The Different Types of Bone Fractures

Posted on November 2, 2015

Our bones are designed to form a firm skeleton that anchors our other tissues. Despite the fundamental strength of bone, it is still susceptible to trauma and everyday wear and tear. Fractures occur when the bone breaks, often because a blow to the bone delivers a significant force. Understanding the different types of bone fractures can help the orthopedic surgeons of Long Island work with you to create a treatment plan.

Some of the most common bone fracture types include:

  • Transverse fracture. A transverse fracture occurs when a bone breaks at a 90-degree angle to the long axis of the bone. This typically occurs when a blow transmits a large amount of force directly perpendicular to the bone. Transverse fractures require an orthopedic trauma surgeon
  • Oblique fracture. An oblique fracture is characterized by a break that is curved or at an angle to the bone. A sharp blow that comes from an angle (i.e., above or below) may cause oblique fractures.iStock_000012347538_Small_1.jpg
  • Comminuted fracture. A comminuted fracture can be very serious. In this type of fracture, a bone actually breaks into several fragments. Small bones, such as the bones in the hands or feet, are highly susceptible to comminuted fracture. Comminuted fractures often occur following a car accident or another serious event.
  • Greenstick fracture. A Greenstick fracture is most often observed in children, whose bones have yet to fully develop. A child's soft bones may not break when dealt a significant force, causing the bone to bend. Sometimes, the outer side of the bend breaks while the rest of the bone remains unbroken.
  • Stress fracture. Athletes sometimes complain of stress fractures, which can seriously impede athletic performance. A stress fracture is a hairline fracture in the bone that may lead to significant discomfort.
  • Pathologic fracture. When a disease weakens bones so much that they fracture easily, orthopedic doctors sometimes refer to the break as a pathologic fracture. Osteoporosis is a leading cause of pathologic fracture. People with osteoporosis have bones that have become brittle or weak, causing them to break easier than healthy bones.

The good news is that your orthopedic specialist can diagnose these types of fractures and design a treatment plan to help you heal.

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