|A fracture is a break in the bone. There
are many descriptive terms appended to a fracture, and often a source of
confusion to the layman. This is an attempt to clarify the common terms
A fracture can be described by its appearance on X-rays. In a long bone of any limb (where most fractures occur), a transverse fracture occurs when the fracture line is transverse across the shaft of the bone (perpendicular to the long axis of the bone) - usually a result of a bending injury. An oblique fracture occurs when the fracture line is oblique across the shaft of the bone -usually a result of a combination bending and twisting injury. A spiral fracture occurs when the fracture line spirals around the shaft of the bone - a result of a pure twisting injury. A comminuted fracture occurs when the bone is broken into more than two fragments.
If the fracture fragments are in good position, the fracture is called an undisplaced fracture. Sometimes the fracture line is so fine that it is called a hairline fracture. If there is displacement of the fracture fragments, it is called a displaced fracture. A displaced fracture may axially displaced, angulated or rotated.
With severe trauma, there may be disruption of the muscles and skin, causing the fracture to communicate with the external environment - an open or compound fracture. Most fractures do not communicate with the external environment because the skin is not broken - a closed fracture.
There are also special circumstance fractures.
NOTICE: The information presented is for your information only, and not a substitute for the medical advice of a qualified physician. Neither the author nor the publisher will be responsible for any harm or injury resulting from interpretations of the materials in this article.
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