Fractures: Overview, Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Precautions, and Treatments

Fractures are a common medical condition that occurs when there is a break or crack in a bone. They can be caused by various factors, including accidents, falls, sports injuries, or underlying medical conditions that weaken the bones. Fractures can range from mild to severe, and prompt diagnosis and appropriate treatment are essential for proper healing. In this article, we will provide a comprehensive understanding of fractures, including their causes, symptoms, diagnosis, precautions, available treatments in India's top hospitals, and answer some frequently asked questions.


A fracture, commonly known as a broken bone, is a medical condition that occurs when there is a break or crack in the continuity of a bone. This can happen due to various reasons, such as accidents, falls, sports injuries, or underlying medical conditions. Fractures are a common medical issue that can affect people of all ages. Understanding the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, precautions, and available treatments is crucial for managing and recovering from this condition.

Causes of Fractures

Fractures can occur due to different causes, including:

1. Accidents: Motor vehicle accidents, falls from heights, or any significant impact can lead to fractures.

2. Sports injuries: Participating in high-impact sports or activities without proper protection can increase the risk of fractures.

3. Osteoporosis: Weakening of the bones due to osteoporosis, a condition characterized by low bone density, can make individuals more susceptible to fractures.

4. Repetitive stress: Repetitive motions or stress on a particular bone, common in activities like running or jumping, can result in stress fractures.

Symptoms of Fractures

The symptoms of a fracture may vary depending on the location and severity of the injury. Common symptoms include:

1. Pain: Intense pain at the site of the fracture that worsens with movement or pressure.

2. Swelling: Swelling and bruising around the affected area.

3. Deformity: Visible deformity, such as a misaligned or bent bone.

4. Limited mobility: Inability to move the affected body part or experiencing difficulty in bearing weight.

5. Crepitus: A grating or grinding sensation or sound when the fractured ends of the bone rub against each other.

Diagnosis of Fractures

To diagnose a fracture, a healthcare professional will typically perform the following:

Physical examination:

The doctor will examine the affected area, assessing for deformity, swelling, tenderness, or abnormal movement.

Imaging tests:

X-rays are commonly used to confirm the presence of a fracture, determine the type of fracture, and assess the alignment of the bones. In some cases, additional imaging tests like CT scans or MRI may be ordered for a more detailed view.

Bone scan:

A bone scan involves injecting a small amount of radioactive material into the bloodstream to identify areas of increased bone activity, indicating a possible fracture.

Precautions for Fractures

After a fracture, it is crucial to take precautions to promote proper healing and prevent complications. Some common precautions include:

1. Immobilisation:

Following the healthcare professional's instructions, using casts, splints, or braces to immobilise the affected area and prevent further injury.

2. Rest and elevation:

Resting the fractured limb and keeping it elevated can help reduce swelling and promote healing.

3. Pain management:

Taking prescribed pain medications and using cold or heat therapy as recommended to manage pain and inflammation.

4. Avoiding weight-bearing:

If instructed, avoiding putting weight on the fractured limb to prevent further damage.

Treatments for Fractures

The treatment for fractures depends on various factors, including the type, location, and severity of the fracture. India's top hospitals offer a range of treatments, which may include:

1. Closed reduction:

This non-surgical procedure involves manipulating the fractured bone back into its proper position without making an incision.

2. Open reduction:

In some cases, surgery may be required to realign the fractured bones and secure them with internal fixation devices like screws, plates, or rods.

3. External fixation:

External fixation involves the use of metal pins or screws placed into the bone above and below the fracture site, which are then connected to an external frame to stabilize the fracture.

4. Casting or splinting:

Casts or splints are commonly used to immobilize and support the fractured bone during the healing process.

5. Physical therapy:

Once the fracture has sufficiently healed, physical therapy may be recommended to restore strength, flexibility, and range of motion in the affected area.


Fractures are breaks or cracks in bones that can result from accidents, sports injuries, or underlying medical conditions. Prompt diagnosis, proper immobilization, and suitable treatment are crucial for optimal healing. By understanding the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, precautions, and available treatments for fractures, individuals can make informed decisions and seek appropriate care in India's top hospitals. Following medical advice and taking necessary precautions during the healing process can significantly contribute to successful fracture recovery and minimise potential complications.

Frequently Asked Questions

The healing time for a fracture varies depending on the type and severity of the fracture, as well as individual factors. Simple fractures may take about 6-8 weeks to heal, while complex fractures may require a longer period.

While accidents cannot always be prevented, taking precautions such as using appropriate safety equipment, practising proper techniques during physical activities, and maintaining bone health through a balanced diet and regular exercise can help reduce the risk of fractures.

Simple fractures may heal without surgery, but proper medical intervention, such as immobilisation, is usually necessary to ensure proper alignment and healing.

A stress fracture is a small crack in a bone that typically develops due to repetitive stress or overuse. Rest and reduced activity are usually recommended for healing.

Yes, children can experience fractures. However, their bones are more flexible and may have a better ability to heal compared to adults.

Fractures should be treated as soon as possible to promote proper healing. Seeking medical attention promptly is important to assess the extent of the fracture and initiate appropriate treatment.

Yes, physical therapy plays a crucial role in fracture recovery. It helps restore strength, flexibility, and function to the affected area, aiding in the overall healing process.

In some cases, fractures can lead to complications such as infection, nerve damage, or improper healing. Prompt and appropriate medical care can help minimize the risk of complications.

While most fractures heal without long-term complications, certain complex fractures or those associated with other injuries may have a higher risk of long-term complications.

Yes, as bone density tends to decrease with age, older adults may be more prone to fractures, especially due to falls or conditions like osteoporosis.

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