Also called: Broken bone
A fracture is a break, usually in a bone. If the broken bone punctures the skin, it is called an open or compound fracture. Fractures commonly happen because of car accidents, falls, or sports injuries. Other causes are low bone density and osteoporosis, which cause weakening of the bones. Overuse can cause stress fractures, which are very small cracks in the bone.
Symptoms of a fracture are:
• Intense pain
• Deformity – the limb looks out of place
• Swelling, bruising, or tenderness around the injury
• Numbness and tingling
• Problems moving a limb
You need to get medical care right away for any fracture. An x-ray can tell if your bone is broken. You may need to wear a cast or splint. Sometimes you need surgery to put in plates, pins or screws to keep the bone in place.
Diagnosis and Tests
Prevention and Risk Factors
• Comparing Osteoporosis Drugs: The Bisphosphonates(Consumer Reports) – PDF
• Once Is Enough: A Guide to Preventing Future Fractures (National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases)
• Preventing Falls and Related Fractures (National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases) – PDF
Treatments and Therapies
• Recovering from Falls (Bone Health and Osteoporosis Foundation)
• ClinicalTrials.gov: Fractures, Bone (National Institutes of Health)
References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
Find an Expert
• Broken Bones (For Parents) (Nemours Foundation)
• Greenstick Fractures (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
• Falls and Fractures in Older Adults: Causes and Prevention (National Institute on Aging) Also in Spanish
The information on this site should not be used as a substitute for professional medical care or advice. Contact a health care provider if you have questions about your health.
Original Article – https://medlineplus.gov/fractures.html