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What happens when a bone breaks and how it is treated?

17 January, 2022 Anuja Sahi

A whole or partial break in the continuity of bone tissue is known as a bone fracture. Any bone in the body can be fractured. When a force is applied to a bone that is more than the bone’s capacity to withstand, a broken bone or bone fracture occurs. This disrupts the bone’s structure and strength, resulting in pain, loss of function, and occasionally bleeding and damage around the location.

Types of fractures

There are various types of fractures depending upon the severity of fracture:

  • Closed or open fractures: A closed fracture occurs in the case when an injury does not split the skin open. While on the other hand, an open fracture, also known as a complex fracture, occurs when the skin breaks open.
  • Greenstick fracture: The condition of greenstick fracture happens when the rest of the bone can bend and fracture occurs on one side but does not entirely break.
  • Hairline Fracture: The partial and thin fracture of the bone is called hairline fracture
  • Pathological Fracture: Pathological fracture occurs under the condition when an underlying physical condition weakens the bone and causes fracture.
  • Displaced Fractures: When a bone breaks, it leaves a space. This damage frequently necessitates surgery to repair.

Symptoms of broken bones

Small fractures can occur in children who are unaware of them. Sometimes our body is in shock and you don’t feel anything at all- at least in initial stages. A broken bone, on the other hand, frequently results in a severe soreness. You may also experience acute pain, depending on the severity of the fracture.

Other symptoms include:

  • Stiffness
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Weakness
  • Intense and severe pain in the injured area that gets worse during movement
  • Bluish colour

What causes bones to break?

Even though bones are extremely strong, they can break. Most bone breakage occurs when the bone collides with a stronger force (getting thrown forward in a car crash, say). Repetitive forces, such as jogging, can also fracture a bone. Stress fractures are the medical term for these types of injuries.

Diagnosis of a bone fracture

  • X- rays: The break is depicted in two dimensions using this tool. This imaging is frequently used by healthcare providers.
  • CT scan: Computer and X-rays are used for CT scan to create detailed slices or cross-sections of the affected bone.
  • MRI: Strong magnetic fields during MRI helps in creating very detailed images of the bones. It is often used to diagnose a stress fracture.

First- Aid care for a broken bone

  • The first thing to notice is if there is any bleeding, the affected part must be elevated and pressure should be applied to the wound using a sterile bandage, a clean cloth, or a clean piece of clothing.
  • If you suspect a breakage in the neck or back help the patient to stay as still as possible.
  • An ice pack or bag of ice cubes will also do well; it must be applied to the injured area for up to 10 minutes at a time.

Treatment for basic breaks in the bone

In the case of a simple break, your doctor may need to reposition the bone, as it was actually before the break. After the reposition, you will likely be fitted with a splint, brace, or cast to support your bone and prevent it from moving or pressure. Over the counter are also advised to treat pain caused due to break.


  • During the recovery period, you need to take plenty of calcium C and calcium D
  • Take good care of the cast
  • Continue follow-up appointments