Broken Bones

Broken bones, or fractures, are common. They occur when the physical force exerted on the bone is stronger than the bone itself.

There are many types of fractures, including displaced, non-displaced, open and closed:

  • In some cases, the bone may not break at all, but merely bend. This is called a greenstick fracture and is more common in children.
  • Displaced and non-displaced fractures refer to the way the bone breaks.
  • In a displaced fracture, the bone snaps into two or more parts and moves so that the two ends are not lined up straight.
    • In a non-displaced fracture, the bone cracks either part or all of the way through, but does move and maintains its proper alignment.
    • If the bone is in many pieces, it’s called a comminuted fracture.
  • A closed fracture is when the bone breaks, but there is no puncture or open wound in the skin.
  • An open fracture is one in which the bone breaks through the skin. It may then recede back into the wound and not be visible through the skin. With an open fracture, there is a risk of a deep bone infection.
  • A simple fracture is a closed non-displaced break or greenstick fracture.
  • A stress fracture occurs over time and can quickly become a major issue if not treated. 

Physical activity is great for overall health, but it does come with the risk of breaking a bone by accident. Commonly broken bones include the collarbone, arm, wrist, hip and ankle. Symptoms of a fracture include swelling, bruising, pain and loss of function in the injured area. Swelling generally occurs quickly. An X-ray can confirm if a bone is broken. Proper splinting or immobilization can minimize pain and long-term effects.

Other treatments include rest, ice and compression. Elevation helps decrease pain and can speed healing. Ibuprofen is commonly used to decrease inflammation and relieve pain. Other pain relievers can be prescribed if needed to help with pain and swelling.

Why Choose Urgent Care for Broken Bones?

Visiting an urgent care center for broken bones in adults and children is often necessary to assure that your bones can heal properly and return to normal function once the healing process is complete. 

Breaking a bone can be a traumatic experience that requires immediate medical attention, in which case 9-1-1 should be called and you should go to the emergency room.

However, urgent care can often be a choice for many types of bone fractures and can help diagnose and treat both the injured bone as well as get relief for the pain so that you feel better sooner rather than later. This can also assure that treatable broken bones do not become long-term problems by accurately diagnosing and treating your issues, in the case that problems are serious.

If you think you may have a broken bone, please contact one of our convenient locations near you to find relief.