When it comes to fractures, it’s easy to assume they're caused by some form of trauma. While that’s possible, two of the most common types of fractures develop because of overuse and osteoporosis — a disorder that causes bones to weaken.
Both stress fractures and osteoporosis can lead to cracks in your bones without a significant or obvious event. Even the smallest hairline break can become steadily worse over time, causing severe pain and limiting your mobility.
At Tadje Orthopaedics in Meridian, Idaho, Dr. Jared Tadje provides nonsurgical and surgical treatment for fractures of all kinds. He offers these insights into fractures and why you shouldn’t underestimate the importance of seeking medical attention as soon as possible.
Not all fractures are created equal, but they all describe a broken bone. These breaks can vary in size from a hairline crack to a completely severed bone breaking through your skin.
Sometimes, it’s easy to identify the cause of your break, especially if you fall or have an accident of some kind. But the specific reason for a break can also be less obvious. For example, developing stress fractures from overuse, like running or other sports activities.
While there are several different kinds of fractures, they all share one thing: Pain. Even the smallest of cracks can trigger intense discomfort. Other signs of a fracture include:
- Swelling or tenderness
- Bruising or skin discoloration
- Crepitus, or a “crunching” sensation under the skin
- Loss of function
- Inability to put weight on the area
Some fractures require emergency care and immediate attention in a hospital setting. However, Dr. Tadje can also treat many types of breaks at his office.
Why early treatment matters
When you have a severe fracture, especially with exposed bone, you probably don’t question the need to see a doctor immediately. But Dr. Tadje can also evaluate and diagnose fractures during an office visit, even if you don’t have obvious signs of injury.
One of the most important aspects of treating broken bones involves restoring proper alignment in the area and immobilizing or stabilizing the break so it can heal correctly. Depending on your fracture and its location, Dr. Tadje could recommend a variety of approaches, such as:
- Nonsurgical therapies, like a cast, brace, or physical therapy
- Surgically placed pins, screws, rods, or plates
- More complex treatments, like bone grafting or limb-lengthening
It’s also crucial not to ignore breaks that occur because of overuse or osteoporosis. When you develop stress fractures, for example, they can worsen with time when ignored. Similarly, osteoporosis is a chronic condition that puts you at risk of more fractures in the future. In fact, at least 50% of women with a hip fracture have already broken other bones.
As a result, even fractures that seem minor require specialized attention to help avoid future complications, ranging from severe pain and reduced mobility to reinjury, arthritis, and more broken bones.
If you think you could have a fracture, don’t put your recovery at risk. Schedule an appointment online or call our office at 208-231-7851.