Broken Bone - Signs and Symptoms

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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)

See what others are saying

Comment from: Edmond, 45-54 Male (Caregiver) Published: November 26

Back in July my boyfriend was dancing at a cruise. He had his back to me and I looked down at his leg and a white streak shot from his ankle up to his knee. I knew he was going to fall and I hollered at him. When he turned around he fell and couldn't get up, he is 6 ft. 4 in. Four people had to help him get up. I took him to the hospital and he was turned away because he didn't have insurance. His leg is still bluish and very red. My doctor told him he needed to have an ultrasound done on it but he won't go to a doctor. I tried to take care of it as much as he would let me. He says he barely has feeling in it. I wonder if he could have had a stroke in the leg or broken a bone in his leg.

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Comment from: Jess21, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: December 23

I broke my fibula. The break was closed but also affected my ligaments and joint. The first symptom I had was intense pain in the ankle region, then, massive swelling around the ankle. I could not put pressure on my left foot right away. The swelling eventually spread to my whole foot and around, to my heel. A couple of days later massive bruising was everywhere on my foot, but came at different times. After a month my swelling has gone done a lot as well as the bruising, but, I still have bruising on my toes.

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