What Happens If You Break A Bone In The Military

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What Happens If You Break A Bone In The Military

Fracture, in pathology a fracture of a bone caused by stress. Certain normal and pathological conditions can predispose bones to fracture. Children have relatively weak bones due to incomplete calcification, and older adults, especially postmenopausal women, have osteoporosis, a weakening of the bones associated with aging. Conditions involving the skeleton, most commonly the spread of cancer to the bones, can also cause weak bones. In such cases, a very small stress can cause a fracture. Other factors such as general health, nutrition and heredity also affect the susceptibility of bones to fracture and their ability to heal.

Adult Forearm Fractures

A fracture is called simple (closed) when the overlying skin is not broken and the bone is not exposed to air; it is called folded (open) when the bone is exposed. When a bone weakened by disease breaks due to minor stress, it is called a pathologic fracture. An incomplete or green fracture occurs when the bone cracks and bends but does not break completely; when the bone breaks into separate pieces, the condition is called a complete fracture. An impact fracture occurs when the broken ends of a bone are jammed together by the force of the injury. A comminuted fracture is a fracture in which the broken ends of the bone are broken into many pieces. Fractures can also be classified according to their configuration on the bone: a transverse fracture is perpendicular to the axis of the bone, while an oblique fracture intersects the axis of the bone at about a 45-degree angle. Characterized by a helical break, a spiral fracture is usually the result of a twisting injury.

The most common symptoms of a fracture are pain and tenderness at the site, a grinding or grinding sensation when moving, and an inability to use the limb or part of the body supported by the bone. Physical symptoms include deformity of the part, swelling in the area of ​​the fracture, discoloration of the overlying skin, and abnormal mobility of the bone.

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All fractures are treated in the same way. The injured bone quickly produces new tissue that extends across the fracture line and joins the broken pieces together. At first this new tissue is soft and putty-like; later it is bony and hard. During reshaping, the bone must be protected from loading and movement between the fracture ends.

Major complications of fracture include failure to heal, healing in a position that compromises function, and loss of function despite good healing. Failure to heal is often the result of infection. Because healing usually does not occur until the infection is treated, all procedures are aimed at combating the infection at the site of the injury whenever possible (as in compound fractures). Failure to heal may also result from severe bone destruction, interruption of blood supply, or insufficient immobilization of the limb or relevant body part; sometimes the cause cannot be determined. Healing is encouraged by cleaning the fracture site, closing the overlying broken skin with a suture or skin graft, and reimmobilization; bone fragments can be used to fill a gap in a broken bone left after a long infection or severe bone destruction. Malpositional healing or malunion can occur when the realignment has been incorrect or when injuries have destroyed large portions of the bone so that the deformity must be accepted to save it. Sometimes the bone is broken therapeutically to achieve proper alignment. Injuries to bone growth centers in children cause malunion and subsequent growth in a deformed manner.

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Joint fractures are a particularly serious problem because the normally smooth surface of the joint can be destroyed. If the fracture heals in an irregular position, the joint is likely to be permanently stiff and painful; arthrosis is a common complication in old age. If it is not possible to precisely level the surface of the joint by manipulation or traction, surgery is necessary. Loss of function can be caused by prolonged immobilization, severe scarring from severe injury or infection, or motor nerve injury. A broken bone must be carefully stabilized and supported until it is strong enough to support the weight and movement of the body. Until the last century, doctors relied on casts and splints to support and stabilize the bone from outside the body. The advent of sterile surgical procedures reduced the risk of infection, allowing doctors to internally set and stabilize broken bones.

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During surgery to set a fracture, the bone fragments are first moved (reduced) to their normal alignment. They are held together with special implants such as plates, screws, nails and wires.

Internal fixation allows for shorter hospital stays, allows patients to return to function sooner, and reduces the incidence of nonunion (improper healing) and malunion (healing in the wrong position) of broken bones.

The implants used for internal fixation are made of stainless steel and titanium, which are durable and strong. If the joint is to be replaced rather than fixed, these implants can also be made of cobalt and chromium. Implants are compatible with the body and rarely cause an allergic reaction.

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Plates are like internal splints that hold broken pieces of bone together. They are attached to the bone with screws. Plates can be left in place after healing is complete or removed (in selected cases).

In this X-ray, broken bones in the forearm are held in place with plates and screws while they heal.

Screws are used for internal fixation more often than any other type of implant. Although a screw is a simple device, there are different designs depending on the type of fracture and how the screw is used. The screws come in different sizes for use with different sized bones. Screws can be used alone to fix a fracture, as well as with plates, rods or nails. After the bone has healed, the screws can be left in place or removed.

In some long bone fractures, the best way to hold the pieces of bone together is to insert a rod or nail into the hollow center of the bone, which normally contains some marrow. Screws at each end of the rod are used to keep the fracture from shortening or rotating, and also to hold the rod in place until the fracture heals. After healing is complete, rods and screws may remain in the bone. This is the method used to treat most fractures of the femur (thigh bone) and tibia (shin bone).

Fracture Vs. Break: Is One Worse Than The Other?

Wires are often used to connect bones. They are often used to hold pieces of bone that are too small to be fixed with screws. In many cases, they are used in conjunction with other forms of internal fixation, but they can be used alone to treat small bone fractures, such as those found in the arm or leg. The wires are usually removed after a period of time, but in some fractures they may remain permanently.

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This x-ray shows the child’s elbow fracture, which has been repositioned and held in place with two pins. Once healing has begun, the pins are removed.

Reproduced from: Surgical treatment of upper extremity fractures in children, Flynn J, Sarwark J, Waters P, Bae D, Lemke L: Instr Course Lect 2003, 54: 635-645.

The external fixator acts as a stabilizing frame that holds the broken bones in the correct position. In an external fixator, metal pins or screws are placed into the bone through small incisions in the skin and muscle. Pins and screws are attached to the bar outside the skin. Because the pins are embedded in the bone, external fixators differ from casts and splints, which rely solely on external support.

Broken Arm Symptoms

External fixation is often used to temporarily hold bones together when skin and muscles are injured.

In many cases, external fixation is used as a temporary treatment for fractures. Because they are easy to apply, external fixators are often used when a patient has multiple injuries and is not yet ready for a longer surgical procedure to fix the fracture. An external fixator provides good temporary stability until the patient is well enough for definitive surgery.

At other times, an external fixator may be used as a device to stabilize the bone until complete healing.

This patient’s femur fracture was stabilized with external fixation. Once surgery can be safely performed to repair the fracture, the fixator is removed.

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The use of external fixators can be associated with inflammation or, less commonly, infection. This is usually managed with wound care and/or oral antibiotics.

Sterile conditions and advances in surgical techniques reduce, but they do

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