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5 Types of Fractures

Fractures may occur for many different reasons at any point in your life. But did you know there are many different types of fractures as well, and that the type can dictate your treatment options?

At Peninsula Orthopedic Associates, our doctors are skilled orthopedic surgeons who specialize in all types of fractures. Whether you’ve broken a hand, leg, or hip, our surgeons can help get you well again after your accident.

Symptoms of a fracture

You may sustain a broken bone in any number of ways, including car accidents, falls, or playing sports. Most of the time, you know right away that you’ve fractured a bone from a variety of symptoms. 

Just about any bone in your body can sustain a fracture, and the location can determine how you’ll heal. Signs and symptoms of a fracture include:

If you suspect that you have a fracture, seek treatment as soon as possible. Leaving it go without treatment for too long may cause permanent damage to nerves or muscle and can significantly delay the healing process.

5 types of fractures you may experience

There are many different types of fractures, and they are categorized by how the broken bone is aligned and what the fracture line looks like. Here are five common types of fractures:

1. Open (compound) fracture

This type of fracture usually results from severe trauma, causing your broken bone to pierce the skin. The area of broken skin causes a risk for infection, so immediate treatment is essential. You usually need surgery for this type of fracture due to its severe nature.

2. Stress fracture

Stress fractures are tiny breaks in your bones that develop from the repeated stress on a certain bone. They normally occur in your legs and feet because those bones bear most of your weight. If you’re an athlete, you’re at higher risk for stress fractures due to constant training and stress on your body. 

3. Comminuted fracture

If you’ve suffered a comminuted fracture, you probably were involved in a severe accident or fall. This type of fracture requires a lot of force, which causes your bone to break into several pieces. A comminuted fracture typically brings very intense pain. Because the fracture is in several pieces, surgery is usually required to fix it.

4. Greenstick fracture

A greenstick fracture occurs mostly in children. It’s when the bone, which is still soft and flexible, breaks on just one side of the bone. Since children are continually growing, their bones are more supple and soft, which allows them to bend a little more than an adult bone. If your child complains of pain, but there isn’t a large deformity, they may have suffered a greenstick fracture.

5. Compression fracture

These types of fractures occur in your spinal column and result in your vertebrae collapsing, which causes you a lot of pain. The most common cause of this is osteoporosis, but it can also come from some types of trauma. 

The pain from a compression fracture is usually worse when you’re standing up, and it lessens when you lie down. Treatment is focused on strengthening your spine and natural healing.

Treatment options for fractures

Your treatment options for your fracture greatly depend on several factors, including how severe the fracture is and where the fracture is located. For example, a minor fracture where your bones are still in alignment may just require a cast so the bone can heal.

If you’ve suffered a severe fracture, such as an open fracture, you may require more aggressive treatment to ensure you regain full strength and mobility. These types of treatments include:

At your appointment, our doctors discuss your treatment options and what will work best for your specific fracture. The main goal of fracture treatment is to maintain normal bone alignment to maximize your chances of healing normally.

If you’ve suffered a fracture and need treatment, call one of our four offices in Daly City, San Francisco, or Atherton, California, today, or book an appointment online. You can also send a message to the team here on our website.

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