Bone fracture abbreviated frx or Fx, Fx, or #

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bone fracture (abbreviated FRX or FxFx, or #) is a medical condition in which there is a partial or complete break in the continuity of the bone. In more severe cases, the bone may be broken into several pieces.[1] A bone fracture may be the result of high force impact or stress, or a minimal trauma injury as a result of certain medical conditions that weaken the bones, such as osteoporosisosteopeniabone cancer, or osteogenesis imperfecta, where the fracture is then properly termed a pathologic fracture.[2]


  • 1Signs and symptoms

    • 1.1Complications

  • 2Pathophysiology

    • 2.1Effects of smoking

  • 3Diagnosis

    • 3.1Classification

      • 3.1.1Mechanism

      • 3.1.2Soft-tissue involvement

      • 3.1.3Displacement

      • 3.1.4Fracture pattern

      • 3.1.5Fragments

      • 3.1.6Anatomical location

    • 3.2OTA/AO classification

    • 3.3Classifications named after people

  • 4Prevention

  • 5Treatment

    • 5.1Pain management

    • 5.2Immobilization

    • 5.3Surgery

    • 5.4Other

  • 6Children

  • 7See also

  • 8References

  • 9External links

Signs and symptoms[edit]

Although bone tissue contains no pain receptors, a bone fracture is painful for several reasons:[3]

  • Breaking in the continuity of the periosteum, with or without similar discontinuity in endosteum, as both contain multiple pain receptors.

  • Edema and hematoma of nearby soft tissues caused by ruptured bone marrow evokes pressure pain.

  • Involuntary muscle spasms trying to hold bone fragments in place.

Damage to adjacent structures such as nerves, muscles or blood vessels, spinal cord, and nerve roots (for spine fractures), or cranial contents (for skull fractures) may cause other specific signs and symptoms.


An old fracture with nonunion of the fracture fragments

Some fractures may lead to serious complications including a condition known as compartment syndrome. If not treated, eventually, compartment syndrome may require amputation of the affected limb. Other complications may include non-union, where the fractured bone fails to heal or mal-union, where the fractured bone heals in a deformed manner. One form of malunion is the malrotation of a bone, which is especially common after femoral and tibial fractures.

Complications of fractures may be classified into three broad groups, depending upon their time of occurrence. These are as follows –

  1. Immediate complications – occurs at the time of the fracture.

  2. Early complications – occurring in the initial few days after the fracture.

  3. Late complications – occurring a long time after the fracture.

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