What are the most commonly fractured bones? Are they more common among certain groups of people? How many visits to the emergency room are caused by bone fractures and injuries?

You’ll discover the answers to all of these questions — and more — in this blog post detailing broken bone facts. 

Broken bones typically require stabilization with a cast. Casts are created from plaster or synthetic material that quickly harden and keep the broken bone from moving so that it can heal. Once a cast has been set, it will need to remain in place for several weeks, or months, and will often require extra care to keep the cast from getting wet or damaged.

Keep reading to gain access to answers to the most common cast and broken bone questions.

Broken Bone Fact # 1: The most common materials used to create a cast are Plaster of Paris and Fiberglass.

Broken Bone Fact #2: After a broken bone has been stabilized (usually by an orthopedic surgeon), the area will be wrapped with a soft layer of cotton to create a barrier between the hard outer layer and the skin.

Broken Bone Fact #3: Casts need to stay dry in order to function they way they were meant to. If a cast gets wet, the plaster may begin to dissolve and soften, which means it will no longer be able to hold the bone in place and may also lead to an infection.

Tip: Check out this blog post to learn more about keeping your cast dry in the shower.

Broken Bone Fact #4: While fiberglass is more porous and comfortable for the wearer, plaster is easier to mold and still used to create many casts.

Broken Bone Fact #5: Sometimes doctors will opt for a splint cast during the first few days after a bone has been broken to allow for the swelling to go down. Once the injury site has returned to its normal size a regular cast will then be applied.

Broken Bone Fact #6: Even though casts can get itchy, it’s important to never stick anything down your cast. These items could break off and get stuck inside your cast and even cause an infection.

Broken Bone Fact #7: No matter how well you take care of your cast it can still get smelly. This happens because we can’t avoid sweating and this moisture gets trapped in the cotton lining of the cast and allows bacteria to grow.

Broken Bone Fact #8: Up to 20 percent of bone fractures will not heal properly.

Broken Bone Fact #9: As you get older, fractures happen more easily. Individuals 85 and older are four times more likely to break a bone than those between the ages of 65 and 75.

Broken Bone Fact #9: There are about 3.5 million visits made to hospital emergency departments for fractures each year.

Broken Bone Fact #10: The most common cause of bone fractures is physical trauma. From falls to car collisions, activity that involves some type of accident is responsible for the bulk of broken bones.

Broken Bone Fact #11: The most commonly fractured bones are:

    • Broken Clavicle: Also known as the collarbone, this bone attaches your arms to your body and its shape and placement makes it more vulnerable to breaks.
    • Broken Arm: An estimated 50 percent of all broken bones in adults occur in the arms.
    • Broken Wrist: This is the most commonly fractured part of the arm and frequently occurs while attempting to stop a fall.
    • Broken Ankle: This type of break can occur in a single bone or multiple bones in the area. This often takes place when the ankle is twisted or rolled during physical activity.
    • Broken Toe or Foot: Feet have a high percentage of bones in the body and are usually fractured by injuries cause by impact.

Broken Bone Fact #12: At least 1.5 million people in the United States have fractures related to osteoporosis every year.

Broken Bone Fact #13: Children between the ages of 2 and 14 were found to have more than 41 percent fractures occur at home. This was followed by 26 percent at playgrounds and footpaths, 18 percent at sports facilities and 13 percent at education facilities.

 

Resources:

http://www.healthinaging.org/aging-and-health-a-to-z/topic:fractures/

http://www.imsorthopedics.com/the-5-most-commonly-fractured-bones

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2987399/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3929546/

https://www.ors.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Inside-Innovations-3-16-revised.pdf

https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases–conditions/fractures-broken-bones/

https://www.schwebel.com/userfiles/files/Fractures(1024).pdf