17 Different Types of Bone Fractures

No matter how careful you are, you will sometimes find yourself in situations where you end up sustaining an injury. It can be a sprain, strain, dislocation, or even a fracture. You get a fracture when your bone breaks due to extensive force that stretches the osseous tissue in the bone beyond limit. Fractures are quite common and an average person has at least two fractures during a lifetime. It can be a pathological fracture caused by a disorder such as osteoporosis, or it can be a traumatic fracture caused by extensive external forces. More types of fractures are shown below.


Different Types of Bone Fractures

No matter what causes a fracture, it usually falls into one of two categories: simple and compound fractures. They are then divided into many other categories.

1. Simple Fracture

Also called closed fractures, they occur when your bone suffers breakage but does not pierce through the epidermis.

2. Compound Fracture

It is opposite to simple fracture and is also known as an open fracture. There will be luxation of the bone and it will pierce through the epidermis. So it is more likely to develop an infection in this type of a fracture.

3. Oblique Fracture

In this type of fracture, the fissure runs diagonal to the axis of your bone. They are basically slanted fractures caused by an intense force applied at an oblique angle.

4. Transverse Fracture

This fracture is perpendicular to the axis of the bone. You get a transverse fracture when something applies serious force at a right angle to the bone.

5. Spiral Fracture

You have a spiral fracture when the fracture line twists around the bone. You get this type of fracture because of severe twisting force applied to the bone.

6. Comminuted Fracture

Among all different types of fractures, comminuted fracture is a serious one. The bone will be broken into several fragments. This is a highly complicated injury and usually heals quite slowly.

7. Liner Fracture

You have this type of fracture when the break is parallel to the long axis of the bone.

8. Greenstick Fracture

More common in children, it is partial fracture with one side of the bone unharmed. There will be torsion on the other side of the bone though. This type of fractureusually heals quickly.

9. Impacted Fracture

This type of closed fracture occurs when there is too much pressure on two extremities of the bone. The bone splits into two fragments–the fragments will jam into each other.

10. Complete and Incomplete Fractures

You have a complete fracture if the bone is fragmented completely. It is an incomplete fracture when the two pieces of the bone partially avulse from each other–there will be some connection left between the both.

11. Compression Fracture

You develop a compression fracture when at least two bones are forced against one another. You usually get it in the bones of the spine usually due to a collapse of the anterior portion of the vertebra or advanced osteoporosis.

12. Avulsion Fracture

This closed fracture occurs when you break a bone due to a forceful contraction of a muscle. It is more common in athletes and people who start their workout without spending time in warm-ups.

13. Stress Fracture

It is also called hairline fracture. You develop this type of fracture in joints that you use too often. It is an overuse injury and is more common in athletes, ballet dancers, runners, and basketball players.

14. Displaced Fracture

Among the many different types of fractures, this type of fracture occurs when your bone breaks into two parts in a way that the bone loses its alignment.

15. Non-Displaced Fracture

It is opposite to the displaced fracture. It means your bone snaps into two pieces but stays aligned.

16. Fatigue Fracture

Your bone becomes traumatized because of mundane stressors which cause weakness over a period of time.

17. Pathological Fracture

You develop this fracture when you have an underlying health condition, such as osteoporosis. You can also get pathological fractures if cancer cells spread to the bones.

What to Do After Bone Fractures

The treatment of your fracture will depend on the type of fracture and severity of your condition. Here are some possible treatment options for bone fractures.

First-Aid for Fractures

Good first-aid care will help prevent further damage and accelerate recovery. It is essential to limit movement so that your injury does not damage tissues around the fracture. This can be achieved with the help of splints. Here are some steps to take when you suspect you or someone you know has a bone fracture:

  • Do not move after you have a bone fracture.
  • ŸDo something to stop bleeding and use a clean dressing to cover the wound.
  • Do not try to straighten any bones that look broken.
  • Apply a cold pack to reduce swelling and pain.
  • If you are not sure what to do, immediately call emergency service for help.

Diagnosis and Treatment

After the first-aid care, you should go see your doctor. Your doctor will conduct some tests to confirm a diagnosis. They will order X-rays to spot a fracture–they sometimes ask for MRI scans and CT scans for confirmation.

You cannot do anything to heal broken bones; they heal on their own. All you have to do is to keep them aligned until they are healed completely. Your doctor may order surgery considering the severity of your injury. Other treatment options may include braces, splints, plaster cast, traction, and surgical insertion of metal plates and rods. Pain relief medications may also help keep pain under control.


How long it takes your fractures to heal completely usually depends on the extent of the injury. Different types of fractures take different time to heal. You usually feel no pain after a couple of weeks, even though your bone may not be healed completely to handle stress again. You can return to playing non-contact sports after about 4 to 6 weeks. And it may take 8 to 12 weeks or more to play full contact sports. But all sports should be done under the doctor's permission. Your doctor will also teach you to perform some exercises to strengthen muscles in the injured area. These exercises improve muscle strength, flexibility, and joint motion.

Prevention of Bone Fractures

You usually develop a fracture because of falling. Taking steps to lower your risk of falling is essential. Keep your rooms clean, eliminate wires, wear shoes in the house, and buy skid-free rugs. Use good lighting in your room to avoid tripping. Wear rubber-soled shoes will also help when you are outdoors.

Sometimes, your fracture is the outcome of an underlying condition such as osteoporosis. Getting vitamin D and calcium from food and supplements will help keep your bone strong and prevent any fractures. Include more of whole grains, dairy products, almonds, and beans in your diet to stay healthy and have stronger bones.

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