Broken Bones: Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment
Fracture is a violation of the integrity of bone that occurs under the influence of traumatic factors. Fracture is a widespread damage, which is typical for the elderly, for the young people and even for children. It should be noted that together with the bone there are surrounding tissues, which are, most likely, the muscles that are hurt. But there are cases where the integrity of blood vessels, nerves and ligaments is affected too.
Types of fractures
In accordance with the level of damage there are three types of bone fractures recognixed in medicine:
- Intra-articular or epiphyseal fracture. This type of fracture is accompanied by the damage of the surface of the joint, such as rupture of the capsule or ligaments. Often this can be combined with a fracture dislocation or subluxation.
- Periarticular or metaphyseal fracture. For this type of fracture appears in the area between the diaphysis and epiphysis. Such fractures can often be influenced, but without displacement of fragments.
- Diaphyseal fractures. Such fractures are localized in the middle part of the bone and are the most common type of the fracture. They can be either simple or complex and be followed with multiple shrapnel injuries, fragmentation with displacement of fragments.
Symptoms of fractures
There are relative and absolute signs of bone fractures. The absolute indications include:
- The deformation of the limb, which was subjected to injury.
- Bone crunching or crackling. Can be heard at the time of injury or during the inspection of limb by the doctor.
- The presence of pathological mobility.
- Visible bone fragments.
Relative signs include:
- Hemarthrosis may be faced in case of intra-articular fractures.
- The amplification of pain under axial load.
- Swelling gradually increases.
Sometimes, along with local symptoms, especially if multiple fractures occur, there may apear some general signs of fracture as well. These include:
- A state of shock.
- Cold sweat.
- Pale skin.
- Lowering blood pressure.
- Dry mouth.
- Reduction of the amount of urine.
- Loss of consciousness.
Diagnosis of bone fractures
Clinical manifestations of trauma can be very diverse, and, in some cases, some signs of fracture may be missing. Then during the process of the diagnosis, it is necessary to pay special attention to clarify the circumstances in which the patient was injured. Fractures are mostly characterized by a typical pattern, which is the mechanism of pathological effects on bone. For example, after a fall on the palm, as a rule, there is a fracture of the radial bone in a typical place, if the patient sprained ankle, he or she will be most likely diagnosed with a broken ankle. Thus, it is extremely important for the diagnosis to find out the circumstances in which the injury happened.
To confirm the diagnosis X-rays are used. The picture shows the fracture in the form of bright lines or spots and there can also be observed the displacement of the fragments, bone deformities, and so on.
Treatment of fractures
Treatment of fractures can be of two types:
The goal of any treatment is the most accurate connection of bone fragments in order for them to grow together as much as it is possible, of course. Along with traditional treatment, the general strengthening of the activities should also be followed. These activities include:
- Recovery and normalization of the functioning of all body systems.
- Improvement of circulation.
- Proper diet rich in calcium, magnesium and vitamin D.
Surgical treatment is called to maximize the recovery of damaged internal organs, as well as to stop the bleeding and restore the damaged bone fragments.
Conservative treatment implies immobilization of the damaged bone and application of plaster cast. In case ofcertain injuries, skeletal tension and other manipulations should be made.
As a concomitant medication physical therapy, massage, exercise therapy, UHF, ultrasound therapy, electrical muscle stimulation, magnetic therapy, and some other procedures may be used.