Having fracture after getting injured is dreadful thought that goes through person’s mind. Some of the injuries are so major that they produce obvious deformity, loss of function and abnormal mobility that fracture seems certain.
But there are many cases where force of injury is not much and it cannot be made out if there is a bony injury or soft tissue injury only.
Most important is to seek medical help. Clinician who sees you would look for signs suggestive of fracture which are
- Pain in the injured area
- Tenderness on the bone
- Crepitus [Two fragments rub each other on moving and produce grating sound- Crepitus is not elicited for purpose of examination as it is very painful]
- Abnormal mobility in the affected part
- Loss of function or inability to use affected part
An early treatment of fractures is important and always give much better functional outcome. An early recognition is must for early treatment.
How to suspect fracture?
- There would be history of an injury except in cases where bones are weak and break under routine stresses.
- Pain and tenderness are consistent findings and may sometimes be the only evidence of a fracture.
- Deformity of the limb or angulation are both highly suggestive of a fracture.
- Loss of function is often noted but may be minimal in incomplete fractures.
These features should warn the patient enough to seek a medical opinion.
Xrays are basic investigation after injury that may reveal most of the fractures. Xrays would reveal broken bones and are necessary to confirm any suspicion of fracture.
Normal radiographs suggest but do not determine an absolute absence of injury.
Many fractures will not be apparent, and soft tissue damage to ligaments and neurovascular structures may be overlooked.
In routine, an xray is done in two planes anteroposterior and lateral. If required, the doctor can ask for other views to help reaching a diagnosis.
Somtimes comparison views are ordered in case of injury to extremity. This helps to compare the anatomy with the other side.
When confirmed, the fracture should be treated accordingly.
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