Clinical features of a fracture and its diagnose
Some fractures are obvious, e.g. an open fracture through which the broken of a bone project out. Other fractures may not be so obvious.
They are diagnosed by the following features.
- Mental visualization is done of how the injury was caused.
- The appearance of the injured part is checked compared to the same on the uninjured side.
- History of trauma is present, e.g. violent blow or a fall.
- There may have been the snapping sound of a broken bone.
- There is sharp pain at the site of the fracture.
- There is difficulty in moving the limb.
- There is deformity.
- Abnormal movements may be present at the site of the fracture due to mobility between bone fragments. This is very painful.
- Crepitus may be heard or felt at the site of the fracture due to the bone ends rubbing over each other during movement.
- Swelling and bruising may develop at the fracture site.
- Features of bleeding and shock may be present, depending on the amount of blood lost.