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A bone fracture is a medical condition where the continuity of the bone is broken. A significant percentage of bone fractures occurs because of high force impact or stress. Also it may be due to cancers , osteogenesis imperfecta, osteoporosis etc…


  • Avulsion fracture- a muscle or ligament pulls on the bone, fracturing it
  • Comminuted fracture- the bone is shattered into many pieces
  • Compression (crush) fracture- generally occurs in the spongy bone in the spine
  • Fracture dislocation – a joint becomes dislocated and one of the bones of joint has a fracture
  • Greenstick fracture- the bone partly fractures on one side, but does not break completely because the rest of the bone can bend
  • Hairline fracture- a partial fracture of the bone .Sometimes this type of fracture is harder to detect with routine x-ray
  • Impacted fracture – when  the bone is fractured , one fragment of bone goes into another
  • Intra articular fracture- where break is along the length of the bone
  • Oblique fracture- a fracture that is diagonal to a bones long axis
  • Pathological fracture- when an underlying disease or condition has already weakened the bone, resulting in a fracture
  • Spiral fracture- a fracture where at least one part of the bone has been twisted
  • Tortus fracture- bone deforms but does not crack
  • Transverse fracture- a straight break right across a bone


The signs and symptoms of a fracture vary according to which bone is affected , the patients age and general health as well as the severity of injury. Some of the following are

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Discolored skin around the affected area
  • Angulation- affected area may be bent at an unusual angle
  • Patient is unable to put weight on the injured area
  • Patient cannot move the affected area


Bone healing is a natural process which in most cases well occur automatically. For the natural healing process to begin , the ends of the broken bone need to be lined up this is known as reducing the fracture. The patient is usually asleep under a general anesthesia when fracture reduction is done. Fracture reduction may be done by manipulation closed reduction or surgery.

Immobilization-as soon as the bones are aligned they must stay aligned while they heal

This may include

  • Plaster casts or plastic functional braces- these hold the bone in position until it has healed
  • Metal plates and screw – current procedures may use minimally invasive techniques
  • Intra medullary nails- internal metal rods are placed down the center of long bone
  • External fixators- these may be made of metal or carbon fiber , they have steel pins that go into the bone directly through the skin
  • Healing – if a broken bone has been aligned properly and kept immobile , the healing process is usually straight forward
  • Physical therapy- after the bone has healed , it may be necessary to restore muscle strength as well as mobility to the affected area


  • Heals in the wrong position
  • Disruption of bone growth
  • Persistent bone or bone marrow infection
  • Avascular necrosis or bone death

To get opinion from our network of hospitals visit or send email to

Prepared by Dr Sajna Hamza


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