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Home First Aid

Week 8

Fractures

Definition

A Fracture could range from a complete break in the bone, Shattering of the bone or to a simple hairline crack in the bone.

Fractures can be cause from a variety of accidents, sports or Medical causes.

Trauma accounts for most fractures:

Car Accidents

Motor Bike Accidents

Pedestrian Accidents

Rugby, Racing or any high impact sports

Osteoporosis can also cause fractures and is caused by a bone disease that causes the bone to become thin and brittle and break easily.

Roadrunners and athletes sometimes get stress fractures in their legs, from the impact of their constant pressure that they exert on their bones when they run.

Diagnoses

1.   Swelling

2.   Pain at point of break

3.   Deformity

4.   Discoloration (bruising)

5.   Exposed Bone fragments

6.   Crepitus (sound of bones grinding together)

Types of fractures

Closed or simple fracture. The bone is broken, but the bone does not protrude through the skin.

Open or Compound fracture. The bone protrudes through the skin.

Treatment

Always splint the injured limb and transport to the nearest Medical Facility as soon as possible or call your local Emergency Medical services to transport the patient. Be careful not to hurt the patient unnecessarily or to cause more damage while trying to splint the limb. At the Medical Facility the patient will have to go for X-rays to determine the exact location of the break and the severity of the break, this will determine the treatment given. The patient may require a simple Plaster Cast or surgery to realign the bones so that they can knit together again. In severe cases when the bones of a limb have been shattered they might put steel plates or pins in the limb to help the bones to realign and grow back together, or else they may use a external fixation to do the same. 

The journey back to health

 

Fractures can take from a few weeks to a couple of months to heal, but that is only the start. When a limb is placed in some sort of immobilization device such as a plaster cast the Muscles, Tendons and Ligaments become week and lazy. These areas and limbs will require extensive Physiotherapy to be rehabilitated to their full strength and use. Even long after the cast the limb will need to be protected as the bones will be weak in that area. Normal strength of that bone will return after a few months and the patient may have to wear a protective brace until then.

Fracture


Disclaimer:
These articles are not meant to replace first aid training courses and Micange Trading, and owners thereof, shall not assume liability. It is strongly advised that you qualify for first aid training and revise it every 3 years.


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