Is it a fracture or is it broken?

Broken Arm
Despite what you may have heard, a broken bone is not worse than a fracture, they both mean the same thing. In fact, the word fracture, according to the Oxford English Dictionary is defined as "the act of being broken." 



A fracture is an injury to a bone when the tissue of the bone is broken. There are many types of fractures. That's because a fracture is named by the bone involved, the part of the bone, and the description of the break. 
Types of Fractures:

*Closed (simple) fracture – the skin remains intact and there is little damage to surrounding tissue.

*Open (compound) fracture – the broken bone protrudes through the skin or there is a wound that leads to the fracture site.

*Complicated fracture – in addition to the fracture, there is injury to the surrounding structures. There may be damage to the veins, arteries or nerves and there may also be injury to the lining of the bone (the periosteum).



Doctors use a variety of treatments to treat fractures:

*Functional Cast or Brace: The cast or brace allows limited or "controlled" movement of nearby joints. This treatment is desirable for some, but not all, fractures.

*Internal Fixation: Hardware (plates, rods, screws...) is used to re-align and hold the bones together.

*External Fixation: In this type of operation, metal pins or screws are placed into the broken bone above and below the fracture site. The pins or screws are connected to a metal bar outside the skin. This device is a stabilizing frame that holds the bones in the proper position while they heal.

*Cast Immobilization: A plaster or fiberglass cast is the most common type of fracture treatment, because most broken bones can heal successfully once they have been re-positioned and a cast has been applied to keep the broken ends in proper position while they heal.