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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.

  1. Mental visualization is done of how the injury was caused.
  2. The appearance of the injured part is checked compared to the same on the uninjured side.
  3. History of trauma is present, e.g. violent blow or a fall.
  4. There may have been the snapping sound of a broken bone.
  5. There is sharp pain at the site of the fracture.
  6. There is difficulty in moving the limb.
  7. There is deformity.
  8. Abnormal movements may be present at the site of the fracture due to mobility between bone fragments. This is very painful.
  9. Crepitus may be heard or felt at the site of the fracture due to the bone ends rubbing over each other during movement.
  10. Swelling and bruising may develop at the fracture site.
  11. Features of bleeding and shock may be present, depending on the amount of blood lost.

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