A fractured bone means it’s broken or cracked. No matter whether this break is complete or partial, lengthwise or crosswise, closed or open, your bone fracture pain will likely be intense.
A complete fracture means your bone has broken all the way through, often crosswise. Whereas, partial is just a cracked bone, either lengthwise or crosswise.
Some symptoms of broken bone fractures are:
- bone pain
- numbness & tingling
- limited ability to move
- visually misshaped limb
- swelling, bruising, bleeding
- bone protruding out broken skin
The pain of a fracture usually subsides long before it’s solid enough to handle life’s everyday movement.
A stress, or hairline, fracture is most often caused by overuse, usually because you’ve increased the amount or intensity of an activity too quickly. Other glaring causes for hairline fractures are pounding on hard surfaces or wearing improper footwear.
In the overuse hairline fracturing situation, your muscles fatigue, thus the extra stress is placed on your bones. This added force causes tiny cracks, commonly in lower leg and foot.
Symptoms of a stress fracture may cause you to experience:
- pain that increases over time
- pain increase with activity & decrease with rest
- swelling & tenderness at spot of hairline fracture
Initially, you may not notice any symptoms of a stress fracture.
Treatment for a broken bone requires the bone to be put back into position and immobilized until healing is achieved. The various types of fractures may require different treatment methods, such as:
- casting or brace to immobilize
- traction to align a bone or bones
- external fixation uses pins or screws connected to a bar outside your skin
- open reduction & internal fixation surgery positions fragments in place & holds them together with some type of apparatus around your bone
A broken bone may take several months to heal.
Proper healing of your bone fracture depends heavily on you. And your health care providers treatment advice needs to be adhered to despite the cumbersome nature of any method used. Lest you be left with a painful and poor functioning bone or joint.
A stress fracture is typically treated with rest, ice and slow resumption of activity. A hairline fracture must be given time to heal as well, which could take up to 3 months.
Bones that are weakened by disease or malnutrition may break more easily than healthy ones. A couple of health related scenarios that can contribute to bone thinning are:
- bone cancer
- Celiac disease
- Paget’s disease
- Crohn’s disease
- low calcium diet
- post menopausal
- calcium malabsorption
- osteogenesis imperfecta
- excess alcohol consumption
- heparin ~ long term, high dose
- eating disorders ~ anorexia, bulimia
- endocrine diseases ~ thyroid, adrenal, pituitary
- long term use of oral cortisone ~ treats arthritis, asthma, chronic lung disease
Healthy bone maintenance craves adequate calcium consumption and regular weight bearing exercises.