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Last updated: 6/6/2013
align) or non-displaced (the parts align well). Irrespective of the type of the injury, a broken bone is a painful experience and the recovery may be from months to years.
Symptoms of broken bones
How do you know that your bone is broken? An X-ray would tell for sure, however, at the scene of the accident one can look for various signs: the bone is visibly out of place; there is a large swelling, bruising and bleeding coupled with intense pain; you may feel numbness in the broken area coupled with tingling; the skin is broken and the bone is protruding; there is limited or no mobility of the limb or other body parts. If any of these symptoms are experienced, chances are that one of more bones are broken and the best course of action is to remain still and wait for help.
Causes of broken bones
The main cause of bone fractures is simple: the bone is subjected to a force that is more than it can withstand. The large variety of causes can be classified as follows: traumas involving accidents such as motor vehicle collisions, falls and other job related injuries; abuses such as child abuse or nursing home abuse; repetitive forces such as those endured during competitive sports; over uses such as long distance walking, running etc; direct blows during combat and competitive sports; and pathological causes such as lack of calcium or tumors.
Although injured people will be treated in a hospital, there are a few things that should be done while help is on the way: first and foremost, keep still and calm; look for other injuries such as bleeding that should be contained; if the skin is broken, treat the area for infection (rinse and remove dirt and do not breathe on the wound); immobilize the body part containing the broken bone; apply an ice pack to reduce pain and swelling; elevate the leg of the injured person by about 12 inches and cover him with a blanket; and in case of head, neck or back injuries do not move the person!
Broken bone statistics
There are over 6 million people each year who are treated for fractured bones of which 40% occur at home. Due to consequences of menopause, fractures occur more frequently on women over 45. The most frequently broken bones are collar bone (direct or transmitted blow), forearm or the hip bone (over 75 hip fracture is very common and half of the hospitalizations occur for senior citizens who are over 65).
What shall I do?
If there is a broken bone in the leg, elevate the leg to minimize swelling and pain; immobilize any part that has a bone and protect the site of the broken area; use an ice pack 10 minutes on and 10 minutes off to reduce pain and swelling; control the bleeding and put bandage over the injured area to minimize infection; for broken arm bones keep the arm motionless with splint or sling; keep the arm elevated to keep swelling to a minimum; and in order to assist the doctor provide details on what caused the break.
What mistakes shall I avoid?
Do not panic and stay still (do not try to put weight on a broken bone especially on an injured ankle); do not move a person unless the bone is stable; anyone with hip, spine or pelvis injury should not be moved; do not test the ability of the bone to move; do not try to straighten the bone; and do not try to decide on the field if it is a strain or a fracture.
How to prevent broken bones?
Always wear protective gear for sports or work; create a safe environment for children and supervise them carefully (gate stairways and keep windows closed); prevent falls by not standing on chairs, counter tops or other unstable objects; avoid trips by removing throw rugs or electrical cords; use hand rails on the stairs and non-skid mats in the bathtubs; wear the seatbelt when driving; eat a healthy diet rich in minerals, especially calcium; exercise regularly; and for post-menopause women, talk to your doctor about hormone replacement therapy.
Some legal advise
Broken bones may be the result of malpractice, premises liability, or personal injury as a result of an accident. If the broken bone is the result of malpractice (medical or professional), a malpractice liability lawsuit is appropriate. If the injury, such as a slip and fall resulting in a broken bone, happened on someone else's premises and was due to negligence, a premises liability case is in order. Other cases such as motor vehicle accidents call for a personal injury case. Whatever the origin of the broken bone is, an injury lawyer is the professional that can provide the most help and get the most compensation. Check with your lawyer on time limitation; you may not have more than 6-12 months to file a claim after the injury.
A broken bone injury is a frequent consequence of accidents and may result in hospitalization, a long recovery and long-term or even permanent pain. Broken bones are sometimes called bone fractures and can come in many shapes and forms. They can be simple hairline fractures where the bone is in one piece, or they can be completely broken. A broken bone can penetrate through the skin (open) or stay inside of the skin (closed), it can be displaced (the parts do not
Brain acceleration and deceleration