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Shoulder Fracture

A fractured bone is a broken bone. A fractured shoulder means that a bone in the shoulder has been broken.

The break occurs as a result of the bone being stressed by a force greater than it can withstand.

For purpose of diagnosis and treatment, fractures are classified as closed or open.

Open and closed fractures

A closed fracture is one in which the bone is broken but does not protrude through the skin.

In a closed fracture, surrounding muscles and other tissues remain generally undamaged.

In an open fracture there is significant damage to surrounding muscles and other tissues, and the broken bone protrudes through the skin.

Causes of fractures

A fracture is usually caused by severe stresses on the bone from an accident or injury, but this is not always the case.

Any bone weakened by bone cancer or bone disease such as osteoporosis may break with little or no apparent cause. This is called a pathologic fracture.

Such fractures are common in the hips of older people, whose bones may be weakened by a combination or lack of use, changes associated with aging, and sometimes disease.

Another type of fracture, called a stress fracture, may occur in healthy bone that has been subjected to prolonged or repeated periods of excessive stress.

A fracture makes the area around the injury look swollen, bruised, and sometimes deformed.

If you fracture a bone, you will probably be in severe pain, which is increased by any pressure on the area or any attempt to move that part of the body.

A minor fracture may cause only minor symptoms, and can be mistaken for a sprain.

Few people go through life without breaking a bone. The bones most likely to break are those in the wrists, hands, and feet, which are often broken during a fall.

Fractures of other bones, such as arm and leg bones and those of the spine and hip are usually the result of much more powerful forces, such as those of that can occur in a traffic accident.

The older you get the more likely you are to break a bone. This is because children, although they are very active and susceptible to injury, have springy, resilient bones that tend to bend rather than snap.

The bones of older people fracture more easily as calcium is lost and the bones become weak and brittle. Also, age-related problems with balance and coordination can make falls more likely.

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