What is a fracture?

Fractures, or broken bones, are a fairly common reason people seek out emergency care. And it’s no wonder, because fractures cause a variety of intense symptoms, including severe pain, inability to move the affected part of the body, numbness, swelling, bruising, and even deformity. Car crashes, falls, and sports injuries are the cause of many broken bones, but osteoporosis and low bone density are also to blame, especially in people of advancing age.

Some fractures are minor, resulting in only a crack, while other fractures involve bones that are broken into two or more pieces or even shattered. When a broken bone protrudes through a break in the skin, it is called a compound fracture and requires an even higher level of care because of the higher risk of infection to both the bone and the skin.

Many broken bones can be reset, or manipulated back into place, and placed in a cast so that the bone is immobilized for a period of time to heal. Less commonly, further treatment, such as surgical procedures or traction, are needed to make repairs to badly broken or shattered bones.

When should you come to the emergency room?

Come to Laredo Emergency Room anytime you sustain an injury that results in symptoms of fracture. Broken bones require immediate medical treatment.

The best way to avoid needing emergency medical care is to educate yourself on ways to stay healthy.
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