Bone fractures can happen if your bone experiences too much pressure or high-velocity impacts. Injuries to bones most commonly occur in motor vehicle accidents, falls, contact sports, etc., referred to as traumatic bone fractures.
Some fractures are caused due to medical conditions such as osteoporosis, making your bones weak and vulnerable to fractures. These fractures are called pathological bone fractures. Depending on your bone’s pressure and impact, a fracture can be either simple or compound fractures.
Fractures are classified into different types to understand them and plan for the right treatment and recovery. A fracture ranges from a hairline crack called a simple fracture to the bone becoming into pieces penetrating the skin called a compound fracture. If you are searching for an experienced bone fracture-treating doctor, contact Dr Vasudeva Juvvadi at Sunshine Hospital.
Simple fractures and compound fractures are the two main types of bone fractures caused due to physical trauma that people suffer in accidents.
Mild bone fractures are called simple fractures where the bone cracks but doesn’t pierce out the skin or surrounding tissues.
A simple fracture can happen in different ways, which include:
- Stress fractures are the hairline cracks that occur in your bone due to repetitive motions, overuse, or old injuries.
- Pathologic fractures are caused due to medical conditions like osteoporosis which makes your bones susceptible to breakage.
- Comminuted fractures are where the bone breaks into many fragments.
- Greenstick fractures are where the bone tends to bend but doesn’t break completely. Commonly seen in the bones of very young children as their bones are more flexible compared to adults.
- Transverse fractures are when the bone breaks perpendicular to the extended portion of a bone.
- Oblique fractures – the bone breaks at a particular angle across the bone.
Any of the fractures mentioned above comes under “simple” fractures only if the broken bone doesn’t break your skin. The treatment for a simple fracture depends on the type of fracture, but they do not pose any risks like compound fractures. The recovery of a simple fracture varies from person to person based on the patient’s severity, location, and overall health.
A fracture is referred to as a compound fracture when the broken bone pieces penetrate the skin. These fractures are emergencies that require prompt medical attention. People with compound fractures are susceptible to infections in the deep tissues because they are open wounds. If the compound fracture is not treated well or ignored, then such injuries could lead to amputations.
A compound fracture requires surgical correction. Based on the fracture location, the procedure may require artificial implants to stabilize the bones in position until they heal. Compound fractures mostly result in chronic pain and need more time to heal.
It is essential to know the differences between simple and compound fractures. After all, the fracture might be either simple or compound. It can influence the range of treatment you require, the time of recovery, and, eventually, the cost of fracture treatment.
Simple fracture vs Compound fracture
Any fracture associated with bone can be painful and debilitating. However, a compound fracture is more severe compared to simple fractures in the following aspects:
Typically, a simple fracture doesn’t require surgery and is managed by a cast or splint to stabilize the bone and allow it to heal. But, a compound fracture needs extensive treatment like realignment or reduction of the bone. To hold the bone in position, the surgeon uses implants like steel plates, screws, or rods outside of the fracture area to stabilize the bones until they heal. This is called internal and external fixation.
Risk of infection – infection risk is high in a person who suffers a compound fracture compared to simple fractures. This is because compound fractures are open fractures, and when the bone breaks out of the skin, there are high chances of harmful bacteria entering the body. In the case of simple fractures, infections are sporadic.
Infection can significantly complicate things and prolong the recovery time of a patient.
Treatment cost – Eventually, a compound fracture costs more than a simple fracture in terms of medical procedures and rehab process. A simple fracture can be fixed with a splint in most cases, whereas compound fractures involve several things, from implants to rehabilitation.
Complications can occur in any broken bone, so choosing an expert doctor for broken bone treatment is wise. Recovery is the primary concern in a bone fracture, and it purely depends on the age, health condition, and fracture type. The healing process might be affected by many factors and alters the length of recovery. To know more information about treatment options, consult Dr Vasudeva Juvvadi, Orthopedic Surgeon.