Types and Classifications of Long Bone Fractures

Fractures, commonly called broken bones, are the result of an abnormal disruption of the continuity or integrity of the bones. These occur due to a trauma from a motor accident, sports injury, assault or fall.

Aside from the four most common fractures we discussed in our previous article, our Urgent Care in Palm Springs and Urgent Care in Forest Hill medical professionals also deal with various cases of long bone fractures. The incidence rate of these is actually quite high.

In the U.S. alone, 21 long bone fractures per 1000 people happen annually and they’re more common among men than women between the ages 16 to 50. Among the seniors, long bone fractures are more common in women than men due to bone diseases like osteoporosis.

As more and more ladies play professional sports, the number of sports-related long bone fractures among women younger than 65 also increases.

Anatomy and Types of Long Bones

There are six types of long bone structures in the body:

  • The humerus is the long bone structure found in the upper arm.
  • The radius, or the radial bone, is found in the forearm.
  • The ulna is the bone found next to the radius of the forearm.
  • The femur, or thigh bone, is the lone largest bone of the upper legs.
  • The tibia, or shin bone, is one of two long bone structures of the lower leg.
  • The fibula, or calf bone, is found next to the shin bone.

The humerus, radius, femur, and tibia have thick and hollow tubes that support body weight and absorb force. Among them, the most susceptible to fracture is the tibia.

Long bone fractures can extend to the joint, depending on the mechanism of injury. The break can occur in any of the following areas:

  • The epiphysis – the end of the long bones
  • The diaphysis – the middle of the long bones, which is commonly known as the shaft
  • The metaphysis – the small portion between the epiphysis and diaphysis

The epiphysis has extra-hard cartilage and cortical bone. The diaphysis or shaft has a hard shell filled with soft but sponge-like tissues and a yellow marrow that nurses a person’s stem cells. The metaphysis absorbs and helps transfer the weight or load to the shaft.

Types of Long Bone Fractures

Our doctors usually classify long bone fractures depending on the site, direction, and characteristics of the break. It might be extra-articular,existing solely on the long bone area, or  intra-articular, where the damage extends to the joints.

The breakage can be oblique (angulated), spiral (rotated), or transverse (simple). It might also be a close or open fracture – bone is sticking out of the skin.

The fracture might also be:

  • Linear – have no bone displacement
  • Stellate – with clear bone displacement
  • Comminuted – where the bones are crushed into pieces

 

If you supect a long bone fracture, administer the first aid treatments that we have discussed in this article and bring the patient immediately to the nearest Urgent Care facility near you.

Broken bone? Visit our Urgent Care in Palm Springs or Urgent Care in Forest Hill Walk-in Medical Centers to get the best treatment you need.

A fracture needs immediate medical treatment to prevent complications that might further delay the healing process, such as severe blood loss and infection. At our Urgent Care Clinics, we will perform a thorough physical assessment and X-ray procedure to assess you properly. Our medical staff will provide the best treatment and facilitate your healing process. For your convenience, we are open seven days a week, with no appointment necessary! Visit our website for more information about the medical services we provide.

 

The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment.  Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.