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Fractures – Symptoms, causes and other risk factors

Sport injuries, falls and car accidents are the most common causes for fractures. A fracture is a break which usually is happening in the bone; if the broken bone punctures your skin, then it is called a compound or open fracture. Also there are other causes for fractures such as osteoporosis and low bone density that are causing weakening of the bones. Overuse can also cause stress fractures. They are very small cracks in the bone.

Symptoms of fractures

Most fractures are accompanied by intense pain when the initial injury happens. This pain may become worse when you touch or move the injured area. Also there are some cases when people can even pass out from the pain. Also you can feel chilled or dizzy from the shock. Here are the symptoms of fractures:

  • Problems moving a limb
  • Numbness and tingling
  • Swelling, bruising or tenderness around the injury
  • Deformity – the limb looks out of place
  • Intense pain

Also there are other potential symptoms of fractures and they include:

  • Visible deformity in the injured area
  • Difficulty supporting weight with the injured area
  • Swelling, redness and bruising in the injured area
  • A snap or grinding sound when the injury occurs

There is no need for medical care right away for any fracture. You need to go to your doctor. He or she will make an X – ray and in this test your doctor will see if your bone is broken. Also you may not have a need to wear a splint or cast. Also there are some people who need to make a surgery to put in plates, pins or screws to keep their bone in place. Also there are some cases when you can see the broken bone poking through your skin.


Causes for fractures

We can develop a fracture when our bone is impacted with greater force or pressure than it can support. This force usually is happening very intense or it happens suddenly. The strength of this force will determine the severity of the fracture. Here are some common causes of fractures:

  • Injuries from sports [1]
  • Traumatic events, such as car accidents or gunshot wounds [2]
  • Direct strikes to your body [3]
  • Falls [4]

Types of fractures: Fractures can be classified in two groups. The first one are closed and open fractures and the second one are complete or incomplete fractures.

  • Closed vs. open: A simple fracture is another term for closed fracture. When you have a closed fracture, then your broken bone does not break your skin. A compound fracture is another term for an open fracture. When you have an open fracture, then the ends of your broken bone tear your skin. When your bone and other internal tissues are exposed, then this is putting you at higher risk of infection. [5]
  • Incomplete vs. complete: When you have an incomplete fracture, then your bone does not break completely. Your bone crack without breaking all the way through. Incomplete fractures are most common in children because they have bones that are softer than those of adults. [6] As a result of this, they are more likely to bend than break.Here are types of incomplete fracture:
  • Buckle or torus fracture, in which your bone is broken on one side and a bump or raised buckle develops on other side
  • Greenstick fracture: in this type of incomplete fracture your bone is broken on one side, while the other side is bent
  • Hairline fracture, in which your bone is broken in a thin crack

When you have a complete fracture, then your bone breaks completely. It is crushed or snapped into 2 or more pieces. This type of bone fracture can happen at any age. Here are the types of complete fracture:

  • Segmental fracture, in which your bone is broken in two places in a way that leaves at least one segment floating and unattached
  • Displaced fracture: in this type of complete fracture your bone breaks into pieces that move out of their normal alignment
  • Nondisplaced fracture, in which your bone breaks into pieces that stay in their normal alignment
  • Compression fracture: this is a type of complete fracture in which your bone collapses under pressure
  • Comminuted fracture, in which your bone is broken or crushed into 3 or more pieces
  • Single fractures, in which your bone is broken in one place into pieces


[1] Meixner C, Loder RT. The demographics of fractures and dislocations across the entire United States due to common sports and recreational activities. SAGE Journals. 2019;12(2):159-69.

[2] Pan RH, Chang NT, Chu D, et al. Epidemiology of orthopedic fractures and other injuries among inpatients admitted due to traffic accidents: A 10-year nationwide survey in Taiwan. The Scientific World Journal. 2014.

[3] Kranioti E. Forensic investigation of cranial injuries due to blunt force trauma: current best practice. Research and Reports in Forensic Medical Science. 2015;5:25-37.

[4] National Institute on Aging. Prevent falls and fractures. Retrieved from

[5] Hannigan GD, Pulos N, Grice EA, Mehta S. Current concepts and ongoing research in the prevention and treatment of open fracture infections. Advances in Wound Care. 2015;4(1):59–74.

[6] Stanford Health Care. Types of fractures. Retrieved from

Dr. Emil Sarsath (aka) Vijila, a licensed naturopathic doctor (BSMS) who always ensures his patients receive compassionate, and individualized care. He has extensive experience in primary care, digestive health, mental health, nervous system disorder and more.Area of Expertise – Naturopathic Medicine, Whole Foods-based Nutrition, Siddha, Panchakarma.She is always available through [email protected]



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