More About Fractures

A fracture is a partial or complete break in the bone. When a fracture happens, it’s classified as either open or closed:

  • Open fracture (also called compound fracture): The bone pokes through the skin and can be seen, or a deep wound exposes the bone through the skin.
  • Closed fracture (also called simple fracture). The bone is broken, but the skin is intact.

Fractures have a variety of names. Here is a listing of the common types that may happen:

  • Greenstick. This is an incomplete fracture. A portion of the bone is broken, causing the other side to bend.
  • Transverse. The break is in a straight line across the bone.
  • Spiral. The break spirals around the bone; common in a twisting injury.
  • Oblique. The break is diagonal across the bone
  • Compression. The bone is crushed. This causes the broken bone to be wider or flatter in appearance.
  • Comminuted. The bone has broken into three or more pieces and fragments are present at the fracture site.
  • Segmental. The same bone is fractured in two places, so there is a "floating" piece of bone.