Fracture Care

A fracture (broken bone) can happen in a variety of ways depending on how the injury occurred. Bones are rigid and will bend or “give” when an outside force is applied, such as jumping off a bed onto your feet or falling and landing on an outstretched hand.

Fracture CareHowever, if the force is too great, the bones are not able to handling the force and they will break, just like a plastic ruler breaks when it is bent too far.

The type and severity of the fracture depends on what type of force caused the break. If the bone's breaking point has been exceeded only slightly, then the bone may crack rather than break all the way through. If the force is extreme, such as in an automobile crash or a gunshot, the bone may shatter.

The most common causes of fractures are trauma, osteoporosis, and overuse. Symptoms can include swelling, tenderness, and bruising at the site of the fracture. Sometimes a deformity is seen as well in which a limb may look “out of place” or part of the bone may be sticking out through the skin.

Our board-certified orthopaedic surgeons will determine the extent of the injury and what the best course of treatment will be. There are a variety of treatments available to treat fractures:

  • Cast Immobilization: A plaster or fiberglass cast is the most common type of fracture treatment. Most broken bones can heal successfully once they have been reduced and a cast has been applied to keep the broken ends close together in the proper position while they heal.

  • Functional Cast or Brace: The cast or brace allows limited or “controlled” movement of nearby joints. This treatment is desirable for some, but not all, fractures and will be determined by your surgeon if this is a possibility.

  • External Fixation: In this type of surgery, metal pins or screws are placed into the broken bone above and below the fracture site and connected to a metal bar outside the skin. This device is a stabilizing frame that holds the bones in the proper position while they heal.

  • Open Reduction and Internal Fixation: During this operation, the bone fragments are first repositioned (reduced) in their normal alignment, and then are held together with screws or by attaching metal plates to the outer surface of the bone. The fragments can also be held together by inserting rods down through the marrow space in the center of the bone.

Fractures can take several weeks to several months to heal, depending on the extent of the injury and how well you adhere to your surgeon’s advise. The pain usually stops long before the fracture fully heals and is solid enough to handle the stresses of normal activity.


Meet our Fracture/Trauma Care Specialists:

Name Specialties Location
Belkin, Stuart, MD
4.6 /5
36 surveys
203.696.3564
  • Spine Surgery
  • Orthopedic Surgery
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  • Monroe
Brittis, Dante, MD 203.337.2600
  • Sports Medicine
  • Joint Replacement Surgery
  • Orthopedic Surgery
  • Upper Extremity Surgery
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  • Fairfield
  • Milford
  • Shelton
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Fabian, Lauren, MD 203.337.2600
  • Sports Medicine
  • Joint Replacement Surgery
  • Orthopedic Surgery
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  • Fairfield
  • Shelton
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FitzGibbons, James, MD, FAAOS 203.337.2600
  • Sports Medicine
  • Joint Replacement Surgery
  • Orthopedic Surgery
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  • Fairfield
  • Shelton
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Griffith, Cullen, MD 203.337.2600
  • Orthopedic Surgery
  • Sports Medicine
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  • Fairfield
  • Shelton
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Martin, David, MD 203.268.2882
  • Upper Extremity Surgery
  • Joint Replacement Surgery
  • Orthopedic Surgery
  • Sports Medicine
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  • Fairfield
  • Shelton
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Spak, James, MD 203.268.2882
  • Sports Medicine
  • Orthopedic Surgery
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  • Trumbull
  • Fairfield
  • Westport
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Connecticut Orthopaedic Institute at St. Vincent's Medical Center