Fractures Q & A

What are the symptoms of a fracture?

A fracture is an injury that causes considerable trauma to your bone and soft tissues. It can cause significant pain, and often limits your physical function. Fractures occur when too much outside force is placed on the bone, causing it to break. There are many different types of fractures, including open fractures, closed fractures, and stress fractures.

The symptoms of a fracture can vary depending on the severity, location, and type of the fracture. Some common symptoms include:

  • Sudden, intense pain
  • Difficulty bearing weight
  • Restricted movement
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Redness
  • Obvious deformity

Fractures are common in areas like wrists, ankles, legs, and arms, and often occur during sports that require twisting, like soccer or basketball. Certain factors like overuse or having low bone density (osteoporosis) can increase your risk of a fracture.

How are fractures diagnosed?

A proper diagnosis is key to helping your Town Center Orthopaedic Associates doctor determine the best way to treat your fracture. During your diagnosis, your doctor performs a physical exam and discusses the details of your injury. Your doctor also conducts imaging tests to get a detailed look at your damaged bone. Town Center Orthopaedic Associates offers X-rays on-site for a quick and convenient diagnosis.

What conservative treatments are available for fractures?

In many cases, the orthopaedic specialists at Town Center Orthopaedic Associates successfully treat fractures without the need for surgery. If possible, your doctor may opt to perform closed reduction, repositioning your broken bones without cutting the skin. Similar to open reduction, a cast or brace follows the procedure.

If you suffer from something mild like a stress fracture, your doctor may recommend at-home treatment like RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation) and over-the-counter pain medication. Stress fracture treatment varies depending on the severity of your fracture.

Do bone fractures require surgery?

Your doctor uses your diagnosis to determine the best treatment for your condition. In some cases, you may need surgery to properly treat your broken bone. If your fracture is severe or complex, your doctor may perform open reduction and internal fixation.

During this procedure, your doctor repositions the fragments of your broken bone and uses screws, plates, and rods to hold the pieces together. If your soft tissues are severely damaged, your doctor may perform external fixation, connecting rods and pins to a stabilizing metal bar outside the skin. Your procedure is then followed up with a cast or brace to help keep the affected area remain immobilized. Following surgery, patients may need physical therapy to restore maximum function.

At Town Center Orthopaedic Associates, the team commits itself to find the right fracture treatment for each patient. To schedule your consultation, call Town Center Orthopaedic Associates any time at (571) 346-2411, or book online today.

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TCO provides patients with orthopedic problems the trusted resources and patient-centered advice they need to “Feel Better. Move Better. Be Better.”