10 Common Types of Bone Fractures

a doctor examining a x ray for bone fracture

Bones are the most important part of our body. Thus, it is indeed a big deal to have all these bones as healthy and fit as possible. Without that, there is no way we can imagine living our life to the fullest.

However, things might not always be as planned in today’s fast-paced world. Sometimes, there could be unpleasant things as horrible as getting involved in a road accident and having to deal with a broken bone or two.

So, knowing a bit about types of fractures today can pay off later. If you have a bike, you should be aware of the type of fractures one can have riding on busy, uneven, and congested roads.

In this blog, let’s talk about the 10 most common types of bone fractures. So, let’s get started.

Transverse Fracture: a straight break

First, let’s understand a transverse fracture: it is a break in the bone running in a straight line from left to right or vice-versa. Several types of events involving intense physical pressure on bones can cause this condition.

The only hallmark of this type of injury to bones is the horizontal perpendicularity of the length of the break through the bone in question. In simple, it is a condition where the bone has almost come off into two in the most severe cases.

This fracture is a typical consequence of intense falls or traumatic events like road accidents upon long bones in human bodies, i.e., collarbone, funny bone, bones of the forearm, hand bones including fingers, thigh bone, lower leg bones, and foot bones.

Spiral Fracture: a twisting break

It is a break that goes through a bone in a twisting motion. This is one of the most severe forms of fractures; it takes longer to heal as compared to a transverse fracture.

Most often such breaks cause the segmentation of the affected bone; in other words, it means your bone will divide into two pieces with uneven broken ends. And, that is the particular aspect that requires a high level of precision on the part of a surgeon.

Greenstick Fracture: a bend without separation

The third item on our list is a greenstick fracture. It is a case where the affected bone is broken on one side while the other side is still intact. Children are more susceptible to such injuries.

Usually, the break can worsen quite easily if the situation hasn’t been paid due attention. However, with the help of a top orthopedic surgeon, the injury can be contained and treated effectively.

It is so because there is always a very high possibility that the affected bone might come off into two parts if left unattended. So, be careful if you doubt that you might have had this type of bone fracture.

Stress Fracture: a small crack

It must have already been clear by the name that it has something to do with stress. Sometimes, bones can also get fractured because of natural wear and tear over time. Normally, it happens in terms of small amounts.

They are usually tiny cracks. These minor breaks can either develop over time as part of repetitive forces or pressures on the area or because of certain events like running long distances or climbing up and down a steep mountain range.

Often, this happens a lot in the bones comprising the lower legs and feet and you don’t need to worry as it gets better with sufficient rest. However, if the affected area is inflammed, see a doctor.

Compression Fracture: small breaks in the vertebrae

So far, we have been talking about fractures considering how they look like once occurred. But, compression fractures are somewhat different. First of all, a compression fracture is related to the backbone.

Our backbone is a very complicated bone structure in the body. It is basically made of several units and each such unit is called a vertebra. A vertebra is a structure (or part of your backbone) where the problem of compression fractures takes place.

These fractures develop as small breaks or cracks in the vertebrae. It is more prevalent among women than men. This condition in the backbone is generally caused by osteoporosis: it is where bones become weak and prone to breaking over time.

Osteoporosis happens either as a natural consequence of getting older or when one doesn’t eat essential nutrients in the right quantities.

Oblique Fracture: diagonal breaks

This is again the condition where a bone has been affected by a break that runs from one side to another. However, the characteristic feature is that it is rather a diagonal break in the bone and not a straight one as is the case with transverse fractures.

In other words, any form of fracture that doesn’t resemble a straight line horizontally but any other diversion, a line forming an angle, is known as an oblique fracture. If you have happened to sustain such a bone injury, you had better not take it easy.

In case the bone is completely broken into two parts diagonally, seek immediate medical assistance. It might worsen if left unattended because broken ends aren’t uneven. And hence, they might break or cause further injuries.

Other Types of Fractures

Apart from the cracks and breaks discussed above, there are a few more left. Let’s talk about them here before winding up our discussion.

• Impacted Fracture: entanglement of broken ends

Suppose your bone has broken into two. But it didn’t stop there. Rather, both broken ends further ran into each other creating a bigger mess. This is exactly what constitutes an impacted fracture.

It is a fracture that has gone bad up to the next level. It happens in 99% of intense road accidents where the trauma involved is very intense: think of running into a speeding truck coming from the opposite direction when you are on the bike; such a scenario could give rise to an impacted fracture.

In such cases, make sure you don’t be carefree. Immediately, search for the best hospital for orthopedic and seek the best consultation from top bone experts.

• Segmental Fracture: a part coming off from the middle of the affected bone

When a long bone of your body has divided into three parts sustaining at least two breaks, it is a segmental fracture. It is the most common fracture that affects long bones like arms or legs. If you break a stick into three parts, the middle part will come off: this is a segmental fracture.

This is the most severe form of bone breaking as the bone has literally divided into parts. So, it usually takes a long time for broken parts to become one, as a whole, once again.

• Comminuted Fracture: breaking into 3 or more parts

This is an even more severe form of fracture than a segmental one. When we talk about a comminuted bone injury, there have to be at least 3 or more segments; the affected bone is broken into several parts with a minimum of 3.

If you happen to have this fracture anywhere, especially arms or legs, make sure you seek medical assistance as soon as possible.

• Avulsion Fracture: breaks by muscle or ligament pulls

Some bones in our body, most importantly joints, are put together by way of connective tissues, such as ligaments and tendons. For example, consider a knee. It is a complicated joint involving a composition of bones, cartilage, ligaments, and tendons including nerves and muscles.

So, sometimes, because of intense muscle contractions, it happens that the involved connective tissues get ripped, and the bones that had been previously held in place come off as a result causing a major disruption in the anatomical structure. This type of bone fracture is called an avulsion fracture.

Final Thoughts

However, all types of fractures must be taken care of as soon as possible. There are certain cases where you have to pay special attention. If the fracture has anything to do with your long bones, you cannot take it lightly. Instantly, meet a competent expert within your reach.

If the bone in question has been completely broken into several pieces, don’t try to handle it yourself. Stay in the same position as you were at the time when the trauma hit you. Don’t move a lot.

Keep the affected area as still and motionless as possible. Call for an ambulance and see if you can manage to get medical assistance on the spot. Immediately seek the appropriate help.

Having said that, don’t feel sad. Always seek comfort in the fact that all bone fractures are curable these days. So, you will be better soon if a fracture has been killing your life lately!

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John Adams
Experienced content writer proficient in creating engaging and informative written materials to meet diverse audience needs.

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