Bone fracture overview

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Bone fracture Microchapters


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Differentiating Bone fracture from other Diseases

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X Ray




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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]


A bone fracture is a medical condition in which a bone is cracked or broken. While many fractures are the result of high force impact or stress, bone fracture can also occur as a result of certain medical conditions that weaken the bones, such as osteoporosis, certain types of cancer or osteogenesis imperfecta.

Historical Perspective

Any type of bone break is a fracture. The word break is not used in formal orthopedic terminology.

Risk Factors

Fractures commonly occur because of falls or sports injuries. Additionally, overuse can cause stress fractures, which are very small cracks in the bone. Therefore, those who participate in rigorous physical activities or in high risk activities are more likely to get a fracture. Another common cause of fractures is osteoporosis, which causes weakening of the bones. People with this condition, especially the elderly, are at higher risk of fractures due to falls since their bones cannot withstand as much stress.


A bone fracture can be diagnosed clinically based on the medical history given and the physical examination performed. Imaging by X-ray is often performed to view the bone suspected of being fractured. In situations where x-ray alone is insufficient, a computed tomograph (CT scan) may be performed.

X Ray

At the hospital, closed fractures are diagnosed by taking an X-ray photograph of the injury.


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