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Causes and Treatments of Bone Fractures

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  • Pages: 3
  • Word count: 510
  • Category: Bones

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A bone fracture is defined as a partial or complete break in the bone. (Brigham Womens Hospital, 2008) The average person has two fractures in their lifetime. (WebMD, 2012) There are many various reasons for a fracture, and each year around one point five million people suffer from one. (WebMD, 2012) The following will describe the numerous types of fractures, as well as the methods that have been developed to treat them.

The most common three causes of fractures are trauma, Osteoporosis, and overuse. (OrthoInfo, 2012) Trauma typically comes from a fall or some type of accident that causes direct injury to the bone. This type is the most common among children, but varies in severity throughout a lifetime. “Osteoporosis, or porous bone, is a disease characterized by low bone mass and structural deterioration of bone tissue, leading to bone fragility and an increased risk of fractures of the hip, spine, and wrist” (NIH, 2013). This is a disease that can affect both men and women, and can also be prevented. (NIH, 2013) This disease results in loss of bone mass, which makes bones more brittle and easier to break. Women, the elderly, and people who smoke are more at risk to get this disease, but even without these factors, people can still be diagnosed with this. (NIH, 2013) A fracture that’s due to overuse is also known as a stress fracture. A stress fracture is defined as “a hairline crack in the bone that develops because of repeated or prolonged forces against the bone” (OrthoInfo, 2012). Stress fractures are most common in individuals who play sports or have a job that requires constant movement. These are the injuries that take the longest to discover, and sometimes even the longest to treat.

Even though some treatment methods have developed throughout the years, the most common way to fix this injury is still through cast immobilization. This puts the bone back into position and keeps it there until it “knits” back together. The other way to go about healing a bone is to operate on the injury. This is usually done with open reduction and external fixation. During the operation, bones are put back in the normal alignment and then help together by special screws and metal plates. (OrthoInfo, 2012) Recovery times from a fracture vary between a few weeks to a few months depending on the severity of your injury. Following doctors’ orders and limiting stress on the injury can help to speed this up in many cases. (OrthoInfo, 2012)

There are many ways to avoid having unnecessary fractures. This can include taking vitamins to strengthen your bones or taking extra safety precautions to avoid getting injured. Eventually they will develop faster and easier innovations in treating fractures, but for now it’s still the conventional “old school” methods and therapy.


Brigham Womens Hospital. (2008). Types of Fractures.
Retrieved from http://healthlibrary.brigamandwomens.org/relateditems/89,P07392 National Institutes of Health. (2013). Osteoporosis Overview.
Retrieved from http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Bone/Osteoporosis/Overview OrthoInfo. (2012). Fractures (Broken Bones).
Retrieved from http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00139 WebMD. (2012). Understanding Bone Fractures—-The Basics.
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