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What Are The Different Types Of Bone Fractures?

By Butler Prather LLP on November 11, 2020

A broken or fractured bone is a relatively common injury that can occur in any number of ways, including vehicle accidents, slip and fall incidents, workplace accidents, and more. While broken bones are not uncommon, these are considered significant injuries that require immediate medical care. A severely fractured or broken bone can be devastating for a victim and can lead to extreme pain as well as expensive recovery and rehabilitation. However, even relatively minor bone breaks and fractures can lead to long-lasting consequences for a victim. Here, we want to discuss the various types of bone fractures a person could experience.

The three categories of bone fractures

Broken bones can occur in a variety of ways, but overall will typically be grouped into one of three categories. These include the following:

  1. Hairline fracture or break. Hairline fractures are small cracks in the bone that are often referred to as stress fractures. Hairline breaks require careful examination as they may be hard to detect at first. In fact, some people do not even realize they have experienced a hairline fracture until hours or days after they occur.
  2. Partial fracture or break. Partial breaks or fractures occur anytime there is an incomplete break of a bone. In other words, the bone is broken, but not all the way through.
  3. Complete fracture or break. As the name suggests, a complete break or fracture occurs when the bone is completely broken all the way through. In these cases, the bones typically separate into two or more pieces.

Getting more specific about how bones break

While those are the three main categories of bone breaks and fractures, we want to get more specific as to the types of fractures that can occur within those categories. Below, we list some of the common types of fractures that personal injury victims sustain on a regular basis:

  • Closed fracture. This is a fracture that does not penetrate the skin.
  • Open or compound fracture. This type of fracture occurs when part of the bone pierces the skin or when the force of a fracture breaks the skin open above the site.
  • Stable fracture. A stable fracture occurs when the broken ends of a bone line up and are barely out of place.
  • Oblique fracture. This is when bone fractures have diagonally angled fracture lines.
  • Transverse fracture. This type of fracture occurs along a horizontal fracture line on the bone.
  • Comminuted fracture. This occurs when the bone shatters into three or more pieces.
  • Avulsions. An avulsion occurs when a muscle or ligament pulls on a bone and causes the fracture.
  • Compression or crush injuries. This type of fracture occurs anytime a bone collapses. A common example of this is a spinal compression fracture that occurs when one or more of the spine’s vertebrae fracture and cause the spine to compress.
  • Spiral fracture. This occurs when one part of the bone has been twisted and causes a fracture. This type of fracture is common in assault cases.
  • Impacted fracture. This type of fracture occurs when a bone breaks and part of one bone goes into another bone.

If you or a loved one have sustained a bone fracture, regardless of the severity or type, it is imperative that you seek medical assistance immediately. Broken or fractured bones that do not receive immediate medical care are not likely to heal properly and can lead to lifelong disabilities for the victim. Speak with our Atlanta broken bone attorneys today.

Posted in: Broken Bone Injury

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