Bones are strong, but can bend slightly in response to pressure. When the pressure exceeds a bone’s ability to withstand it, the bone fractures or breaks. About six million Americans break a bone each year.
Use the Dignity Health - St. Rose Dominican online waiting service, InQuicker, to select your estimated arrival time at the emergency room for broken bones and fractures in Las Vegas and Henderson, NV.
Types of Fractures & Broken Bones
Different types of fractures include:
- Hairline or stress fracture. A bone is cracked but not broken all the way.
- Open or compound fracture. A fracture breaks the skin and bone fragments may be visibly sticking out of the skin.
- Complete fracture. A bone breaks in two pieces.
- Comminuted fracture. A bone is crushed or breaks in three or more pieces.
- Displaced fracture. Bone pieces are out of place and do not line up.
- Stable fracture. Bone pieces are barely out of place or completely line up.
- Oblique fracture. An angled break across the bone.
- Transverse fracture. A horizontal break across the bone.
Most broken bones heal without problems over several weeks. Others are more serious and require lengthy healing and rehabilitation.
Symptoms of Fractures & Broken Bones
Not sure when to go to the emergency room? Common symptoms of fractures include:
- Hearing a grinding noise or snap during the injury
- Difficulty bearing weight or moving the injured area
If you have one or more of these symptoms, visit an ER near you. Dignity Health - St. Rose Dominican has a Level III Trauma Unit at our Siena Campus, providing advanced care for all types of injuries.
Causes of Fractures & Broken Bones
There are three basic causes of broken bones:
- Repetitive motion or overuse, which exerts enough force on the bone to cause a stress fracture.
- Osteoporosis, in which weakened bones are more likely to break.
- Trauma, such as a sports injury, car accident, or fall.
Healing Broken Bones at Dignity Health - St. Rose Dominican
The basic principle of healing any broken bone is the same: put the pieces back into position and keep them there while the bone repairs itself. For some fractures, this is a simple process. However, sometimes surgery is necessary to accomplish this goal.
Treatment options include:
- Cast immobilization using a fiberglass or plaster cast. This is the most common treatment.
- Traction. Repositioning bone pieces using a gentle pulling action.
- External fixation. Surgery to place metal screws or pins in the pieces of bone. The screws or pins connect to a metal bar on the outside of the skin.
- Open reduction and internal fixation. Surgery to reposition the bone pieces and hold them together with metal plates, screws, or pins on the surface of the bone. This surgical hardware may or may not need to be removed after healing is complete.
- Joint replacement. For fractures that involve major joints, such as the shoulder or hip.
Dignity Health - St. Rose Dominican provides emergency services, including treatment for broken bones and fractures, in Las Vegas and Henderson, NV.