Broken bones are one of the most common reasons people visit the emergency room. There are 206 bones in the human body and some are more susceptible to injury than others. Falls, trips, slips and collisions can all cause breaks or fractures. When bones break in more than one place, they are known as compound fractures.
About 10% of all injuries suffered by U.S. high school athletes are fractures, and some sports are riskier than others. Delays in treatment can lead to chronic pain and even arthritis. Bones that are easiest to break are the following:
- The clavicle or collarbone attaches the arm to the body. The length of this bone makes it susceptible to breaking, especially during contact sports, with breaks frequently occurring in the middle.
- The arm accounts for 50% of all broken bones in adults. Breaks can happen in the upper or lower sections of the arm and generally occurs from a fall or an impact.
- The wrist is most often broken on the thumb side of the bone and usually happens from trying to break a fall. Skiing, biking, snowboarding and soccer are common activities that can lead to this injury.
- The ankle is often broken when it’s twisted or rolled and often there’s ligament damage too. This is seen frequently from playing soccer, basketball, football, and rugby.
- Feet make up almost 25% of the bones in the entire body. They can of course be broken by impact, but also stress fractures can result from overuse. Soccer, ballet, and basketball are common causes of broken bones in the feet.
A doctor generally confirms diagnosis of a fracture or break by x-rays. Treatment consists of moving the bones into the proper position and then preventing them from moving while they heal. The good news is that bones immediately begin the healing process by depositing calcium at the site of the fracture. When the healing process ends, which can take up to several weeks or months, previously fractured bones are just as strong as they were before. Therefore, the site of the fracture isn’t any more likely to break again in comparison to the other areas of the bone.
If you believe you may have broken or fractured a bone or are experiencing problems from a previous injury, please call or visit Spine & Orthopedic Center today for more information.