A bone fracture is a medical condition in which a bone is cracked or broken. It is a break in the continuity of the bone. While many fractures are the result of high-force impact or stress, bone fractures can also occur because of certain medical conditions that weaken the bones, such as osteoporosis.
A fracture may be complete or partial and is commonly caused by trauma due to a fall, motor vehicle accident, or sports injury. Thinning of the bone due to osteoporosis in the elderly can also cause bones to break easily. Overuse injuries are a common cause of stress fractures in athletes.
Click on the below tabs to learn more about the various types of fractures of the upper extremity.
Fractures of the Hand and Fingers
The hand is one of the most flexible and useful parts of our body. Because of overuse in various activities, the hands are more prone to injuries, such as sprains and strains, fractures and dislocations, lacerations and amputations while operating machinery, bracing against a fall and during sports.
The wrist is comprised of two bones in the forearm, the radius and ulna, and eight tiny carpal bones in the palm. The bones meet to form multiple large and small joints. A wrist fracture refers to a break in one or more of these bones.
A break or a crack in the bones of the thumb is known as a thumb fracture. Fractures may occur anywhere on the thumb, but a fracture at the base of the thumb, near the wrist, is considered the most serious.
The scaphoid bone is a small, boat-shaped bone in the wrist, which, along with 7 other bones, forms the wrist joint. It is present on the thumb side of the wrist, and is at a high risk for fractures. A scaphoid fracture is usually seen in young men aged 20 to 30 years. They can occur at two places: near the thumb or near the forearm.
Adult Forearm Fractures
The forearm is made up of 2 bones, namely, the radius and ulna. The primary function of your forearm is rotation i.e., the ability to turn your palm up and down. The fracture of the forearm affects the ability to rotate your arm, as well as bend and straighten the wrist and elbow.
Pediatric Forearm Fracture
The radius (bone on the thumb side) and ulna (bone on the little-finger side) are the two bones of the forearm. Forearm fractures can occur near the wrist, near the elbow or in the middle of the forearm. Apart from this, the bones in children are prone to a unique injury known as a growth plate fracture.
Bennet’s fracture is a break at the base of the first metacarpal bone (thumb bone) that meets the wrist at the first carpometacarpal (CMC) joint. The hand is composed of 3 types of bones: carpals or wrist bones, metacarpals or long hand bones, and phalanges or finger bones.
A boxer’s fracture is a break in the neck of the fifth metacarpal bone of the hand (below the pinky finger) close to the knuckle. The hand is composed of 3 types of bones: carpal or wrist bones, metacarpals or long hand bones, and phalanges or finger bones. Metacarpals consist of five long bones that connect the carpal with the phalanges.
Malunion of a Fracture
Malunion of a fracture is a condition where the fractured ends of a bone heal in a misaligned position resulting in bone deformity. Malunions may occur in any bone fractures in the body often due to trauma.
Elbow fractures may occur from trauma, resulting from various reasons: a fall on an outstretched arm, a direct blow to the elbow or an abnormal twist to the joint beyond its functional limit.
Distal Humerus Fractures of the Elbow
Injury in the distal humerus can cause impairment in the function of the elbow joint. A distal humerus fracture is a rare condition that occurs when there is a break in the lower end of the humerus.
Elbow Fractures in Children
The arm in the human body is made up of three bones that join to form a hinge joint called the elbow. The upper arm bone or humerus connects from the shoulder to the elbow to form the top of the hinge joint. The lower arm or forearm consists of two bones, the radius, and the ulna.
Radial Head Fractures of the Elbow
Radial head fractures are very common and occur in almost 20% of acute elbow injuries. Elbow dislocations are generally associated with radial head fractures. Radial head fractures are more common in women than in men and occur more frequently in the age group of 30 to 40 years.
Mid-shaft Humerus Fracture
A mid-shaft humerus fracture is a common type of humerus fracture that occurs along the mid-section of the humerus or upper arm bone.