What causes a fracture?

Fractures usually involve some form of trauma. A large force will be applied to the area at speed. This can occur during car accidents or following a fall. It can also occur following a tackle or collision during sport or after an awkward landing. The force applied will beak the continuity of a bone. There are a range of fracture types including some of the following:

Avulsion: a muscle or ligament pulls on the bone, taking a bit of the bone with it.

Comminuted fractures: the bone is shattered into many pieces.

Fracture dislocation: a joint is dislocated (the 2 bones are no longer in a congruent position together) and the force also breaks one of the bony surfaces.

Hairline fracture: a partial fracture of the bone.

Impacted fracture: when the segment of a bone fractured is pushed into another bone.

How does a fracture present?

The ankle and foot will swell within a few hours and fracture patients are often unable to weight bear through the affected limb. The pain is usually sharp and the site is acutely tender to touch.

How is it treated?

Imaging is very important to discover the extent of the damage and thus the best treatment programme to follow. Physiotherapy is essential to ensure the bone heals and range of movement and strength is restored to the joint to enable return to all desired activities.

What You Need To Know
  • Fractures normally occur following a trauma or high force applied to the bone.
  • Swelling will develop.
  • It is often difficult to put weight through the effected limb.
  • If you suspect a fracture you should go to A&E