Different Types of Bone Fractures

Orthopaedic surgeons see many broken bones during their careers. These range from simple breaks that are easy to heal up to extremely complex situations requiring an operation to correct. Here’s what you should know about the types of bone fractures.

Simple FractureOrthopaedic_Surgeons

A simple fracture is a basic break in a bone. The bone has not exited the skin and remains contained inside the body. Many of these can simply be casted and monitored.

Compound Fracture

Compound Fractures can be quite gruesome as the broken bone has pushed through the skin and may be exposed to the world. As you might imagine, this painful injury requires immediate attention from orthopaedic surgeons, especially since serious infection can occur if not cleaned well. A compound fracture may be reset and fixed in place with a cast, or with pins, plates, and screws for optimal healing.

Comminuted Fracture

Visualize a main bone that experiences trauma, and is broken into several smaller pieces and you’ll have an idea of what a comminuted fracture looks like. These types of breaks can be very complicated to correct, often requiring wires and hardware to reconnect.


Occurring in kids, greenstick refers to the tendency of a child’s still-flexible bones to suffer a partial lengthwise break due to impact, rather than a full break that an adult might experience under the same circumstances.

Avulsion Fracture

When extreme force has been applied to a bone via its connection to ligaments or muscles, chunks may be torn off of the main bone. This can happen by way of overexerting the muscles (think extreme weight-lifters) or violent trauma pulling on soft tissues that are attached to bones.

No matter how clean a break might be, it’s very important that it is corrected properly, as the bone can otherwise heal in a crooked or bent shape (a “Malunion”). This presents a weak spot in the bone that is vulnerable to future breaks, and stresses joints that have to compensate for the deformity. If you suspect a bone break, especially in a child, consult us right away for the best recovery possible.

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