Fracture is a general term that indicates disruption of the continuity of a bone. Fractures can be as simple as a slight crack that needs rest to heal or as devastating as a compound -- more than one break -- fracture requiring a cast, traction, or specialized structure to heal properly. People who suffer a fall or accident that results in lasting pain should see a medical practitioner. Specialized equipment and guidance can prevent worsening symptoms and ensure that the bones heal properly, to preserve a full range of motion.
A closed fracture is one in which the bone does not cause tearing or damage to the surrounding tissue. The bone may crack, but the two halves remain in line with each other. This type of fracture is common in smaller areas of the body, such as fingers and toes, although arm and leg bones, as well as ribs, can experience closed fractures too. An open fracture is one in which the fragments of the bone tear through muscle tissue, the epidermis, or even pierce the exterior skin. This type of fracture is more serious, as damage to the tissue and the exposure through the skin can lead to infection. Re-setting the break is more complicated with open fractures, though both types require immediate medical attention.
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