Bones usually have no problem resisting the force that is applied to them during daily activities and exercise. However, now and then bones are put under more stress than they can handle. When this happens, the bone breaks. This is also known as fracturing.
There are three main types of fractures:
When unnecessary amounts of stress are placed on the same bone over extended periods of time, it can fracture. This is because the pressure that is continuously or regularly applied weakens the bone until it starts to crack. The cracks start small but, like a broken window, will grow over time if the same pressure is still being applied.
Impact fractures happen when bones experience a sudden, hard force that it can’t handle. This fracture can occur in a matter of seconds. It’s like snapping a twig. This usually happens when you fall or in a car crash.
Aging and diseases can make your bones grow weaker over time, making them more prone to fracturing. This means that the bones can’t cope with the same amount of stress and force as a healthy person’s bones.
These fractures can also be categorised based on the shape of the break. Doctors will usually identify whether a fracture is simple or compound before look at the form of the break.
A simple fracture is the most common type of fracture. This is when the broken bone doesn’t break through your skin. It is also known as a closed fracture.
A compound fracture is usually what you see in movies. This is when the broken bone is sticking out of your skin. It is also known as an open fracture.
The different shapes in which a bone is fractured can be categorised as follows:
- Transverse fractures are straight across the bone
- Oblique fractures are diagonal across the bone
- Spiral fractures are when one or both halves of the bone are twisted
- Comminuted fractures are when the bone is broken into more than two pieces
- Avulsion fractures are when fragments of the bone have been pulled apart
- Impacted fractures are when a part of the bone has been pushed into another piece of bone
- Fissure fractures are cracks in the bone
- Greenstick fractures are when the bones bend and break partially.
- Hairline fractures are limited fractures of the bone
- Fracture dislocations are when joints become dislocated and get fractured
- Compression fractures are when the front of a vertebra in the spine collapses
- Intraarticular fractures are when breaks extend into the surface of a joint
- Longitudinal fractures are along the length of the bone
- Torus fractures are when the bone deforms but does not crack
You can break your bones in different ways. It can be because of too much stress, sudden impact or diseases and aging. These breaks can take different shapes. They can also break through the skin sometimes. Sometimes fractures can even be as simple as a bent bone or a dislocated joint.
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