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Signs and Symptoms of Bone Fractures
Signs and symptoms of broken bones include:
- Pain that gets worse when the area is moved or pressure is applied
- In open fractures, bone protruding from the skin
- Discolored skin around the affected area
- Inability to put weight on the injured area
- Bleeding, if there is an open fracture
- Numbness and tingling
- Limited movement or inability to move a limb
A fracture often requires emergency treatment at a hospital. It may take several weeks to several months to heal depending on the injury.
X-rays Help to Diagnose Fractures
Doctors can usually recognize fractures by examining the injury and taking X-rays. In some cases, a fracture will not be visible with an X-ray. This is common with some wrist fractures, hip fractures and stress fractures. Your doctor may perform other tests, such as a computed tomography (CT) scan, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or a bone scan.
Broken Bone Treatment Can Include Cast or Splint
Some treatments for broken bones may include:
- Cast or splint
- Pain relievers or painkillers
- Surgery to put in plates, pins or screws to keep the bone in place
- Physical therapy to regain strength and flexibility
Safety Steps to Avoid Injuries
It is not always possible to prevent breaking a bone. But there are certain safety measures you can take to avoid injury. They include:
- Wear proper safety equipment (helmets and other protective pads) for recreational activities, such as bike riding, snowboarding, motorcycle use, or contact sports.
- Keep walkways and stairs free of objects that could cause you to trip.
- If you have osteoporosis, have regular exercise to improve strength and balance, and discuss calcium supplements with your doctor.
- When you are on a ladder, avoid using the top step and be sure you have someone holding the ladder.
- Wear your seat belt, and never drive intoxicated or ride with a driver who is intoxicated.
- Never text while driving. Make sure children ride in an appropriate car seat.