Can a Small Fracture Become Larger?

July 20, 2022
Can a Small Fracture Become Larger?- AFC Urgent Care

No one wants to break a bone—that much is true. However, broken bones are among the most common injuries in America, as millions of people suffer from them each year.

Read on to learn more about fractures and why they should be treated immediately from our AFC Urgent Care Chattanooga team.

What Is a Fracture?

A fracture—or a “broken bone,” as it’s commonly known—occurs when a bone completely or partially breaks. These injuries typically result from automobile accidents, slips and falls, or sports-related injuries, but they can also be brought on by conditions like osteoporosis and low bone density, which weaken bones.

We’ve listed some of the most prevalent bone fractures below, out of the many different types that exist.

Types of Fractures

  • Closed or open fractures: If the injury doesn’t open the skin, it’s called a closed fracture. If the skin does open, it’s called an open fracture or, perhaps more commonly, a compound fracture.
  • Complete fractures: The break goes completely through the bone, separating it in two.
  • Partial fractures: The break doesn’t go all the way through the bone.
  • Stress (hairline) fractures: The bone gets a crack in it, which is sometimes tough to find with imaging.

Will a Fracture Get Worse?

If you get a small fracture, which is most likely a stress fracture, it can become larger and even result in a complete fracture if it isn’t treated correctly.

In general, any type of fracture can become worse if it isn’t treated quickly and correctly. It’s true that bones often heal remarkably well, but if they aren’t set correctly and immobilized in most cases, they can cause pain and swelling for much longer than they should.

Fracture Prevention Tips

  • Avoid falling. You can do this by doing simple things like working on your balance and decluttering your home.
  • Stay physically active. Aerobic exercise like walking and jogging helps keep bones healthy and strong.
  • Eat healthy. Watching your diet is one of the best ways to benefit bone health. Foods rich in calcium, like almonds, eggs and green veggies all promote bone health.

Do you think you may be dealing with a fracture? Visit our AFC team to get an X-ray—no appointment necessary!

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