♦ What is a Fracture?
Most patients are not aware that a fracture is a broken bone. Most believe this is a chip or partial break but this is wrong. A fracture is a broken bone. Fractures come in a variety of types. They are classified as displaced or non-displaced and further, by open or closed. The most common fractures that are misdiagnosed are stress fractures.
♦ Types of Fractures
- A displaced fracture is where the parts of the broken bone are not touching each other, while a non-displaced fracture is where the pieces are touching each other and in their original position.
- An open fracture has broken skin in the area and a closed fracture does not involve skin damage.
- A stress fracture is a bone that breaks internally but its rim is solid. An analogy to this is a baseball bat.
♦ An Example
When a baseball player hits a ball with a wooden bat, the bat may break but the crack isn’t seen. He or she checks this by tapping the bat on home plate and can feel or hear that the bat isn’t solid all the way through. This is kind of what happens to a bone. This is hard to diagnose because x-rays will not show the break for 5-8 weeks. The break is diagnosed by symptoms of pain and possible swelling or by MRI. It is very important to tell your doctor a complete history of your complaints to help make the right diagnosis.