Bones Break Symptoms & Treatment

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bones break symptoms & treatment

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Bones break symptoms & treatment examines the causes of the different types of bone fractures, symptoms, treatment, caring tips, and repair.

People break bones in different ways but normally from some sort of impact. Though bones are strong, there’s a limit to how much impact they can withstand before snapping. A serious break, for instance, can cause bleeding in the bones, while illnesses like cancer and osteoporosis weaken bones making them more vulnerable to breaking.

Description of Broken Bones Or Fractures

Doctors use a few simple terms to describe broken bones or fractures.  For instance:

  • Closed, or simple, fractures don’t break through the skin. Open, or compound, ones do.
  •  Partial breaks don’t go all the way through the bone. A complete break is when the bone is in two or more pieces.
  • It’s a non-displaced break if the broken pieces still line up, but if they don’t it’s displaced.

Types of Bone Fractures

  • Greenstick: breaks on one side, but bends on the other
  • Comminuted: breaks into three or more pieces
  • Stress fracture: a very thin crack
  • Oblique: breaks at an angle
  • Transverse: breaks straight across the bone
  • Compression: happens in the spine, spiral fractures
  • Avulsion: when a tendon or ligament comes off a piece of bone


Bones break symptoms & treatment identifies pain as a major symptom. A broken bone causes a deep serious ache or sharp pain depending on the break. The body also triggers all sorts of signals to inform you something is not right. These signals may include feeling dizzy, feverish, faint, or even becoming unconscious. Immediate surroundings of the break may show bruising, stiffness, swelling, weakness, and feel warmth. You may notice you can’t use that part of the body or it’s bent at an odd angle.

bones break symptoms & treatment


Bones break symptoms & treatment provides three basic steps for treating any break:

  • Line up the bone in the proper place.
  • Stop it from moving until it’s healed.
  • Control and manage the pain.

For a minor break, your doctor may have to set the bone back in place. Then, you’ll probably get a splint, brace, or cast to support your bone and keep you from moving it. Your doctor may also give you medicine for the pain.

For more serious breaks, you may need surgery. Doctors might put in screws, pins, rods, or plates to hold bones in place to allow proper healing. Those implants may stay in place after you’ve healed, or your doctor will take them out in some cases. 

bones break symptoms & treatment

In seldom cases, you may need a system of pulleys and weights around your hospital bed that hold your bones in the right position.


An average recovery takes 6-8 weeks but depends on the bone, type of break, age, and general health. During the first two weeks, it’s all about patience and proper self-care. This is where you set the ball rolling for healing so doctors’ recommendations include:

  •   Stop smoking
  •   Exercise as recommended
  •  Eat healthily
  •  Rest the broken bone.

Weeks 3-5 of the cast are crucial for healing and, to avoid your muscles getting weak and stiff due to immobility, gentle basic exercise or early physical therapy is advised. Exercise helps ease stiffness, develop muscle, and break down scar tissue. 

The cast comes off normally between 6-8 weeks. The skin and hair under the cast haven’t been exposed to light so likely to have a different hue than normal, weaker muscles, flaky skin, and smaller broken body parts as a result of muscle loss. These differences will get back to normal with time and more physical therapy. However, it’s important to check with your doctor if there are any limitations on regular activities.

Bone Repair

Bone repair starts just a few hours after the injury. There is a healthy swelling around the break as a blood clot starts to form. The immune system sends in cells that remove small bone pieces and destroy any germs. In addition, blood vessels develop around the area to assist in the healing process. This phase may take a week or two.

Between 1-3 weeks, there is a soft callus around the broken bone allowing collagen to move in gradually and replace the blood clot. The callus is harder than a clot, but not as strong as bone, which is partly the reason a cast holds the healing bone in place. If it moves, the soft callus could break and delay recovery.

Two weeks after the break, cells called osteoblasts enter and begin to form new bone, adding minerals to the blend to make the bone hard and strong as it bonds the broken pieces. This is the hard callus stage and usually ends 6-12 weeks after the break.

The final healing process is the remodeling stage which may continue long after you recover, and at times last up to 9 years. Any extra bone formed during healing is broken down to allow the bones to get back to their original shape.  At this stage, going back to normal activities really assist in healing.

Photo Credit: Creative Commons

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