Full Types of Bone Fractures Description
[Continued from above] . . . which encloses a joint; the fluid provides lubrication for bone movement), injuries are bound to occur at some point.
When sudden pressure pulls a bone out of its socket at the joint, the injury is called a dislocation. When a bone actually breaks, it is called a fracture and these may vary in seriousness. The older a person is, the longer it takes for a bone to heal; a child may recover within a few weeks and an elderly person may take several months. At all ages, some bones will heal faster than others. An arm may heal in a month, but a leg may take up to six months. Once a bone mends, it is usually stronger along the fracture line than it was before the break.
Fractures of the bone are classified in two categories: the simple fracture and the compound fracture, in which the skin is pierced and the flesh and bone are exposed to infection.
A bone fracture begins to knit almost as soon as it occurs, so it is important that the bone be set as quickly as possible. If the victim must be moved and no medical help is available, it is also important for a splint to be applied to prevent movement of the fractured limb. If a fractured spine is even suspected, it should be place in a splint. A splint is a devise secured to the site of the fracture and may be made of various types of material. In an emergency, a splint may be constructed from a stick of wood or a rolled magazine that is secured to the fracture area.
When a bone is broken, the first step in repair is to take an X ray to confirm the diagnosis and to provide a clear picture of the type of fracture and the degree of displacement and misalignment. The first aim in treatment is to see that bone ends that abut each other are in alignment so that, when the fracture heals, the bone will retain its previous shape. Bone ends that have been displaced are maneuvered back into position. The bone may be manipulated through the skin using a local or general anesthetic, or the bone may be repositioned by means of an operation in which the site is opened. Once the fracture has been placed in proper position, the bone is immobilized to allow the broken pieces to reunite firmly. In some cases, the ends of the fractured bone may be fixed through the skin and into the bone and kept in position by attachment to an external frame; once the fracture has healed, the pins and frame are removed. In other cases an operation is done to open up the injury site and fasten together the bone pieces with metal screws, nails, plates, rods, or wires.