Breaking a Bone

 

The medical term for a broken bone is a fracture. But there are different kinds of fractures. A single fracture is when a bone is broken in just one place. You may have heard the term hairline fracture. This is a single fracture that is very small, like the width of a hair. A complete fracture is when the bone comes apart. Sometimes bones get broken in more than one place.

Still another condition is called a bowing fracture. This happens with a bone that bends but does not break. It happens mostly in children. Ever heard of a greenstick fracture? This is when a bone is bent and breaks along only one side, like a young stick of wood.

Another kind of break is an open or compound fracture. This is when the bone breaks the skin. This is very serious. Along with the bone damage there is a risk of infection in the open wound.

A lot of things happen as the body reacts to an injury like a broken bone. You might suddenly feel sick to your stomach.People who are seriously injured can go into shock. They might feel cold, dizzy and unable to think clearly. Shock needs medical attention at once.

 

Breaking a BoneBut while broken bones can be painful, they are normally not life-threatening. Still, broken bones should be treated quickly because they can stop blood flow or cause nerve damage. Also, the break will start to repair itself, so you want to make sure that the bone is in its right place.

X-rays are taken to see the break. If a bone is broken a doctor sets it into its correct position. Severe breaks may have to be operated on. Metal plates and screws sometimes hold the bone together .

Then, a hard cast may be put around the area of the break to hold the bone in place while it heals. Casts are usually worn for one to two months. In some cases, instead of a cast, a splint made of plastic or metal will be fastened over the area so that you can't move it more than you should.

Bones need calcium and vitamin D to grow and reach their full strength. Keeping bones strong with exercise may also help prevent fractures, especially if you wear the right sports protection during activities.

 

Related Topics

Words

  • term = word
  • width = how wide something is
  • condition = state
  • compound = very complicated; consisting of more than one
  • wound = injury
  • injured = hurt
  • dizzy = to feel unable to stand straight
  • medical attention = to call a doctor
  • life threatening = it is possible that you may die from something
  • cause = lead to
  • X-ray = a beam of energy that goes through objects and is used for taking pictures of the inside of your body
  • severe =bad
  • screw =  a thin pointed piece of metal that you push and turn and connect to wood or other metals
  • cast = something that protects you arm or leg
  • heal= to get healthy again
  • splint = a flat piece of wood or metal that keeps a broken bone in position
  • strength = power
  • prevent = to stop something from happening