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Fracture Care, Injuries and Treatment

A fracture is any break of the bone. A common belief is that fractures are less severe than broken bones, but they actually mean the same thing, and their use is interchangeable. A fracture can be the result of a car crash, sports injury or fall at home, and can occur more easily when a bone is weakened due to disease or aging. Although a common diagnosis, fractures require medical attention to gain full recovery and avoid potential complications in the future.

Fractures vary in type and severity. Different fracture injuries include:

Greenstick fracture: 
An incomplete break in which the bone remains in one piece, but instead “bends” or breaks only on one side.  These fractures are most common in infants and young children.

Buckle fracture: 
A break that occurs when a bone “buckles” but does not completely break. These fractures are common in young children -- most often in the wrist.

Stress fracture: 
A very small crack in the bone, typically occurring over a period of time and caused by repeated stress or overuse.  This type of fracture is common for high-endurance athletes such as runners.

“Closed” fracture: 
 A complete break of the bone, but the bone does not break the skin.

Compound or “open” fracture:
A complete break of the bone from extreme trauma, causing it to break the skin.

Non-displaced fracture:  
A break of the bone in which the bone remains aligned.

Displaced fractures:  
A break of the bone in which the bone ends are no longer aligned. These types of fractures usually must be set or surgically repaired.

Comminuted fracture:  
Multiple breaks in the same bone, often a result of a car wreck or fall from height.

Treatment of Fractures

Fractures are treated with immobilization involving a splint and cast and usually require limited weight bearing through the use of crutches or a walker. The amount of time the patient is required to wear the cast varies depending on the severity of the break, but usually lasts around six to eight weeks. Physical therapy is often needed after cast removal.

Other fractures, especially those displaced and those in adults, often require surgical repair.  This is usually done to achieve proper alignment of the bone, which helps achieve better functional outcomes once the bone is healed.

Northeast Georgia Medical Center’s orthopedic specialists are committed to the highest quality treatment of fractures. Our board certified providers are trained to conduct advanced procedures designed to help patients recover as soon as possible. 

For more information regarding fracture care options, call 770-219-8244.

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