The most common cause of bone fractures is trauma. Bone fractures are fairly common but can range in severity.
Bones do not always break in the same way. Fractures may follow different patterns based on factors such as the force and direction of the impact. Here are some common types of bone fractures.
When the break occurs horizontally across the long axis of the bone, it is a transverse fracture. Transverse fractures are among the most common.
Also called a compound fracture, an open fracture occurs when one of the broken bone fragments breaks the surface of the skin and extends out through it. Open fractures are serious because exposure to open air increases the likelihood of an infection.
An oblique fracture is similar to a transverse fracture. The difference is that, instead of breaking straight across, an oblique fracture occurs at an angle.
A comminuted fracture occurs when the bone breaks into multiple fragments. Treating a comminuted fracture can be very difficult. The doctor has to bring all the fragments back into anatomic position and immobilize them long enough to give them time to grow back together. This often requires the surgical implantation of hardware, such as plates and screws.
A greenstick fracture occurs when the bone does not break completely. The fragments remain connected by a sliver of bone tissue. This type of fracture is most common in children.
Fractures such as these are likely to occur in a motor vehicle accident. Some require surgery or other special treatments to correct.