What causes fractures?

Your bones are some of the strongest tissues in your body. If an impact or a force is stronger than the strength of the bone on which it is acting, then a fracture may result. The most common causes of fracture are falls, motor vehicle accidents, and a weakening of the bone called osteoporosis.

What are the risk factors for fractures?

A number of factors increase the risk of developing fractures. Not all people with risk factors will get fractures. Risk factors for fractures include:

  • Advanced age
  • Certain genetic disorders
  • Excessive tobacco or alcohol consumption
  • Female gender
  • Lack of physical activity on a regular basis
  • Lack of proper nutrition, especially calcium
  • Osteoporosis (thinning and weakening of the bones)
  • Participation in sports
  • Thyroid or endocrine disorders
  • Vitamin deficiencies

Reducing your risk of fractures

There are a number of ways you can reduce your risk of a fracture, though it is impossible to completely eliminate any chance of a fracture.

You may be able to lower your risk of fracture by:

  • Following your treatment plan for treatment or prevention of osteoporosis (which may involve calcium and vitamin D supplementation and medications)
  • Living a healthy lifestyle with a good diet and lots of physical activity
  • Watching young children closely
  • Wearing a seatbelt any time you are in a car
  • Wearing protective equipment when participating in sports
INTRODUCTION

What are fractures?

A fracture is a broken bone. Fractures can range in severity from a crack (known as a hairline or greenstick fracture), to a complete break and separation of a bone that may protrude through your skin (known as an open or compound fracture).... Read more about fracturesintroduction

SYMPTOMS

What are the symptoms of fractures?

Symptoms of fractures commonly include pain, swelling, bruising, and a change of shape at the surface of the skin due to the protrusion of a bone in the affected region. More rarely, a fracture can break through your skin, resulting in bone protruding from a wound.

Common symptoms of fractures

You ... Read more about fracturessymptoms

TREATMENTS

How are fractures treated?

Fractures are treated in a variety of ways. The intention of most treatments is to realign the fractured bones in their original orientation and then to eliminate movement so the bones can heal. Realignment of the bone pieces in a fracture is known as reduction of the fracture. Treatment can vary from using ice and pain relievers (for a mild broken nose) to immediate emergency surgery.
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Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Annual Review Date: Aug 23, 2013 Copyright: © Copyright 2014 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Bones, Joints and Muscles


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