A broken bone is a common but serious orthopedic injury that many of us will face in our lifetimes. You can suffer a broken bone at any age and due to a variety of causes, such as a bad fall, a sports accident, a vehicular accident, and more. Fortunately, fractures are treatable, and most patients can fully recover and move on.
Different Types of Fractures
There are two main types of fractures – open and closed. An open fracture is a broken bone that comes out through the skin. This is a very severe fracture and typically, surgery is required to reposition the bones and close the wound. A closed fracture is a bone that has broken but does not come out from the skin. This is the most common of the two. Closed fractures are typically treated non-surgically.
Within the closed category, there are a variety of different fractures – some worse than others. They include greenstick, transverse, spiral, oblique, comminuted, compression, and segmental fractures.
Each type of fracture will cause slightly different symptoms and will require slightly different treatment. An orthopedic doctor will be able to examine you and the results of imaging tests to determine which kind of fracture you have and what the best course of treatment is.
What To Do When You Break A Bone
If you suspect you have a broken bone, it is crucial that you visit a doctor immediately. Sometimes, when a fracture happens, you will feel a lot of pain and will take that as a signal to see a doctor. However, it is possible to suffer a fracture and not know you have one. Not all fractures cause the same amount of pain and symptoms – your symptoms will depend on the type of fracture you have, the specific location of the fracture, and your individual pain tolerance.
Because determining when exactly you should see a doctor for a possible fracture can be a little confusing, here are some guidelines to follow.
- If you suffer a fracture with an open wound, visit the emergency room immediately.
- If you are a part of an accident (sports, vehicular, etc.) and are experiencing moderate to high pain in specific areas of your body, visit a doctor as soon as possible. You may have a soft tissue injury, but it is highly possible that you have suffered a fracture. Only imaging tests can give you an accurate diagnosis.
- If you are a part of an accident (sports, vehicular, etc.) and are experiencing mild pain, it is best to see a doctor soon after the injury. This is especially true if your pain does not subside after a few hours.
- If the pain is accompanied with symptoms such as swelling, bruising, immobility, or weakness, see a doctor immediately. These symptoms are a sign that you have suffered a significant injury (fracture or otherwise) that needs medical treatment.
If you suffer a fracture and visit an emergency room or urgent care center, visit an orthopedic doctor as soon as possible afterward. Emergency rooms and urgent care centers are great for emergencies and in situations when a specialist doctor is unavailable immediately. However, they do not have the expertise of specialist physicians.
You should visit an orthopedic physician following a fracture. An orthopedic doctor will know how best to treat your fracture, check for progress, and offer a set of treatments to best heal you. An orthopedic doctor will also offer you post-recovery care that will help strengthen your bone, so you don’t experience lingering pain, weakness, and mobility issues.
Fracture Care in Dover, New Jersey
If you have suffered a fracture or want to get examined for a possible fracture, contact the experts at Orthopedic Associates of West Jersey by calling (973) 989-0888 or request an appointment online. Let us help you get better!