viewing an X-ray, these will look like a line drawn into the bone. Frequently, there is not a gap or noticeable space between the two pieces.
2) Hairline Fracture: This is when a bone has broken but, not all the way through. It can also be called a partial fracture. The line on an X-ray will not show completely through the bone.
3) Open Compound Fracture: In these cases, the flesh has also been compromised where the injury occurred. In many instances, the bone has punctured through the flesh, but this may not always be the case.
4) Comminuted Fracture: This is the most serious form of break as the bone has been broken to form at least three disconnected pieces. These almost always require surgical intervention. In addition, the use of metal plates, pins or screws may be needed to secure the pieces in place so they may heal properly.
What Does a Fracture Look and Feel Like?
When a person breaks a bone, there will be pain. The area will be incredibly sensitive to pressure. Even the lightest of touches may provoke high levels of pain. In addition, the area around it is likely to swell incredibly. The tissue may become bruised and bleeding can occur in the case of a compound fracture. If the fracture was near a joint, it may be difficult if not impossible to move. Those who have a fracture are also likely to feel extremely lightheaded. Their skin may become pale and they are likely to faint. These signs are especially present when the femur or pelvic bone have been broken. Once a physician makes an examination of the area, they will generally order X-rays in order to confirm their assessment. These may also provide other information that the doctor was not able to obtain through an external exam.
Most people with a fracture will have a cast or brace used to immobilize the area. Before the cast is applied, the doctor may have the limb placed in a splint for a while. This is to allow the swelling to go down before the cast goes on. All of these items will hold the bones in place so that healing may begin. The amount of time a cast is necessary can depend upon a variety of factors. Some people may need to have it changed during the course of bone healing. Metal pieces may be inserted during a surgical procedure should the break be severe. Sometimes these are done completely internally and other situations demand that the pins are connected externally through a brace of some sort. This may be necessary when the surrounding tissues are severely damaged. Surgical intervention is virtually always necessary for comminuted fractures. These require a pre-surgical exam. The surgeon will make a small incision and place plates or pins in the body to hold the bones in place. These are often left even after healing. Physical therapy may be recommended for proper healing after the surgery.