Many people will experience a bone fracture in their lifetime, whether from playing sports or having an accident. The orthopedic team at Southern Orthopedics and Sports Medicine has the experience and resources to diagnose and treat your fracture in Charleston and Mount Pleasant, South Carolina so that you can get back to your regular daily activities.
Simply put, a fracture is a broken bone. Common causes of a fracture include automobile accidents, sports injuries, osteoporosis, or overuse caused by repetitive motion. A bone can fracture completely, partially, crosswise, lengthwise, into multiple pieces, or in a variety of other ways. Common types of fractures are:
- Open compound: Bone fragments protrude through the skin, or a wound penetrates down to the broken bone. This type of fracture is particularly serious because infection can occur more easily, and the healing process is less predictable because of an interruption to the blood supply.
- Stable: A fracture in which the broken ends of the bone line up easily.
- Transverse: A break where the fracture line is horizontal.
- Oblique: A break where the fracture has an angled pattern.
- Comminuted: A fracture in which the bone shatters into three or more pieces.
The most obvious symptom of a bone fracture is extreme pain that makes motion of the injured area difficult or impossible, but other symptoms may include swelling and tenderness around the injury, bruising, or a deformed appearance where the limb looks “out of place.” Diagnosis and assessment of the extent of the injury will include an X-ray so that the physician can get a clear image of the fracture and determine the type of break.
Depending on the extent of the injury, treatment can include:
- Cast immobilization: A plaster or fiberglass cast is used to keep the bone in place while the injury heals.
- A functional cast or brace: Allows limited or controlled movement of nearby joints while the injury heals.
- Traction alignment: The fractured bone is aligned with a gentle, steady pulling action.
- External fixation: Metal pins or screws are inserted into the broken bone above and below the fracture site and connected to a metal bar outside of the skin to create a stabilizing frame that holds the bones in place while the injury heals.
- Open reduction and internal fixation: The bone fragments are repositioned into normal alignment and held together with screws or by attaching metal plates to the outer surface of the bone. Fragments may also be held together with rods inserted through the marrow space in the center of the bone.
The healing process can take several weeks to several months, depending on the injury and the patient’s adherence to their physician’s advice.
The surgeons and physician assistants at Southern Orthopedics and Sports Medicine can effectively diagnose and treat your bone fracture in Mount Pleasant or Charleston to help you heal and get back to your regular routine. Call us at (843) 936-0715 for treatment of fractures, sports injuries, and other orthopedic issues.