Someone can fracture a bone by falling, being hit, having a joint pulled or twisted, crushing, or a bone is bent. A break in a bone is called a fracture. It can be that a bone could break very, very easily with little impact or maybe a large impact and someone hasn’t actually broken a bone. It’s often that hospital treatment is the only place where a fracture can be confirmed. Someone who has fractured a bone will usually be in a lot of pain, have a deformity, bruising, swelling, and also other problems around there with immobility. They will have other problems in moving the injured part and in some cases, you may see that one limb is shorter than another one. The signs and symptoms will depend on where the fracture has happened. A fracture of the skull will look a lot different from a fracture to the leg.
- Fractures are cracks in the bones
- Closed breaks or fractures are where the bone is broken completely
- Compound fractures are where the bone punctures the skin
- Complicated breaks are where nerve damage has also occurred
- Dislocations are where a joint comes apart.
There may be different types of fractures. A closed fracture is where the skin is not broken, but there may be a small crack in the bone, or it may be completely broken and there may be other sorts of injuries like blood vessels or soft tissue damage. Fractures can be stable or unstable. A stable fracture is where the bone ends do not move, as they’re not completely broken. Or it could be something like an impact injury. Common examples of this are the shoulder, the wrist, ankle, or the hip. Extra damage is not normally done by the first aider in these cases. An unstable fracture is where the bone ends can possibly move, and these require much more care by the first aider. What you will need to do is try and avoid moving the bone ends and immobilising them as much as you can. This could be hard because of extra damage to soft tissues. An open fracture is where the bone exposed through the skin, which can also have other problems that we need to deal with. These could be things like excessive bleeding, and also that the patient has become very, very distressed.
Treatment for breaks is to try and immobilise the limb in the position you find it, to avoid any extra damage or pain to the person and also get professional help as quickly as possible.