Fractures

Health^ A fracture—a break in bone or cartilage—usually results from injury or an

Concerns underlying bone disease, such as osteoporosis (see page 301). Fractures are categorized as either simple (closed), in which the broken bone does not break the skin, or compound (open), in which the broken bone punctures the skin. When the two ends of a fractured bone have not separated, it is called a nondisplaced fracture. When the two ends have separated, it is a displaced fracture. Within the categories of simple and compound are other types of fractures (see box), including transverse fracture, spiral fracture, comminuted fracture, and greenstick fracture. The type of fracture determines the choice of treatment.

In general, fractured bones are painful and limit use of the injured limb or body part. Often the injured area appears misshapen. Bruising may occur, and the limb below the fracture may tingle or become numb, cold, or pale. However, sometimes it is possible to walk on a fractured

Nondisplaced Displaced leg or continue to use a fractured arm without realizing it is broken. Fracture

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