You’ve probably heard people talk about broken bones and fractures as if they’re different things. The surprising this is, they’re the same. A fractured bone is a broken bone. In fact, physicians use both words interchangeably, but in their minds, any type of break is still a broken bone. If you’ve broken a bone, head to Village Emergency Centers for expert care. Read on to learn why bones break and what the recovery process is.

Why do bones break?

Our bones are an amazing part of our body. They support our weight and resist the forces of gravity every day. Sometimes, though, they can’t hold up under the force and weight they bear.

There are many reasons why you might break a bone, including:

  • Bones become brittle in old age
  • Loss of bone density and calcium due to osteoporosis
  • An accident, such as a slip, trip, or fall
  • A sports-related injury

How can you tell if you have broken a bone?

If you wonder if you have broken a bone, there are signs you should look for, such as:

  • Swelling and bruising
  • Pain that becomes worse when trying to move the injured area
  • Pain that becomes worse when the area is touched
  • Your limb won’t move
  • Your limb looks twisted or deformed

If any of these symptoms apply to you, head to Village Emergency Centers immediately.

Should I get care right away?

If you have a broken bone, it’s very important to get medical attention as soon as possible. The quicker a doctor can repair your broken bone the faster it can heal properly. Furthermore, your broken bone can put other parts of your body at risk. A broken bone can puncture an organ or damage blood vessels. Because of this, you need to have your injury examined quickly.

How are broken bones treated?

When you come to Village Emergency Centers, the first thing your doctor will do is X-ray the area to determine the severity of the break and see if there is any other tissue damage. Then, your doctor will decide how best to immobilize your broken bone so it can heal properly.

Typically, one or more of the following treatments are applied:

  • A plaster cast is made and placed over the affected area
  • The area is splinted if a plaster cast is not practical
  • A sling is provided to further immobilize the affected area

In some cases, you may need surgery. And sometimes a bone may need to be repositioned and kept in place by inserting screws or rods.

How long does it take to recover?

The amount of time you will need to recover will depend on the break, location, and your age. For most people, the healing process will take 6-8 weeks. For children, recovery time is usually even faster because they heal quicker than adults.

If you experience sudden pain and swelling in a limb or another part of your body after an accident, you might have a broken bone. Don’t wait to see what happens. Get to Village Emergency Centers right away so their expert doctors can get you on the path to recovery.