Broken Bone - Signs and Symptoms

What were the symptoms and signs of the bone or bones you broke?

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What are the signs and symptoms of a broken bone?

Broken bones hurt. The lining of the bone (periosteum) is rich with nerve endings that can cause pain when inflamed; and the muscles surrounding the fracture go into spasm to prevent movement of the fracture site, and this spasm may intensify the pain.

Bones have a rich blood supply and will bleed when injured. This will cause swelling and the blood that seeps into the surrounding tissue will also cause further pain. The discoloration due to the blood can show up as dark red or purple bruise in the area of the fracture site.

Because muscles and tendons may not be damaged, the person may be able to move the injured extremity. For that reason, just because you can move the injured area, doesn't mean it's not broken.

If there is damage to a nearby artery, the injury may be cool and pale (distal to the injury), and if there is nerve damage, there may be numbness (distally).

Return to Broken Bone (Types of Bone Fractures)

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