Human skeleton is made of bones. They give the body proper support and additionally protect internal organs from injuries. They also participate in body movements. Human body consists of 206 bones. Their structure allows bones to bend only to small extent and every stress and pressure that exceed the limit of their extension lead to fracture. Fractures are painful since bones are well innervated. The pain also originates from injury of the surrounding tissues. Bones can fracture due to fall, direct impacts or twisting injuries. All the fractures are classified into several types and these types are further divided into specific categories.
Classification on Bone Fractures
All the bone fractures are divided into open and closed fractures. In close fractures the bone does not interrupt the skin's continuity. Closed fractures are also known as simple fractures. On the other hand, in open fractures the integrity of the skin is jeopardized and interrupted and the bone fragments protrude through damaged skin. Open fractures carry significant risk of additional complications such as heavy bleeding and infections.
Additional division of bone fractures is related to the alignment of the fractured bone. Namely, this division includes non-displaced fractures in which the bone fragments have not changed theory position and displaced fractures in which fragments has dislocated.
Further classification of fractures is based on the type of bone breakage. This classification includes an angle fracture, oblique fracture, circular fracture, spiral fracture and the fracture along bone's length. Green fracture is additional type of fracture which affects immature bones in children who can bend to greater extent and completely mature bones in adults. Compression fractures are those which affect vertebrae and are caused by overuse of the bone and additional stress.
Apart from all the previous fractures additional type of fractures is comminuted fracture. It is specific since it consists of multiple bone fragments. The fracture can be classified as comminuted only if a fracture consists of at least three fragments. This type of fracture is serious and rather complex and if it is also an open fracture the risk of additional complications such as infections drastically increases. The major problem related to comminuted fractures is long period of healing.
Comminuted fractures result as a consequence of car accidents, serious fall or bullet injury. They can be only induced by strong and forceful pressure. People who are predisposed to this type of fracture include patients suffering from bone cancer and brittle bone disease.
This fracture is accompanied by rather intensive pain. The injured area is edematous and warm. X-ray of the injured extremity is helpful in setting of the diagnosis. Comminuted fractures are surgically treated. The fragments are joined together and fixed usually with pins. Antibiotics can be given to prevent possible infection.
Apart from long recovery the patient may experience certain complications such as compartment syndrome, vascular necrosis, or nonunion. These complications require further surgical treatment.