Wednesday, 25 January 2012

What are Bone Fractures ?

BONES :
Bone Fractures are are injuries of bone tissue, which compromise their ability to support the body. A bone fracture can occur in several situations, like a car accident, an assault, a fall in the bathroom or from a height, due to a pre-existing bone disease, like osteoporosis, rickets, and so on. The symptoms of bone fracture may vary depending on the types of bone fractures, their location, as well as their severity. However, every fracture results more or less from an unbalanced force, which overcomes the strength of the bone.
Bone Fracture Physiology :
Bone tissue is structurally very hard, but when it is subjected to forces higher than its capacity it responds in two ways. When the forces are applied in one instant, like a sudden fall, it results in a bone fracture. But if it is applied slowly over a period of time, it results in remodeling of the bone to a shape that balances the forces e.g. bowing of legs in rickets. Thus, the bone has a dynamic nature and adjusts to the changing loads of weight bearing and physical stress. This ability of bones is due to the constant erosion of bone by osteoclasts and deposition of new bone by osteoblasts (Picture 1).
Bone Fracture Physiology


Bone tissue is structurally very hard, but when it is subjected to forces higher than its capacity it responds in two ways. When the forces are applied in one instant, like a sudden fall, it results in a bone fracture. But if it is applied slowly over a period of time, it results in remodeling of the bone to a shape that balances the forces e.g. bowing of legs in rickets. Thus, the bone has a dynamic nature and adjusts to the changing loads of weight bearing and physical stress. This ability of bones is due to the constant erosion of bone by osteoclasts and deposition of new bone by osteoblasts (Picture 1).


Bone Fracture Symptoms :
Symptoms of bone fractures can range from a mild bone pain to severe bruising, bleeding, and inability to move the part of the body.Pain – is due to pain signals from the injured bone in response to pressure on the bone fracture.Swelling – is due to injury to local blood vessels and also the action of the cells of immune 
system of the body.
Inability to walk - is after an injury to the weight bearing bones of the body, mainly the bones of the leg or thigh.Instability - is when the bone fracture is near a joint and causes the joint to dislocate.Inability to breath - is in the case of rib fractures, where a sharp stabbing pain can be felt at each breath.
Bone Fracture Surgery :
Surgical treatment for bone fractures is reserved for displaced fractures and primary management of compound fractures. Displaced bone fractures have a higher propensity of developing non-union or mal-union. Hence, surgery has to be performed, preferably within a week after injury to bring the broken ends of the bones together. The broken edges are approximated as neatly as possible and secured in that position with the help of orthopedic screws and plates. This provides temporary support, which is sufficient to maintain the position of the bones, until bone fracture healing.

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