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What You Should Know About Fractures

One component of sports medicine is injury prevention. Through strength training and proper form, athletes of all levels can understand how to properly buildup and protect their bodies from injury. However, no matter how prepared you are, injuries can still occur, one of the most common being fractures.

What is a Fracture?

A fracture, or broken bone, is when high pressure or force is put on a bone, causing it to crack or break. Fractures can be quite common and may occur from a variety of instances, such as a car accident, fall, or sports injury. Most fractures are trauma-related, but other underlying diseases can lead to what is known as “fragility” fractures, such as osteoporosis.

Common Fracture Types

The severity of the fractures is based on the force that leads to the break. A fracture can vary from a slight crack to a complete shatter. When the break penetrates the skin, it’s identified as an “open” fracture. All fractures are considered a medical emergency and should be treated immediately.

Other types of fractures can be labeled by the pattern of the break. For instance, a transverse fracture is when the bone has a horizontal fracture line.


Based on the bone that is injured, and the type of fracture that occurred, symptoms can vary. Some shared symptoms for all breaks include:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Deformity around the area
  • Lack of movement or pressure on the area

When a fracture does occur, you want to avoid any movement until a healthcare professional can assess the situation.


The most common type of therapy is immobilization with a fiberglass cast or brace to allow the injured bone to heal in place. The severity of the fracture is what determines the length of immobility. For some fractures, plates or screws might be necessary to help the bone heal into place. Once the bone is healed, muscle strength may be weakened, and physical therapy may be required.

Whether you are looking to prevent an injury or want to treat a current one, Methodist Sports Medicine is here to help you get back to peak performance. See the full list of services we offer or to make an appointment, or contact us today!