What are fractures?
A fracture is a broken bone. There are several different types of fractures, all in one of two categories: a closed fracture is when there is no puncture or wound; an open fracture is when the bone breaks through the skin, leading to greater risk of infection. Within these two categories, there are words used to differentiate the kinds of break. Transverse means the broken bone is at right angles; oblique is used to describe curved break; the term comminuted is applied if the bone is broken in several places; a stress fracture refers to a hairline crack; and a buckled fracture, common in children, is one where the broken ends are pushed into each other.
Note: If you think someone has broken a bone in their head, neck, or back, call 911 immediately. Do not attempt to move the patient. If there is any bleeding, staunch it with a clean cloth.
Severe pain, a bone actually protruding from the skin, or the bone simply looking out of place are the most obvious symptoms of a fracture. The area will be tender, and there may be bruising or swelling.
Fractures are nearly always caused by trauma — a fall, an accident, a hit of some kind in a sport. Repetitive motion, which causes muscle strain and, often, stress fractures, and osteoporosis can also put you at risk.
“Where the fracture is located is just as important as the severity of the fracture, and those two things combined make a big difference in the treatment required. A back fracture is treated quite differently from a broken arm,” says Frank Corrigan, MD, an orthopedic physician at OINJ. “But whatever the treatment is, the goal is to get the bone put back together the right way and have it protected until it heals.”
“Your physician will take x-rays to determine the extent of your injury,” says Paul Teja, DO, another orthopedic physician at OINJ. “In a minimal case, only immobilization, in the form of a cast or a brace, is necessary. If this is required, there will likely be some training involved, teaching you how to maneuver with crutches or work with your other hand, for example, based on where the fracture is. If the bone is broken in several places, surgery may be required, and screws pins, or rods may be used to hold it together.”
“After the bone has reknit, you will need physical therapy to retrain the muscles that have become weak from disuse. You’ll want to do those exercises diligently to give yourself the best chance of reclaiming strength and flexibility,” advises Dr. Teja.
Why Choose The Orthopedic Institute of New Jersey
At OINJ, board certified physicians work collaboratively to come up with the best solutions for you. Using innovative techniques and the most up-to-date research and technologies available, our specialists have one goal: to get you back into the best of orthopedic health. We work with each other, as well as with other partners in your care, to develop the treatment plan that will work for you.
Our multiple office locations that can be reached by one centralized call center make it easy to schedule and get to appointments, and we treat patients of all ages with injuries and orthopedic conditions of all kinds.
Frank J. Corrigan, MD – Orthopedic Physician
Board certified by the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery, Dr. Corrigan has a subspecialty certificate in Surgery of the Hand. His areas of expertise include fractures, hand and fingertip injuries, nerve and tendon repair, rotator cuff problems, and tennis elbow.
Dr. Corrigan completed a hand and upper extremity fellowship at the University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine, and did his orthopedic residency at St. Louis University Medical Center in Missouri. He completed his surgical internship at the Mayo Clinic, and received his medical degree from Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. He earned his undergraduate degree at Washington University in St. Louis.
Paul G. Teja, DO – Orthopedic Physician
Board certified by the American Osteopathic Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, Dr. Teja’s areas of expertise include fractures, arthroscopic surgery of the knee, shoulder and ankle, hip and knee replacements, ligament reconstruction, meniscal repair, and sports medicine.
Dr. Teja completed his residency in orthopedics at the Kennedy Memorial Health System. He received his medical degree from Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine in Stratford, New Jersey.
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The Orthopedic Institute of New Jersey is a premier multi-disciplinary center offering complete orthopedic care, rehabilitation and pain management services to patients of all ages and activity levels using a customized treatment plan to fit individual needs.