DefinitionA fracture is a break in any bone in the body. There are different kinds of fracture:
- The bone may be fractured but stable, which is known as a simple fracture or a closed fracture.
- Bone fragments may be sticking through the skin, which is known as a compound fracture or an open fracture.
- Chip (avulsion fracture)—A small piece of bone is broken away from the main bone and usually attached to a ligament or tendon.
- Compression—The bone is compressed together, such as vertebrae.
- Comminuted—The bone is in pieces.
- Greenstick—One side of the bone is broken and the other side is bent but not broken.
- Intra-articular—The joint is affected.
- Growth plate fracture —A child's developing tissue is fractured.
- Transverse—The bone is broken in a horizontal line that is perpendicular to the surface of the bone cortex.
- Oblique—The bone is broken in a line that is less than a 90° angle to the surface of the bone cortex.
- Spiral—The line of the fracture forms a spiral.
- Stress—A thin fracture line occurs due to overuse rather than a single traumatic incident.
|The Bones of the Body|
|Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.|
CausesFractures are caused by trauma to the bone. Trauma includes:
Risk FactorsFractures are more common in older adults. Factors that increase the risk of fracture include:
- Decreased muscle mass
- Osteoporosis —decreased bone mass which weakens bones and affects both men and women
- Certain medication used to treat type 2 diabetes
- Accidents or violence
- Participation in sports
- Certain chronic diseases
- Child abuse
- Conditions that increase the risk of falls, such as nerve or muscle disorders
- Certain congenital bone conditions—rare
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