Orthopedics - Broken Bones

Kaweah Delta: Treating Fractured & Broken Bones

A broken bone occurs when a bone cannot withstand pressure and it splits or breaks. A split of any size is called a fracture. There are a variety of causes for fractured bones. It’s important to know the symptoms and causes of a broken wrist, broken elbow or hand fracture to prevent additional injury.

Bones are most commonly fractured as a result of:

Direct blow. A sudden movement that strains the bone beyond its normal range of motion by directly striking or being directly struck by an object.

Osteoporosis. Most common in older women, this silent disease weakens your bones and makes them more likely to break. Risk factors include family history, older age and low bone density.

Vehicle accidents. Being involved in a car accident can increase your chances of breaking a bone.

Falls. Falls occur for many reasons:

  • Sports
  • Diabetes and heart disease that affect balance
  • Eye conditions
  • Excessive alcohol use Babies and young children at play

Sports injuries. If you play sports, you are more likely to be injured. Accidents, poor training practices and improper gear are common causes of sports injuries.

Low bone density. A person who suffers from low bone density is more likely to suffer broken bones.

Repetitive force. Activities like running are repetitive forces that can cause stress fractures of the foot, ankle, tibia or hip.

Common Symptoms of Fractured & Broken Bones

It may be difficult to tell the difference between a broken bone and a dislocated joint. Knowing the symptoms of a broken bone will better prepare you in the event of an emergency. Your bone may be broken or fractured if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms:

  • Swelling, tenderness or bruising around the joint
  • Numbness and tingling
  • Inability to move a limb or limited mobility
  • Misshapen or out-of-place joint or limb
  • Intense pain
  • Broken skin with bone protruding

Emergency Treatment for Broken Bones & Fractures

If you have a broken bone or fracture, go to the emergency room immediately. If you are unable to move, call 9-1-1. An orthopedic surgeon may perform surgery on broken bones or allow the bone to rest and heal in a sling or cast. Your physician may include physical therapy in part of your treatment plan.

Tips & Prevention

For fracture risks stemming from health issues such as osteoporosis and low bone density, be sure to include plenty of calcium and vitamin D in your diet to strengthen your bones. You can decrease your chances of falling by getting your eyes checked regularly, removing trip hazards in your home and maintaining good health. When playing sports, be sure to practice safe training practices and wear proper gear.

Schedule a consultation with your primary care doctor or click HERE for a list of specialists in your area.

In Visalia, Kaweah Delta and local orthopedic surgeons partner to provide excellent hand, wrist and elbow treatments for patients from Visalia, Hanford, Tulare, Porterville, Fresno, Bakersfield and surrounding areas.