Broken Bone
(Types of Bone Fractures)

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What is a broken bone (fracture)?

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Bones make up the skeleton of the body. They allow us the ability to interact with our environment and lift out body up against gravity. Bones are attachment points for muscles which allows us to run, jump, sit, kneel, grasp, and lift. Bones also protect organs from potential damage, and the bone marrow (tissue inside of bones) is responsible for blood cell production.

Bones are the body's storage area for calcium. On a cellular level, calcium is always entering and exiting bone under the influence of the body's hormones. Parathyroid hormone increases calcium levels in the bloodstream, meaning, that it regulates it's release by bone and decreasing bone density. Calcitonin decreases blood calcium levels and helps restore calcium to bone. Calcium is needed in the blood stream to help muscle cells including the heart to function. Hormone levels will sacrifice calcium in bone to maintain blood calcium levels in a normal range. For that reason, calcium and Vitamin D are important to maintain calcium stores in the body.

What causes a broken bone?

When a bone has an outside force exerted upon it, like a blow or a fall, there is potential that it cannot withstand the amount of force and it breaks. That loss of integrity results in a fracture. It is important to remember that a fracture, break, or crack all describe the same situation, an injury to the bone where it has been damaged. One term is not more serious than another. Fracture, break, and crack all mean the same thing.

Depending upon the situation, the amount of force required may not be very great. People with osteoporosis, the bones lack calcium and are brittle, a minor injury or even gravity may create enough of a force to cause a vertebral compression fracture of the back or a hip fracture.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/14/2014

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Broken Bone - Cause Question: What was the cause of a broken bone?
Broken Bone - Signs and Symptoms Question: What were the symptoms and signs of the bone or bones you broke?
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Broken Bone Causes

A broken bone is called a fracture. You can fracture your bone completely, or partially. Symptoms of a bone fracture are pain, inability to move or put weight on the injured body part, swelling, bruising, bleeding (if there is an open wound), or deformity.


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