Non-displaced Fracture

A fracture pertains to a broken bone. A sudden fall and a strong impact are just some of the reasons for a broken bone. There are different types of fractures and we are going to discuss them below.

8 Types of Fractures

  1. Closed fracture – It is called a closed fracture because the bone breaks without causing an open wound in the skin.
  2. Open fracture – It is the total opposite of the closed fracture. Aside from the fracture itself, there is a visible open wound, which increases the possibility of a deep bone infection.
  3. Transverse fracture – A bone fracture that comes at a right angle to the axis of the bone.
  4. Oblique fractures – It is characterized by the breakage of the bones in a curved or sloped pattern.
  5. Greenstick fracture – It is also called an incomplete fracture. The bone bends but not completely broken. This type of fracture commonly happens in children.
  6. Comminuted fracture – This is one of the worst types of bone fractures characterized by bones broken down into several pieces.
  7. Stress fracture – There is really no actual break in the bones. What the person has is only a hairline fracture.
  8. Buckled fractures – A fracture is called a buckled type if the end of the bone drives into each other. (1, 2, 3, 4, and 5)

Aside from the eight types of bone features mentioned above, there are other kinds of fracture and these are displaced and non-displaced fracture. How can you tell if a person has a displaced or non-displaced fracture?

A non-displaced fracture takes place if the bone breaks only in one spot and stays aligned. On the other hand, a displaced fracture is when the bone snaps into several pieces and cannot be aligned.

What causes a non-displaced fracture?

A greater force or pressure causes a non-displaced fracture. The force is strong enough for the bone to bear. The force is not only intense but occurs suddenly. Some of the incidents or situations that cause a non-displaced fracture includes the following:

  • Fall
  • Sports-related injury
  • Direct strike on the body
  • Overuse of the body
  • Traumatic incidents such as vehicular accident and/or gunshot wound (3, 4, and 5)

What are the clinical manifestations of non-displaced fracture?

  • The patient complains of severe pain
  • There is obvious bruising and swelling on the site.
  • The injured site has some sort of skin discoloration.
  • The patient finds it difficult to move the affected area. In fact, applying even the lightest weight seems difficult.
  • The injury site looks clammy, pale, and a bit angulated. (4, 5, and 6)

How to diagnose a non-displaced fracture?

To confirm the diagnosis of a non-displaced fracture, the doctor will perform several tests which include the following:

  • Physical examination – The examining physician will ask a few questions to the patient so as to establish how the injury took place. After which, the doctor feels the affected area to find out the probability of non-displaced fracture or other types of fracture. The doctor uses both visual and mechanical approach to thoroughly assess the fracture.
  • Diagnostic imaging studies – The doctor will also order imaging studies such as x-ray, CT scan, and/or MRI. (5, 6, and 7)

Who are at risk for non-displaced fracture?

  • Those who have less bone density.
  • Elderly and people with osteoporosis.
  • Those with endocrine and intestinal disorders.
  • Those who have a physical inactivity.
  • Those who have vice such as excessive alcohol intake and smoking tobacco. (6, 7, and 8)

What are the possible complications of non-displaced fracture?

Treatment for a non-displaced fracture?

Treating a non-displaced fracture can be done in many different ways. However, the treatment approach primarily depends on the severity and extent of fracture. How long does a non-displaced fracture take to heal? It all depends on the extent and severity of fracture as well as the treatment approach used.

  • Pain management approach – One of the primary goals is to alleviate pain and inflammation the soonest time possible. The doctor will give pain medication so as to reduce the swelling and alleviate pain.
  • Immobilization – depending on the extent and severity of the injury, the patient needs to be put on a cast or a splint until such time the bone is completely healed.
  • Continuous monitoring – In some instances, the fracture could begin as a non-displaced fracture but later on progressed into a displaced fracture. Which is why it is important to continuously monitor the condition of the fracture to detect if it is progressing or getting worst.
  • Physical therapy – If the fracture is severe, the patient should undergo a physical therapy to regain normal muscle strength.
  • Casting – A medical cast made of plaster or fiberglass is put onto the injured site to immobilize the bones. The patient may need traction support too so as to stretch the muscles and tendons around the detached bone.

The goal of non-displaced fracture treatment is to put the detached bone back into the normal position and allow it to heal so as to facilitate the formation of new bone around the edge to connect to the detached parts. (1, 4, 6, 9, and 10)

Home remedies for non-displaced fracture

A broken bone needs to be treated the soonest time possible. The patient should be immediately brought to the nearest hospital, especially if the patient is unresponsive, not moving, bleeding heavily, or not breathing.

If there is no hospital nearby, a first-aid remedy should be given. However, if there is no one nearby who knows how to administer first-aid, then it is best to keep the patient still to prevent further injury. If there is someone nearby who knows how to administer first aid, then the following measures should be given to the patient.

  • Apply pressure near the wound to prevent further bleeding. When putting pressure, it is best to use a sterile bandage. If there is no sterile bandage, a perfect alterative is a clean cloth.
  • Make sure that the injured site should be immobilized. Do not attempt to realign the bone, especially if you don’t have knowledge and experience doing so. If you have a medical or emergency health background, you might want to try putting a splint above and below the injury site. Make sure you put a padding into the splint to reduce the degree of discomfort.
  • Swelling can be reduced by applying cold compress on the injured site. Ice cubes should be wrapped in a clean towel or a piece of cloth and apply on the skin. Do not place the ice cubes directly onto the skin.
  • If the person is unresponsive and is breathing hard, then the patient should be treated for trauma. Elevate the legs of the patient and place the patient in a position where the head is a bit lower than other body parts. (1, 5, 8, and 9)

How long does it take a non-displaced fracture to heal?

The time needed for a non-displaced fracture to heal completely is dependent on various factors such as the severity and extent of injury and the type of treatment approach used by the doctor. The body’s response to a particular treatment is also another thing to be considered. Therefore, the recovery period varies from one person to another. (6, 9, and 10)

Can you prevent a non-displaced fracture?

Fractures can be prevented by not engaging in activities that could compromise your bone structure. However, accidents happen the moment you least expect it to happen. The best thing you can do is to protect your bones through the following ways:

  • Exercise daily
  • Eat healthy, especially foods rich in vitamin D and calcium.

When to see your doctor?

An orthopedic trauma specialist is the doctor responsible for the treatment of bone fracture. However, not all broken bones require an orthopedic trauma specialist. Research shows that a fracture of all types heal better and have a superior functional outcome when attended to by an orthopedic trauma specialist.

A non-displaced fracture bone may take several weeks or even longer to heal completely. The length of recovery period has something to do with the type of fracture, location, and severity. The recovery rate is also affected by other existing injuries or medical conditions. For the patient to recover completely from a non-displaced fracture, he/she should strictly follow the doctor’s advice. Once the healing is complete, the patient will be pain-free and will be able to move the fractured site with ease and comfort. (2, 4, 7, 9, and 10)



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