3 Types of Fractures and How They Are Treated

3 Types of Fractures and How They Are Treated

Breaking a bone isn’t something you ever want to deal with, but it happens: A person might deal with two broken bones in their lifetime.

Whether it’s a partial fracture or a complete break, these injuries almost always require some form of treatment. However, the treatment depends highly on the type of fracture you’ve sustained.

At Mehling OrthopedicsDr. Brian Mehling and Dr. Pavel Yufit are highly skilled orthopedic specialists who offer fracture care at their offices in Hackensack, New Jersey, and West Islip, New York. Both doctors have years of experience diagnosing and treating the various types of fractures.

Symptoms of a fracture

Broken bones typically happen from some type of trauma. Falls, sports injuries, and car accidents are just a few of the ways you can end up breaking a bone. Sometimes, conditions like osteoporosis weaken your bones, making them prone to fractures with little to no outside force.

If you break a bone, it’s likely you’ll know it right away, especially if it happens from a traumatic injury. However, it’s good to know the symptoms of a fracture so you can seek help. Common fracture symptoms include:

If you’ve broken a bone in your leg or arm, you may notice an obvious deformity that signals a broken bone. It’s also likely that you’ll have trouble using the extremity if your bone is broken.

3 common types of fractures

Fractures are classified in a number of ways, including the pattern of the fracture and whether the break extends the whole way through the bone. The common forms of fractures include:

Compound fracture

A compound fracture is also known as an open fracture. This type of fracture happens when your bone breaks through your skin. These fractures need immediate treatment, as they have a high risk for infection from the open wound.

Displaced fracture

displaced fracture leaves a gap between the two parts of the broken bone. This doesn’t allow the bone to heal properly or back together. Typically, you need surgery to repair the fracture so it can heal normally.

Compression fracture

Compression fractures are common in your spine, and they’re usually caused by osteoporosis. These fractures are tiny cracks in your vertebrae that cause problems with your posture over time. They often cause pain and can lead to a stooped posture as they progress.

These are only a few of the many types of fractures you can experience. Kids typically have different types of fractures, including growth plate fractures and greenstick fractures. This is because their bones are still immature and growing.

How fractures are treated

Dr. Mehling and Dr. Yufit base your treatment on the type of fracture you’ve sustained and the location of the broken bone. A diagnosis of the severity of your fracture comes from your symptoms, a physical exam, and an X-ray.

Compression fractures are usually treated with anti-inflammatory medications and a brace to provide support to your spine. 

However, more severe compression fractures require a type of surgery called a kyphoplasty. This restores the height of the vertebra through a minimally invasive procedure and surgical cement.

Compound fractures and displaced fractures often require surgery to get the bone back in place.

This procedure is known as an open reduction internal fixation (ORIF). It’s done under general anesthesia. Our team makes an incision and reduces the fracture into normal position. Metal plates and screws are then used to hold the bone together while it heals.

After ORIF, you’ll be in a splint or cast for several weeks while the bones heal back together. The cast or splint keeps the area immobilized so there’s no stress on the fractured bone.

After the cast or splint is removed, you may need physical therapy to regain full strength and use of that area. It could take several months after the fracture to regain full mobility and functionality.

When you’ve suffered a fracture, don’t hesitate to call one of our offices in Hackensack, New Jersey, or West Islip, New York, to set up an appointment with Dr. Mehling or Dr. Yufit. You can also send the doctors a message on our website.

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