Broken Bone (Types of Bone Fractures)

  • Medical Author:
    Benjamin Wedro, MD, FACEP, FAAEM

    Dr. Ben Wedro practices emergency medicine at Gundersen Clinic, a regional trauma center in La Crosse, Wisconsin. His background includes undergraduate and medical studies at the University of Alberta, a Family Practice internship at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario and residency training in Emergency Medicine at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.

  • Medical Editor: Jerry R. Balentine, DO, FACEP
    Jerry R. Balentine, DO, FACEP

    Jerry R. Balentine, DO, FACEP

    Dr. Balentine received his undergraduate degree from McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland. He attended medical school at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine graduating in1983. He completed his internship at St. Joseph's Hospital in Philadelphia and his Emergency Medicine residency at Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center in the Bronx, where he served as chief resident.

Stress fracture

Stress fractures are the result of multiple microtraumas where the bone cannot tolerate and absorb repeated stresses placed upon it. It is an overuse injury and is often seen in the lower leg especially with runners and other athletes. If untreated, and if the person continues to participate in offending activity, the stress fracture may progress to a completed fracture. These are most often seen in athletes who participate in running, tennis, basketball, and other sports that involve running and jumping on hard surfaces.

March fracture is the name given to a stress fracture of the metatarsal bone of the foot. They are described in soldiers who are forced to walk or "march" for prolonged distances.

What are the most common bones that are broken?

The most common fractures involve the clavicle (collarbone), the forearm (radius and ulna), the wrist, the ankle and the hip. Closed fractures are more common than open fractures (the skin overlying the injury is intact and not damaged).

In children, a fracture of the distal radius is most common. The break occurs in the radius near the wrist but usually does not involve the joint itself. 1

Broken hand or fingers

Injuries to the hands and fingers are very common because they are exposed in daily activities. In addition to the bones, the health care professional will be interested in making certain there are no tendon or nerve injuries associated with any broken bone(s). Because the anatomy of the hand is so complex, complicated fractures may be referred to an orthopedic or plastic hand specialist. Many of them will only require splinting or casting, but occasionally surgery will be necessary.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/12/2016

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