You don’t have to do extreme sports to be at risk of breaking a bone. Sometimes a tiny wet spot on the floor of your cozy and safe home, when unnoticed, may cause you slip and fall, and break your wrist. Falling, tripping, and slipping are inevitable. Sometimes, you end up with a few bruises that vanish in a week or so; however, sometimes you’ll require medical attention. Every week, our Urgent Care Center in Lake Worth is visited by people with various fractures who seek professional help. Based on our extensive experience, we break down the bones that are most susceptible to fracture and share advice on what treatment should help them heal.
The clavicle fracture happens most frequently. Often referred to as the collarbone, it connects the breastbone and shoulder. Since it’s a long, thin bone, it is quite vulnerable. This type of fracture usually occurs as the result of a fall on a shoulder or outstretched arm. There are a few classification systems for clavicle fractures; nevertheless, the most common scheme divides the collarbone into three parts: middle, distal and proximal.1 After breaking the clavicle, our patients usually experience swelling, tenderness, limited movement, and difficulty breathing. Don’t be surprised if after a clavicle fracture, one shoulder will seem shorter to you than its counterpart. That’s one of the key signs that indicates this type of fracture. At our Urgent Care Center in Lake Worth, we usually recommend using a shoulder sling; in more severe cases, though, a surgery may be required.
Bones in the arm are the second most common fracture in both adults and children. Before we discuss the causes of this fracture, let’s start from the arm’s anatomy. The arm is made up of three bones: the humerus in the upper arm and the radius and ulna in the forearm. Those can break in several ways. They can either crack a little bit, break into several pieces, or even be so severe as to break through the skin, called a compound fracture. Many arm fractures will need a cast or a splint for stabilization of the broken bone, although some of them will require surgery to make sure that the broken pieces align properly and successfully heal. It’s important to keep in mind that depending on the fracture, it may take several weeks to several months to fully heal. The typical cause of a broken arm is either falling on an outstretched hand or direct trauma from a direct blow from an object.
The wrist gives us a full range of motion thanks to its joints, ligaments, tendons and eight small bones which are called the carpal bones. Most of the wrist fractures we deal with at our Urgent Care Center in Lake Worth are a result of patients falling on an outstretched hand, or getting injured during a contact sport. Even though the symptoms often include tenderness, swelling, pain, dislocation, and limited ability to move, some wrist fractures go unnoticed. Sometimes several X-rays are necessary to find the fracture. The problem with carpal bones is that some parts of them lack a proper blood supply, which makes it harder for them to heal and causes non-unions. People whose carpal bones fail to heal on their own need a procedure that incorporates a screw fixation or a bone graft. If there is no dislocation, a cast or a brace will be recommended. Keep in mind that a distal radius fracture is also considered a wrist fracture, even though the radius is a bone in the forearm.
The ankle joint consists of the shinbone (tibia, located on the inner side of the lower leg), fibula (a small bone located on the outer side of the leg), and talus (located above the heel). Broken ankles are mainly caused by rolling or twisting the ankle, flexing the joint, or impact during sports or in a car accident. Very often, the ligaments get damaged along with the bone being broken. Ankle fractures fall into two categories: stable or unstable. We deal with stable fractures when the movement of the talus remains unchanged; unstable fractures occur when the movement of the talus is abnormal. Unstable fractures require much more severe treatment. The symptoms of a broken and twisted ankle are much alike, including tenderness, swelling, pain, bruising, numbness, and the inability to move toes. Depending on the severity, the treatment may include casting, booting, taping, or surgery. The approximate recovery time can last from 4-8 weeks.
Remember, you will probably be able to get back on your feet most of the times you slip, fall, or trip, but you should immediately see a physician if you experience any discomfort or pain that doesn’t go away. At our Urgent Care Center in Lake Worth, we will examine you and determine whether you have sustained a severe injury such as a bone fracture. Our medical staff will provide the best treatment and ensure you heal properly. For your convenience, we are open seven days a week, with no appointment necessary! Visit our website for more information about the services we provide at our brand-new facility in Lake Worth, as well as at our two other practices in West and North Palm Beach.
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