Types of Fractures and Symptoms
See Figure 4-1 for detailed illustration.
a. Closed Fracture. A closed fracture is a broken bone
that does not break the overlying skin. Tissue beneath the skin
may be damaged. A dislocation is when a joint, such as
a knee, ankle, or shoulder, is not in proper position. A sprain
is when the connecting tissues of the joints have been torn. Dislocations
and sprains should be treated as closed fractures.
b. Open Fracture. An open fracture is a broken bone that
breaks (pierces) the overlying skin. The broken bone may come
through the skin, or a missile such as a bullet or shell fragment
may go through the flesh and break the bone. An open fracture
is contaminated and subject to infection.
Indications of a fracture are deformity, tenderness, swelling,
pain inability to move the injured part, protruding bone, bleeding,
or discolored skin at the injury site. A sharp pain when the individual
attempts to move the part is also a sign of a fracture. DO NOT
encourage the casualty to move the injured part in order to identify
a fracture since such movement could cause further damage to surrounding
tissues and promote shock. If you are not sure whether a bone
is fractured, treat the injury as a fracture.
Back to First Aid for Fractures