What Are the Signs of a Fracture

What are the signs of a fracture? It is crucial to know the signs before you are ever in a situation during which a friend or child experiences what you think might be a broken bone. Sometimes a bone break is obvious, such as when the bone has penetrated the skin. While it's a good idea to call for medical assistance immediately when you believe a fracture has occurred, assessing the signs and symptoms will help you provide the best information to the responders.

Pain
A fracture will cause the victim pain in the area of the break, called a localized pain. When a bone fractures, it can crack inside the body but not break the skin - this is a closed fracture. If the bone breaks through the skin and is exposed, an open fracture has occurred. While an open fracture will be more obvious as a source of pain, due to the visible wound and blood, closed fractures can also cause enormous pain. The victim may hear a crackling sound when the affected area is moved.

Swelling
When a bone fractures, it can tear up the tissues surrounding it, causing fluids to build up underneath the skin. In severe fractures, blood vessels can get torn up, causing excessive bleeding near the site. Injury to the muscles and nerves causes swelling and even bruising. Redness and warmth to the area can also accompany swelling when a bone break occurs. Until body functions are restored to near normal at the site of the fracture, swelling will be present in the tissues surrounding it.

Deformity
Since the bones create the frame upon which the body hangs, a distortion in that frame will result in a deformity of sorts, from a broken nose to a broken wrist. While swelling can be a cause of deformity around a fracture, other causes are when the bone fragments become displaced and when the bone pieces don't fit against each other, as in an open fracture. Neither the victim nor a passerby should attempt to manipulate or maneuver the fractured area until medical professionals arrive.

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