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Common Breaks to Be Aware Of

Common Breaks to Be Aware Of

Did you know that your body contains more than 200 bones? Each one serves a unique and specific purpose, and each one is unfortunately breakable. You might break a femur in a dramatic skiing accident or a collarbone clumsy tumble down the stairs. You might even break a couple of toes accidentally kicking the leg of a chair.

Even if you haven’t yet, chances are good that you will break at least one bone over the course of your life. Your age and activity level can both influence the likelihood and frequency of potential breaks. At DOC Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, our team of ortho experts has seen all sorts of breaks—and we’re here to help you understand the parts of your body that are at the greatest risk. Here are the body’s most susceptible areas and how they most commonly sustain fractures:

Collarbones – The collarbone, otherwise known as the clavicle, is the most commonly broken bone thanks in large part to where it’s positioned. Located between the shoulder blade and upper rib cage, it connects your arm to the rest of your body. This bone is particularly large and prone to breaks, especially in children and those who live active lifestyles. You’re most likely to break your collarbone while playing sports, but they’re also frequently broken in car accidents.

Arms – Arms are also broken frequently. In fact, broken arms are the second-most common broken bone among children. Arm breaks can occur in either the upper arm (the humerus) or lower arm (the radius or ulna). Along with bone breaks, arms are very susceptible to spiral fractures, which are caused by rotations of the bone between joints, and compound fractures, which occur when a broken bone also breaks the skin.

Wrists – Wrist breaks typically occur as a result of a fall, often as a result of physical activity like skateboarding, biking, and other sports. Your wrist is actually the bone you’re most likely to break in your arm, and it’s typically broken when you attempt to brace yourself or stop a fall. Because there are so many small bones in the wrist and hand, it can be tempting to self-diagnose a break as nothing more than a simple sprain. But if not quickly and properly treated, a broken wrist can heal poorly and impact wrist function in the future, even causing painful conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome and arthritis later in life.

Hips – Hips are another frequently broken bone, most common in women over age 65. Because women are at an increased risk for developing osteoporosis and losing calcium, their bones are more brittle and prone to breaking. If you fall into this category, it’s not a bad idea to take vitamins and other calcium supplements to help ward off hip and other bone fractures.

If you think you may have a fractured bone— particularly if it’s been left untreated for some time – it’s important for you to visit an orthopaedic specialist for guidance. Depending on the severity of your condition, your doctor may recommend a course of treatment ranging from physical therapy to possible surgery. By working with a specialized practice like DOC Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine in Decatur, you can take advantage of the expertise of ten providers as part of our multidisciplinary musculoskeletal practice.

Since 1972, DOC Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine has been committed to providing exceptional orthopaedic care through innovative techniques, quality services, patient communication and education. With specialties ranging from general orthopaedics and physical therapy to sports medicine, joint replacement and more, the doctors at DOC Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine can provide local expert care for any orthopaedic disorder or injury and help put your life back in motion.

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