A fracture is what many of us will colloquially refer to as a broken bone. This describes what happens when a bone in the body – often a long bone such as the femur or humerus – either cracks or snaps entirely into two pieces.
What many people don’t realize, however, is that there are many different types of fractures, each classified by the type of break, by the cause, and by the severity. In this post, we’ll be looking at a particularly severe form of break known as a comminuted fracture.
A comminuted fracture is a particularly painful fracture that is caused when the bone is broken in more than one place – or more specifically when it is broken into more than one piece. This might mean that a long bone such as a femur is broken in two places, creating three individual pieces of bone and completely severing the connection to the torso.
At the same time though, a comminuted fracture can also describe breaks that result in shards as the bone is crushed and splinters apart for instance.
This is a serious type of break with a number of consequences, complications, and symptoms. In this post, we’ll explore some of these.
1. Loss of Mobility
One of the most notable and immediately apparent symptoms of a comminuted fracture is the loss of mobility. That is to say that you may no longer be able to move the affected limb or even the surrounding area.
There are many potential causes for this. Firstly, the limb may be very swollen, and this can then limit movement. At the same time, the bone might have broken where the muscle would normally attach. This then removes the hinge mechanism that we normally use to move the limb.
Severe pain can also prevent movement, and in some cases, the muscle or the tendon might have also become damaged or severed.
It is important to rest the area and not to try to move it more than completely necessary. Moving a broken limb is only likely to cause further injury.
Where mobility is not lost entirely, the individual will still likely notice a significant loss of strength in the area.