Your bones provide the body’s framework and protect organs and other soft tissues from injury. Though typically very strong, the bones are nevertheless susceptible to fracture. The most common reasons that a bone can break include trauma, such as what may occur from a slip-and-fall accident, and overuse, which can result in stress fractures.
Just as there are different causes of bone fractures, there are also different types. Some types of fractures are more severe than others and require more involved treatment
- Comminuted fractures
A comminuted fracture is one that causes the bone to break into three or more pieces. Surgical fixation with metal hardware may be necessary to treat a comminuted fracture. The plate holds the pieces in place until they grow back together.
- Stable fractures
A stable fracture is one with little or no displacement of the pieces of bone. The broken ends still line up with one another. Immobilization in a cast may be sufficient to treat a stable fracture.
- Open fractures
Also called a compound fracture, an open fracture is one in which the skin breaks open. Sometimes, part of the broken bone extends out through the skin.
- Transverse and oblique fractures
These refer to the orientation of the fracture line. A transverse fracture breaks along a horizontal line, while an oblique fracture occurs at an angle. The type of fracture may depend on the direction of the force or impact that caused the fracture. Oblique fractures may result from a sharp blow that comes at an angle, while a transverse fracture typically results from a force that impacts perpendicular to the bone.
- Greenstick fractures
A greenstick fracture is one that is incomplete. In other words, the two segments of bone are not completely separate from one another.
There are other types of fractures that only affect particular bones. For example, compression fractures only occur in the vertebrae. A depressed skull fracture is one in which the broken portion collapses inward.