A fracture is a complete or partial broken bone. Fractures occur when forces exerted on the bone exceed the strength of the bone.

Healthy bones tend to break from trauma. They can also break from overuse or repetitive motions, which can put more pressure on the bone. Bones weakened by osteoporosis and other conditions can break more easily and sometimes even spontaneously.

People can experience fractures during any phase of life. While not everyone develops osteoporosis later in life, almost everyone loses bone mass as they age, which increases the risk of breaking a bone.

Signs of Fractures

Fractures can cause a range of symptoms depending on the severity and location of the break. In general, fractures may cause:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Bruising and/or bleeding
  • An out-of-place limb or joint
  • A snapping or popping sensation

Comprehensive Fracture Treatment

At UM BWMC, fracture treatment focuses on restoring form and function as fully and quickly as possible. While some fractures heal well with noninvasive treatments, many are best treated with surgery.

The orthopedic and podiatric surgeons at UM BWMC are committed to providing timely care for patients and using evidence-based techniques and technology to facilitate optimal recovery. Some of our surgeons have also completed orthopaedic trauma fellowships, giving them advanced expertise in treating patients with severe and complex musculoskeletal injuries.

Fractures treated include:

  • Upper extremity fractures (shoulder, upper arm, elbow, forearm and wrist fractures)
  • Lower extremity fractures (hip, thigh, knee, lower leg, ankle and foot fractures)
  • Intra-articular and peri-articular fractures (complex fractures that involve a joint)
  • Pelvis fractures
  • Nonunions and malunions (when a broken bone does not heal or heals in a poor position)
  • Tendon ruptures (including quadriceps, patella, Achilles and triceps tendon ruptures)

Secondary fracture prevention is critically important for patients 50 years of age and older who have suffered a fracture. The team at UM BWMC's Osteoporosis Clinic works with these patients to assess risk and provide comprehensive treatment plans aimed at preventing future fractures.

Fractures can be major and sometimes life-changing events for a patient, impacting everything from family life and hobbies to employment. Our team takes a holistic approach to care and works with patients to provide the medical, social and rehabilitation support needed to achieve the best outcome possible.