Possible Broken Bones: Emergency Room Tips
Broken bones or a crack in the bone are a more straightforward definition of a fracture.
Fractures occur in any bone in the body and can penetrate and damage the surrounding skin (compound fracture or an open fracture).
A closed fracture, on the other hand, refers to a break in the bone that doesn’t tear through the skin and damage the surrounding tissue.
Human bones are generally stable and can stand up to reasonably robust forces or impacts. Our bones gradually become unable to withstand such forceful effects because of aging. In women, more especially after menopause, the strength of the bone deteriorates which means that anything dynamic can fracture the bones. Children’s bones are more flexible, and when they do have broken bones, their situations tend to be different.
So, what Causes Broken Bones
Most fractures are caused by a blow, an automobile accident, or a bad fall especially in children who seem to have more physically active lifestyles than adults.
Fractures can also be due to underlying medical conditions and are known as pathological fractures. These kinds of broken bones can be due to diseases such as osteoporosis, cancer tumor or infection. The illnesses thin out and deteriorate the bone strength especially in the hip, wrist, and spine.
Professional sports people commonly experience stress fractures which are as a result of continuous stresses and strains.
How would you know if you have a broken bone? Call your primary doctor about a fracture or if you are in Dallas or Richmond Texas go to FrontLine ER if you experience the below symptoms:
- Deformed arm or leg or loss of function in the wounded area
- Inflammation, swelling, or bruising over a bone
- Pain in the injured area that worsens when moved or pressure is applied
- Failing to endure any weight on the affected foot or ankle
- Bone protruding from the skin
The above signs and symptoms of a fracture vary according to the patient’s age, which bone is injured, general health as well as the extent of the injury. Depending on where you are, if you are with a wounded victim, do not move them until medical help arrives and assesses the situation.
What You Can Do Before Heading to the ER
You may have called for assistance because you are unable to transport the victim by yourself. Meanwhile, as you wait for help to arrive, you need to protect the injured area to avoid additional damage. For broken leg or arm bones, make a splint out of plastic, wood, or metal and pad it with gauze. Secure the bandage loosely to the area using the dressing to inhibit movement. Should there be any bleeding from the wound, apply direct pressure to stop bleeding before splinting and then elevate the fracture.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Fractures at Frontline ER
The emergency physician will first interview the patient if they are in a position. Otherwise, relatives, friends or witnesses will respond to inquiries about the circumstances that caused the injury.
Most fractures like wrist fractures, stress fractures, and hip fractures in older people are recognizable from taking X-rays; however, this may sometimes not be the case.
In these circumstances, your emergency doctor at FrontLine ER doctor may order other tests, such as computed tomography (CT) scan, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or a bone scan. You may also need similar analyses carried out on the blood vessels to conclude whether other tissues around the bone encountered any damages.
The treatment process begins by lining up the ends of the broken bone in a procedure known as reducing the fracture. The reduction takes place under a general anesthetic and expertly treated by pulling the bone fragments (closed reduction), manipulation, or surgery.
After the bones are aligned, they need to be immobilized using plaster casts or plastic functional braces, metal plates and screws, intramedullary nails, and external fixators, so they remain in place and heal well.
The fractured bone area remains immobilized for about two to eight weeks; however, it all depends on the affected bone and whether there are any hitches, such as an infection or inadequate blood supply.
Rehabilitation or physical therapy can commence after the bone has healed or even it is in a cast. Healing is necessary to promote blood flow, restore muscle strength and mobility to the affected area.
After going back to the doctor to remove the cast or splint, the area around the fracture could continue swelling or being stiff for several weeks. A victim may limp, but the symptoms generally subside within a few weeks.
Should any complications arise causing the fractures not to heal or take longer to recover, ultrasound therapy, bone graft, and stem cell therapy can be used to enhance healing.
It is essential for people of all ages to remain physically active and eat well-balanced meals to promote bone growth during the healing process. Less physical activity in older adults increases the risk of even weaker bones.