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.

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Broken leg

Each of the many bones of the lower extremity is at risk for fracture. Leg fractures also may involve the knee joint, and treatment depends upon the type of fracture. Similarly, fractures of the lower leg (tibia and fibula) and talus (the most proximal bone in the foot) may involve the ankle joint.

Fractures and dislocations of the foot may be as complex as the hand. Because of the anatomy, they may also be more difficult to diagnosis on plain X-rays.

Picture of the bones of the leg
Picture of the Bones in the Leg

Broken toe

Broken toes are a common fracture and may be diagnosed by history and physical examination. X-rays may or may not be needed depending upon the clinical situation.

Picture of the Bones in the Foot
Picture of the Bones in the Foot

Broken shoulder

The clavicle (collarbone) fracture is one of the most commonly seen broken bones, fracture of the humeral head (the ball) is quite common an older person who falls.

Depending upon the amount of comminution (into how many pieces the humeral head breaks) surgery may or may not be required. Initial treatment usually begins with a sling.

The scapula or shoulder blade is a flat bone and very difficult to break. The mechanism is usually a direct blow. Any scapula fracture needs to be evaluated for related injuries.

X-ray of a broken collarbone (clavicle)
X-ray of a broken collarbone (clavicle)

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/19/2015
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