A bone fracture, which is the clinical term for a broken bone, occurs when kinetic energy is applied to a bone that is greater than the bone’s structural integrity. Bone fractures are so common that the average person has two of them throughout their lifetime, and these types of injuries are most common during childhood. Bones become more brittle as they age, which means that bone fractures in older people are generally more complicated than bone fractures in children. The most common types of bone fractures are closed fractures and open or compound fractures, and open fractures are the most serious.
Bone fractures are most frequently caused by car accidents and falls. Children are more likely to sustain bone fractures in the course of playing outside, but older people are more likely to sustain fractures from falls down the stairs or around the house. In addition, bone fractures known as pathological fractures can occur as the result of a disease such as osteoporosis, a bone infection, or a tumor. Athletes can also suffer stress fractures, which are the result of repetitive stresses and strains.
Some types of bone fractures, such as open fractures, are quite easy to recognize in the course of a brief visual examination, but other types of fractures may only be identifiable with an X-ray, MRI, or CT scan.
These types of injuries are treated with a technique called fracture reduction. In most cases, this treatment is applied while the patient is under general anesthesia, and fracture reduction may be achieved through manipulation, closed reduction, or surgery. After your fracture has been treated, physical therapy is often recommended as you recover. Our physical therapists use gentle range of motion, stretching exercises, manual therapy and strengthening exercises to restore our patient’s functional abilities as prior to the injury.