Everything You Need To Know When You Break A Bone

Posted on: 2 April 2019


If you've been in an accident and heard a snap, you may have a broken bone. A broken bone, also known as a fracture, is a serious injury that requires medical attention as soon as practically possible. Here is everything you need to know about breaking a bone. 

How to Know if You Have a Fracture

Sometimes it's easy to tell you have a broken bone. For example, if the bone is protruding through the skin, you can assume that you have a a fracture. Other times, it might not be so obvious. Here are some signs that you have a fracture:

  • bruising in a large area
  • extreme pain, especially when pressure is applied to the injured area
  • swelling
  • unnatural bending/ movement

The greater the severity of these symptoms, the more likely you broke a bone. If you think you have a fracture, it's important to take action right away. 

What to Do if you Broke a Bone

After you determined that you have a broken bone, you need to do something about it! The first thing to do is to seek medical attention. Depending on the severity, you can either call the emergency room or wait until the next day. Either way, stay off of the bone until you get to the doctor. At the doctor's office, they will tell you how to care for your broken extremity.  One of the most common pieces of advice is to follow something called the METH method. The METH method is as follows:

  • Move the injured area
  • Elevate the broken bone to control blood flow
  • T​raction will help keep the bone stable
  • Heat should be applied to the injured area regularly

Different Types of Fractures

You may think that a broken bone is a broken bone, but there are actually several different types of fractures. The type of fracture you have will determine your future treatment. Some of the most common types of fractures include: 

  • transverse- "simple" fracture. broken in a straight line. 
  • oblique- a single, diagonal break
  • compression- crushed bone. bone is flattened. 
  • segmental- two breaks resulting in a "floating" piece
  • comminuted- multiple breaks resulting in several different pieces

Depending on the severity and location of the fracture, your doctor will go over a treatment plan with you. Severe fractures may require surgery and physical therapy. In some mild situations, you may only need to stay off the broken bone for a short amount of time. Either way, follow doctor's orders and be more careful next time! For more information, reach out to broken bone services in your area.