A fracture is a break in a bone.
Fractures can range from a hairline crack in the bone to the bone being broken into two or more pieces that no longer line up correctly. A fracture may occur at the same time as other injuries, such as sprains, strains, or dislocations.
Signs and symptoms of a fracture may include:
- A pop or snap felt or heard at the time of the injury.
- Pain that increases with movement or when pressure is applied to the area.
- Swelling and bruising in the injured area.
- Limited movement in the injured area.
- A bend or movement in a bone where there is no joint (for example, a bend in the arm between the elbow and wrist).
- Bone poking through the skin or visible in the wound.
A fracture and other injuries that often occur at the same time require medical attention. A health professional may set, cast, or splint a broken bone to help the bone heal. Some fractures may require surgery.
Recovery time for a fracture can vary from weeks to months depending on a person's age and health; the type, location and severity of the fracture; and whether there are other injuries that may make treatment more complicated.
Current as of: November 9, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:William H. Blahd Jr. MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine