Each year, about six million Americans break a bone. Bones are strong and can bend somewhat in response to pressure. When the pressure exceeds a bone’s ability to withstand it, the bone can break, or fracture.
Some of the many types of fractures are:
- Stress or “hairline” fracture: a bone is cracked but not broken all the way
- Stable fracture: bone pieces line up or are barely out of place
- Displaced fracture: bone pieces do not line up and are out of place
- Complete fracture: a bone breaks into two pieces
- Transverse fracture: a horizontal break across the bone
- Oblique fracture: an angled break across the bone
- Comminuted fracture: a bone breaks into three or more pieces or is crushed
- Compound, or “open” fracture: a fracture breaks the skin; bone fragments may stick out through the skin
Most broken bones are a temporary inconvenience and heal without problems over several weeks. Some broken bones are more serious and require lengthy healing and rehabilitation.
At Dignity Health, our dedicated doctors provide thorough emergency treatment for broken bones in Arizona. Our Phoenix area hospitals are located in Ahwatukee, Phoenix, Chandler, Gilbert, Laveen, Goodyear, Surprise, Mesa, and Glendale.
Use our online InQuicker™ tool to select your estimated arrival time to your nearest Dignity Health emergency room.
Causes of Fracture
There are three basic causes of broken bones:
Symptoms of Fracture
Common symptoms of a broken bone are:
- Hearing a snap or grinding noise during the injury
- Difficulty moving the injured area or bearing weight
- Pain or tenderness
Treatment Options for Fracture at Dignity Health
The basic principle of treating any broken bone is to put the pieces back into position and keep them there while the bone heals. For some fractures, this is a simple process. Sometimes, surgery is necessary.
Treatment options for broken bones include:
- Cast immobilization with a plaster or fiberglass cast. This is the most common treatment.
- Traction to reposition bone pieces using a gentle pulling action.
- External fixation, a surgery to place metal pins or screws in the pieces of bone. The pins or screws connect to a metal bar on the outside of the skin. This fixation system holds the pieces of bone in place while they heal.
- Open reduction and internal fixation, a surgery to reposition the bone pieces and hold them together with metal pins, screws, or plates on the surface of the bone. This surgical hardware may or may not need to be removed once healing is complete.
For fractures that involve major joints, such as the hip or shoulder, joint replacement may be part of the treatment plan. Dignity Health provides high-quality emergency services, including fracture and broken bone treatment, in Arizona.