What is a Bone Fracture?
A bone fracture is a medical term used to identify a broken bone. Bone fractures result in the change of the shape of the bone, damaging its structure. Commonly caused by falls and car accidents, bone fractures occur in many different ways. Bone fractures also used to describe a crack in the bone and can occur on any bone in the body.
What Causes Bone Fractures?
Bone fractures most commonly occur when severe physical force is exerted on a bone. Fractures can also result from certain medical conditions that weaken the bones. Regardless of how a fracture is caused, they must be properly identified and treated to ensure the most effective recovery.
What are the Signs of a Bone Fracture?
Because bone fractures do not require the bone to be completely detached, they may be hard to initially identify. Symptoms of a bone fracture include:
- Intense pain
- Swelling or bruising around the fracture
- Loss of function near the fracture
- Deformity of the limb, in some cases
If you even suspect any kind of bone fracture you should seek emergency medical care immediately to prevent further injury. They will not only help stabilize your injury but provide you with the resources necessary for proper treatment and recovery.
Types of Bone Fractures
Bone fractures are usually caused by a fall or accident. Common types of fractures include:
- Comminuted Fracture: These fractures are when a bone breaks into several different pieces.
- Compression Fracture: Also known as a “crush fracture,” compression fractures occur when a bone is crushed and flattened. This type of fracture is commonly seen in the vertebrae in the back and neck and can be the result of time and gravity or the result of direct impacts to the base of the spinal column from falls. Cheerleaders who are “flyers” often receive this type of injury from being dropped.
- Oblique Fracture: A fracture that moves diagonally across a bone. These are typically caused by trauma such as a fall or other impact.
- Pathological Fracture: These are fractures caused by diseases that weaken bone structure (osteoporosis, bone cancer, etc.).
- Spiral Fracture: Describes when a bone is twisted apart with force, causing the fracture to spiral around the bone. This is caused by a rotating force. It often happens in the leg when the body is in motion and a foot gets planted. It is also seen in cases of child abuse where an arm or finger is twisted and rotated.
- Stress Fracture: Commonly referred to as a “hairline fracture,” stress fractures are cracks in a bone that may require an X-ray to properly identify. Stress fractures are often caused by repetitive use or overuse. They can happen in the feet due to long-distance running or jumping for long periods of time.
- Transverse Fracture: These are fractures that break perpendicular to the bone shaft, going in a horizontal line across the bone, not down the length. They can be a result of direct blunt force trauma.
- Chauffeur’s Fracture: This is a fracture of the radial styloid process in the forearm. It is caused by the compression of the scaphoid bone against the distal radius. It is named for the Chauffer’s who received these when they would slip and let go of the old crankshafts in cars which would then spin backward and strike their wrist.
- Skull Fracture: Any fracture to the skull. There are numerous types of skull fractures.
- Orbital Fracture: An orbital fracture is a type of skull fracture that affects the area surrounding the eye.
Bone Fractures as Personal Injuries
Bone fractures are objective injuries–that is, you can see them on x-rays. Juries have a tendency to give better pain and suffering awards when the damages are objectively verifiable as in the case of bone fractures. Thus, if you sustain a bone fracture due to an accident, you are entitled to seek compensation for your pain and suffering.
At Simmons and Fletcher, P.C., we will fight for your compensation. Our personal injury attorneys have been serving victims and their families since 1979. Your initial consultation is always free and if we do not make a recovery for you, you do not pay us a dime. Call (713) 932-0777 for more information.