Broken Bones

Modified on 2009/10/14 21:36 by admin
Bones and their surrounding tissue, ligaments, muscles, and joints comprise the musculoskeletal system of the human body. The bones themselves have two distinct parts, the hard exterior that consists largely of proteins, and the softer interior where the all-important blood cells are manufactured by the bone marrow.

A bone may break or fracture when the force applied against it is greater than the strength of the bone itself. The severity of the fracture depends on several factors including the victim's overall health, age, and type of impact.

The two most common types of breaks are the simple and compound fractures. A simple fracture occurs when the bone breaks yet does not puncture the skin. A compound fracture can be more serious as the broken bone pierces the skin increasing the risk of infection.

Most fractures take at least four, and up to eight weeks to heal and often require complete immobilization of the affected area. Bones are able to regenerate themselves, and a doctor will likely realign the bone so that the two broken segments will grow back as one. A doctor may also apply a splint or cast around the affected area to assist with immobilization. Some complex fractures may require a surgical procedure to stabilize the bone with metal rods and plates.

View sub-topics below to learn more about broken bones and related injuries.

See Also

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  103. Workplace Violence
  104. Broken Bones: Frequently Asked Questions
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