Bone Fractures & Joint Dislocation

Two of the most common bone and joint injuries are fractures and dislocations. Both injuries should be considered emergency situations and set into place as soon as possible by a trauma specialist. Moving a fractured or dislocated bone may cause further damage to the bone and surrounding blood vessels, nerves and tissue.

Types of bone fractures

Bone fractures can happen in a variety of ways, including accidents, repetitive stress injuries, osteoporosis and tumors.

The most common types of bone fractures are:

  • Closed or simple bone fracture: a break in the bone in which the skin is still intact
  • Open or compound bone fracture: a break in the bone in which the skin is perforated by the bone or by a blow at the time of the fracture
  • Segmental or multiple bone fracture: a break at two or more places on the same bone
  • Comminuted bone fracture: a break in which the bone is shattered into pieces

The line of the bone fracture may be:

  • Transverse: Forms a right angle with the axis of bone
  • Oblique: Runs slanted to the axis of the bone
  • Longitudinal: Runs along the line of its axis

Joint dislocations

Joint dislocation is the displacement of a joint from its normal position, usually caused by a blow, fall or other trauma. In addition to displaced bones, there may be damage to the joint capsule and surrounding muscles, blood vessels and nerves. Symptoms of joint dislocations include loss of motion, swelling and pain and sometimes a joint visibly out of place.

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