Fracture

A fracture is a break in a bone.

Fractures can range from a hairline crack in the bone to the bone being broken into two or more pieces that no longer line up correctly. A fracture may occur at the same time as other injuries, such as sprains, strains, or dislocations.

Signs and symptoms of a fracture may include:

  • A pop or snap felt or heard at the time of the injury.
  • Pain that increases with movement or when pressure is applied to the area.
  • Swelling and bruising in the injured area.
  • Limited movement in the injured area.
  • A bend or movement in a bone where there is no joint (for example, a bend in the arm between the elbow and wrist).
  • Bone poking through the skin or visible in the wound.

A fracture and other injuries that often occur at the same time require medical attention. A health professional may set, cast, or splint a broken bone to help the bone heal. Some fractures may require surgery.

Recovery time for a fracture can vary from weeks to months depending on a person's age and health; the type, location and severity of the fracture; and whether there are other injuries that may make treatment more complicated.

Is it an emergency?

If you or someone in your care has chest pains, difficulty breathing, or severe bleeding, it could be a life-threatening emergency. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately.
If you are concerned about a possible poisoning or exposure to a toxic substance, call Poison Control now at 1-800-567-8911.

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