A fracture is a violation of the integrity of the bones, accompanied by pain, hemorrhage, which occurs with excessive load.
Sometimes bones are damaged without an objective reason, even congenital fractures are known. Fractures with a slight load on the bone are called pathological. This happens with some diseases leading to the destruction of bone tissue: osteoporosis, hyperparathyroidism, Paget’s disease, bone tuberculosis, osteomyelitis, bone tumors, and others.
In other cases, fractures are called traumatic. In winter, during icing and ice, the frequency of traumatic fractures increases dramatically. And it’s not just the weather that’s to blame. Most people get injured while under the influence of alcohol.
“Walked, fell, woke up … plaster”, – how to suspect a fracture?
The intensity of the pain does not always correspond to the severity of the condition: firstly, everyone has different sensitivity, and secondly, with severe injuries (multiple fractures), a person may be in a state of shock and not adequately respond to pain.
With an injury in the fracture area, soft tissue edema occurs, often bruising (hematoma). Limb function is usually impaired. Active (when you move yourself) movements are usually not possible, passive (when an outsider flexes and unbends the affected limb) are extremely painful. However, with impacted fractures (when one bone fragment is wedged into another under axial load), limb mobility may be preserved.
The most reliable sign of a fracture is unnatural deformation and pathological mobility of bones. Feeling of crepitus on palpation of the site of injury – crunching of bone fragments.
Types of fractures
closed fractures, without damage to the skin, occur more often. Rarely, open fractures occur. In this case, bone fragments tear soft tissues and skin. In a wound sites of a bone are usually visible, massive bleeding quite often develops.
Open fractures have a worse prognosis. They heal longer, are more prone to complications, infection, and are more often accompanied by pain shock.
Read more: Fracture: First Aid
First aid for a fracture
The first action is to stop arterial bleeding with an open fracture, if any.
The second step is to relieve the pain. Any analgesics available to you are suitable for this. Better in the form of injections. First you need to make sure that the victim is not allergic to drugs, if he is conscious.
If it is not possible to perform medical anesthesia of the fracture, use ice from the refrigerator or a cold pack from the car medicine cabinet. The cold will ease the pain somewhat.
After anesthesia, it is necessary to immobilize the limb: carefully fix it in one position on a piece of cardboard, board, wire and any other material at hand. Remember the rule: it is necessary that the splint captures at least 2-3 joints near the fracture. So, if the hip is broken, the tire should capture the hip joint, knee, ankle joint with the transition to the foot. If nothing was at hand, it is allowed to fix the injured limb to a healthy one.
After bandaging, make sure that you do not overdo it and blood circulation is maintained in the affected limb (an exception is the application of a tourniquet). To do this, check the pulsation on the vessels below the fracture site. If the limb turns blue, gets cold, it is necessary to loosen the bandage tours.
If you are dealing with an open fracture, you need to protect the wound from contamination. For this, a sterile dressing is applied.