Know Your Fractures - Types of Broken Bones

Most people are familiar with the childhood taunt of “sticks and stones may break my bones…” often used in defense of being called a name. Now, there are various ways other than sticks and stones that bones can become broken, but there is also an array of different kinds of fractures that can be sustained, including some that happen down in the lower limbs.

Given that a normally-structured foot contains 26 bones—combined, your two feet contain over one-quarter of all the bones in your body—and is subjected to tremendous force loads throughout a typical day, it is easy to understand why we help so many Houston residents for broken foot and ankle bones. When diagnosing a patient, one of the initial considerations is the type of fracture sustained.

Here are some categories of fractures we see in foot bones (but can generally happen anywhere in the body):

  • Simple fractures – These are broken bones that do not pierce the skin. In most cases, a simple fracture’s broken ends line up and will be able to mend naturally, provided the area is stabilized (which we can do for you).
  • Compound fractures – In these cases, the broken bone has pierced the skin. Also known as open fractures, they are alarming because they expose deep tissues to the exterior environment and greatly increase the risk of dangerous infection. If you or a loved one becomes injured and bone is poking through the skin, seek immediate medical care at the nearest hospital’s emergency room.
  • Comminuted fractures – This is the term used to refer to fractures wherein the bone has broken into several pieces (instead of just two parts).
  • Avulsion fractures – If a ligament or tendon pulls off a piece of bone, we refer to it as an avulsion fracture.
  • Stress fractures – Whereas many fractures happen on account of physical trauma from a single incident, stress fractures develop over time. These are tiny, surface-level cracks that develop when bone tissue is not given the opportunity to properly recover following high-impact activities before being exposed to additional forces.

No matter which of the kinds of fractures you have sustained in your foot or ankle, you can find the care you need here at Houston Foot Specialists. Contact us for more information by calling (713) 467-8886 or simply request an appointment for treatment with our Houston, TX podiatrist office online today!

Categories: Injuries