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Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Institute

Fracture Care

Dignity Health Medical Group

Fractures (broken bones)

There are many ways a bone can fracture, break, crack. It can break all the way or part of the way and in any direction depending on the injury. The severity depends on the force that caused the break. Our experts in fracture care take all that into consideration when helping patients manage the comprehensive and individualized care needed. 

Symptoms of a fracture or broken bone

Symptoms of a fracture can vary; however, the most common symptoms a person will experience when breaking a bone incude: 


  • Visual defomity of the bone area
  • Difficulty using the bone in normal settings
  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Bruising, redness
  • Warm to the touch


Types of fractures

A closed fracture is a bone that is broken under the skin. The skin is not broken. 

This is also called a compound fracture. In this fracture type, the skin is opened either by the bone break or by the force that caused the break. The bone may not be visibale. 

A stress fracture is a small break or crack in the bone that often happens during repetitive movement, or overuse. These can be tricky to identify in an x-ray that is why it is important to see an orthopedic specialist. 

A stable fracture is a break in the bone where the bones are broken but they line up and are slightliy out of shape. 

There are occasions where the bone heals but not in the correct position or doesn't heal at all.  This can happen to almost any fracture and for many reasons. A "malunion" bone can also result in a bone being shorter, twisted, rotated or bent. This can result in lost of function and can impact nearby joints or cause arthritis because of usual wear on the joint.  

A The Our fracture specialist have the expertise to help guide the patient through this situation. 

When a broken bone fails to heal it is called "nonunion". A delayed union is when a fracture takes longer than usual to heal.  This can happen because of a variety of reasons including nutrition, stability and blood supply. 

A The Our fracture specialist have the expertise to help guide the patient through this situation.