Non-Displaced Fracture


What is a Non-Displaced Fracture?

Any broken bone or bones in the human body is called a fracture in medical lingo. When a bone is exposed to some mechanical force to a significant degree, the applied pressure causes it to bend to such a severity that it snaps eventually and breaks.

In case of a non-displaced fracture, the bone breaks at a single point only and remains aligned. Such type of fractures is not typically visible to the naked eye. It may also be noted that some fractures do emerge in the beginning as the non-displaced type but later transform to a displaced fracture.nondisplaced fracture photo

Causes of Non-Displaced Fracture

Most fractures occur because of an automobile accident or a bad fall. Bones in healthy people are resilient, sturdy and can bear surprisingly powerful impacts. With the natural process of aging, two factors increase the probability of having a fracture, heightened risk of collapsing and weaker bones. Children with a considerably more non-sedentary lifestyle, compared to adults have a higher propensity for fractures.

Symptoms of Non-Displaced Fracture

The signs of a fracture depend on the affected bone, general health, age of the patient and the degree of the severity of injury caused.

  • Severe pain
  • Bruising
  • Swelling
  • Discolored tissues of the skin around the injured region
  • The patient is not able to apply weight on the affected area
  • The affected part may be angulated, i.e., being bent unusually
  • The person is unable to move the affected region
  • The sensitivity to a stimulus may increase in the affected joint or bone
  • Appear clammy and pale, and experience nausea and dizziness

Diagnosis of Non-Displaced Fracture

The first step in determining the fracture includes a physical examination and zeroing in on the causative condition. The doctor asks questions relevant to the extent of time the pain felt, things or circumstances that alleviates or increases the pain and also the gravity. The attending consultant may also inquire about the diet, present medications, and nutrition to isolate any risk factors possibly triggering the situation.

Physical examination is a medical process when a specialist feels the affected region to determine the probability of non-displaced or any other types of fracture. The method includes manually (visually and mechanically) analyzing the flexibility, appropriate alignment, and strength of the suspected area and also of the bone or bones in that region.

A simple X-ray may not suffice at times. Advanced diagnostic tools like CT (computerized tomography) scan and MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) are also required sometimes for proper diagnosis.

Risk Factors of Non-Displaced Fracture

Although anybody can get a fracture, people having less bone density are more prone to this type of fracture. Various other factors including aging, physical inactivity, endocrinal and intestinal disorders, osteoporosis, consumption of alcohol and smoking are responsible for causing non-displaced fractures.

Complications of Non-Displaced Fracture

Early complications

  • Disruption of important vessels may cause loss of blood
  • Vascular injury
  • Hip fractures (especially in elderly patients) cause loss of mobility and may eventually lead to pneumonia, fat embolism, rhabdomyolysis or thromboembolic phenomenon
  • If any of the ribs of the rib cage is fractured, it can potentially induce Pneumothorax, resulting in respiratory compromise and a flail chest
  • Nerve injury
  • Compartment Syndrome
  • Fracture blisters
  • Wound infections
  • Visceral injury damaging to body vitals including brain, bladder, or lung

Late complications

  • Delayed union, nonunion, or malunion
  • Myositis ossificans
  • Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
  • Avascular necrosis
  • Growth deformity or disturbance
  • Osteomyelitis
  • Stiffness of joints or contractures

Preventions of Non-Displaced Fracture

One cannot prevent fractures, but a person can make the bones strong by following some simple rules like exercising daily and consuming a nutritious diet. Foods enriched with Calcium and Vitamin D does help to strengthen the bones and increase their density in the human body.

First Aid or Home Treatment for Non-Displaced Fracture

Being a broken bone, any incidence of a fracture calls for immediate medical attention. If the breakage pertains to some major injury or trauma, then nine-one-one (or the local number for emergency) should be accessed as early as possible. Also, emergency health care should be called if:

  • Patient is unresponsive, not breathing, or is not moving. CPR should be commenced if there is no sign of heartbeat and breathing.
  • Person is bleeding heavily
  • Even negligible amount of pressure or movement is causing pain to the affected person
  • Joint or limb seems to be deformed
  • Skin is pierced by the bone
  • Gravity of the injured leg or arm, such as a finger or toe, is bluish or numb at the tip
  • Bone is possibly broken in the head, neck, or back

The sufferer should not be moved except if necessary for avoiding further injury, and the following actions should be performed as early as possible while waiting for medical professionals or paramedics.

  • Any bleeding should be made to cease by applying pressure on the wound with the help of a sterile bandage, a piece of clean cloth, or a clean portion of clothing.
  • The injured area should be immobilized, and realignment of the bone or pushing a bone that is sticking out should not be attempted. A splint may be applied below and above the affected region, provided the person performing the dressing possess adequate knowledge of such procedures. Padding the splints reduces the degree of the discomfort.
  • Ice packs should be applied to manage the swelling and soothe the pain. It should not be used directly to the skin. A couple of ice cubes wrapped in a towel or a piece of cloth should be applied accordingly.
  • The patient should be treated for trauma. If somebody is breathing shortly or experiencing faintness, then the person should be made to lie down while keeping the head a little lower than the body or trunk and, if possible, the legs should be elevated.

Treatments for a Non-Displaced Fracture

The primary objective behind the treatment of a non-displaced fracture is making the detached bones return to their original position and allow them to recover so a new bone may grow near their edges to bind the detached portions. In most cases, this type of fracture is treated with a medical cast made of plaster or fiberglass that aids in immobilizing the bones of the injured region during the treatment. A patient may also need traction support (a configuration of weights and pulleys) to stretch the muscles and tendons surrounding the detached bone.

The healing window is dependent on several factors like severity of the injury and the type of treatment prescribed by the doctor. Hence, recovery time varies from one person to the other. In addition to the recovery period, the patient should also enquire about the odds of recurrence.

When to See the Doctor?

Not all broken bones require an orthopedic trauma specialist or a fracture specialist, but many of them do. Present research indicates that people perform better in the long-term and have superior functional outcomes, recuperate at a considerably better rate and experience fewer complications when the attending doctor happens to be a specialist. The current trend in the US is to avail the service of an orthopedic surgeon with niche training for most of the fractures. However, that does not invalidate the fact that patients should not avail the assistance of a general orthopedic for many basic fractures.

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