A fracture refers to a cracked or broken bone. While bones are able to withstand pressure or impact to some extent, they will break if the force is too great to bear.
This means that any bone in the body can break. A fracture is usually, but not always, the result of an injury and may be partial or complete.
There are many different types of fractures:
Fractures can also be broadly categorised into closed and open. In closed fractures, the cracked or broken bone does not damage the surrounding tissue or protrude through the skin. In open or compound fractures, the cracked or broken bone breaks through the skin.
As there are many kinds of fractures, symptoms of a fracture may vary.
For example, open fractures often present visible damage. In contrast, closed fractures may present symptoms such as deformities or discoloured skin in the injured area.
Other possible symptoms include:
Serious injuries involving a large bone such as the pelvis or femur may also cause a person to look pale and clammy, feel dizzy or faint and have an overall sensation of being sick or nauseated.
A fracture occurs when the physical force you exert on the bone is stronger than the bone itself. Broken bones are most common in childhood, although you can fracture a bone at any age.
As older people have more brittle bones (due to osteoporosis), they are more likely than younger people to fracture a bone in a fall.
Complications from fractures or broken bones may include: