Orthopedic doctors are responsible for treating broken bones. Experts estimate that an average of 6 million people in the U.S. break bones each year, keeping the nation's orthopedic doctors busy.
Being armed with accurate information regarding bone fractures will help you partner with an orthopedic specialist to provide the best possible care for yourself or your child when a broken bone occurs in the future.
1. There is no difference between a fracture and a break.
When referring to bone-related injuries you might bear some people say the bone is broken, while others might claim to only have a fractured bone. Many people think that a fracture is less serious than a break, but these two terms actually mean the same thing. Both the terms "fracture" and "break" refer to a disruption in the natural positioning of a bone.
Even if the bones are not displaced by the injury, as is often the case with a so-called fracture, the natural composition of the bone is still broken. Don't be tempted to dismiss a fracture as less of an injury, but remember that a fracture is still a broken bone and needs proper medical attention to heal correctly.
2. There are many different types of breaks.
Although a break and a fracture are the same thing, there are many different types of breaks that a bone can sustain. Some of the most painful include a compound fracture, where the broken bone protrudes through the skin; and comminuted fractures, which result in the bone breaking into three or more pieces.
More common types of bone breaks include stress fractures, which are small fissures in the bone occurring as a result of repeated used; and simple fractures, where the bone breaks into two pieces. No matter what type of break you might sustain, seeking the help of a qualified orthopedic specialist is the best way to ensure your bone heals properly.
3. Some bones are more prone to breaks than others.
Although all bones are made form the same organic material, it seems that some are more susceptible to breaks than others. The clavicle's slender shape and prominent position on your body make it the most commonly broken bone. Coming in a close second are the bones in the arm, which account for half of all adult bone breaks.
Being aware of the bones that are most likely to break will allow you to use caution when exposing these bones to potential danger in the future.
Understanding what a bone break is, the types of breaks you could sustain, and the bones most likely to break will let you work with your orthopedic specialist, like those at Northwoods Family Orthopaedics SC, to provide the best possible care for your bones in the future.