An untreated broken bone or fracture can cause several issues that can impact your life if not treated properly. Untreated broken bones can lead to lingering joint pain, infections, and even permanent deformities.
Broke bones occur for various reasons, including falling, trauma, motor vehicle accidents, direct blows, physical abuse, and repetitive forces like running. In addition, certain diseases, like cancer and osteoporosis, can cause bones to weaken and eventually break, as well.
Today, we’ll take a closer look at the signs that indicate you may have broken or fractured a bone and should be seen by a medical professional.
Seven Signs of a Broken Bone or Fracture
Bone breaks occur when more pressure is put on a bone than it can handle. Some broken bones are worse than others, depending on several factors, including the person’s age, their health, the bone involved, the direction of the force applied to the bone, and the momentum behind it.
The most common places for a fracture to occur are in the wrist, ankle, and hip. Although broken hips typically happen most often in those who are older. Let’s take a closer look at what you should be on the lookout for:
If you notice discoloration at the site of an injury, it indicates damage to the area beneath. Bruising can occur due to various issues, one of which is blood leaking from a broken bone. If the bruise is large, it indicates more severe damage, which could mean it’s to the bone.
It’s common for a broken bone to swell. Swelling occurs due to fluids, including blood, leaking into the body’s soft tissues from the injured location. The swelling can cause tissue to feel tight and hard. This issue can occur due to other medical conditions, as well. However, if you notice it happening after an injury, it’s a good sign you may have broken a bone and should seek medical attention.
If you notice a body part bending in a way that’s not normal, it’s arguably the best sign to indicate you have broken or fractured a bone. However, please note that some deformities are actually due to a dislocation, which can potentially be even worse than a broken bone, because they can involve stretching and tearing of the ligaments and tendons.
#4. Protruding or Exposed Bone
If you notice bone sticking out through your skin or exposed bone due to a deep wound, it’s a sign you have broken something. Prompt emergency medical attention is needed to treat the injury.
#5. Unusual Noises, Pressure, or Movement
If you notice an unusual sound or strange pressure or movement come from a bone, it can indicate a broken bone. For instance, if you feel a “crunching” beneath your skin where you suffered an injury, this is referred to as crepitus and often indicates you have broken bits of bone rubbing together beneath the skin.
Noises you may hear from the injury site include a grinding or snapping noise at the time of injury or when attempting to use the injured area.
#6. Sudden Pain
Sudden pain following an injury or after running, or experiencing pain when trying to bear weight on an injured area, may indicate a sprain or break. However, if the break or fracture is small enough, you may experience little to no pain at all. Be conscious of these indications and seek attention if you experience them.
#7. Loss of Function
Depending on the severity of the injury and the type of fracture involved, an injured person may experience a loss of function. If this occurs, it’s essential to get proper medical attention right away to avoid permanent complications.
However, just because you are experiencing a loss of function does not necessarily mean you have a break. If you have a deformity and loss of function, it can indicate a dislocation, which also will require medical attention.
Heal with Thunder Basin Orthopaedics
When you have an emergency, you need to know that you’re in the best hands. Traumatic orthopedic injuries, including damage to muscles, bones, joints, and tendons, will need expert orthopedic care.
Through rapid evaluation and treatment, Thunder Basin Orthopaedics is able to effectively and safely address your injury while reducing the potential for long-term complications from trauma. We have advanced training and experience in treating non-healing fractures, pelvis, and misaligned fractures, as well as other tertiary care. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment or talk to our staff right away about your injury.
Call 911 immediately if you believe you are experiencing a medical emergency. Do not rely on communication through this website for urgent medical needs.