The skeletal system is made up of 206 bones and provides support, allows for movement, and protects the internal organs of the body. Sometimes too much pressure is applied to a bone that results in what is known as a fracture. Fractures are often classified as either open or closed.
An open fracture is a fracture where a piece of the broken bone pierces through the skin. This can be dangerous because the bone is exposed, increasing the risk of infection. A closed fracture is a fracture where the bone is broken but does not come through the skin.
A compression fracture is a closed fracture that occurs when two or more bones are forced against each other. It commonly occurs to bones of the spine and may be caused by falling into a standing or sitting position or a result of advanced osteoporosis.
An avulsion fracture is a closed fracture where a piece of bone is broken off by a sudden, forceful contraction of a muscle. This type of fracture is common in young athletes and can occur when muscles are not properly stretched before activity. This fracture can also be the result of an injury.
An impacted fracture is similar to a compression fracture, yet it occurs within the same bone. It is a closed fracture that occurs when pressure is applied to both ends of the bone, causing it to split into two fragments that jam into each other. This type of fracture is common in falls and car accidents.
All fractures must be taken seriously. If you think that a bone has been fractured, you should seek immediate medical attention.