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About Fractures

A fracture is a broken bone that may be completely fractured or partially fractured in a number of ways and the severity of the fracture usually depends on the force that caused the break. Fractures may occur as a result of a direct blow to your bone or often as a result of overuse or increasing the amount or intensity of an activity too rapidly. With fractures, you will typically experience pain, swelling, bruising, and in some cases deformities where the limb may look out of place.

Common types of fractures include:

  • Stable fracture - The broken ends of the bone line up and are barely out of place.
  • Open, compound fracture - The skin may be pierced by the bone or by a blow that breaks the skin at the time of the fracture. The bone may or may not be visible in the wound.
  • Transverse fracture - This type of fracture has a horizontal fracture line.
  • Oblique fracture - This type of fracture has an angled pattern.
  • Comminuted fracture - In this type of fracture, the bone shatters into three or more pieces.

Fracture Treatment at UT Health Austin

To evaluate and verify diagnosis of your fracture, your orthopedic specialist will likely take x-rays to determine the type of fracture and where it is located within the bone. Upon evaluation of your injury, your care team will then build a treatment plan specific to your condition and goals and work with you to understand the risk and benefits as well as what to expect throughout your recovery. Depending on the extent of your injury a cast or brace may be the best course of treatment or surgical intervention to place pins or screws may be required to stabilize and position the bones properly to heal. Fractures can take several weeks to several months to heal. During your recovery, muscle strength may deplete and incorporation of physical therapy and strengthening exercises may be beneficial to help restore normal muscle strength, joint motion and flexibility.

About the Musculoskeletal Institute

The Musculoskeletal Institute at UT Health Austin works to improve the overall health of every patient. Whether you are suffering from chronic joint pain or an injury, our doctor-led care teams work to find treatment goals to fit your lifestyle. We understand that improving your quality of life is important to you, which is why our team will work with you to personalize your treatment plan. For some patients, your goal may be to set a personal record when you run your next marathon. For others, it may be to comfortably play with your grandkids at the park. Whatever your goals, we’ll work with you to achieve them.