Skip to main content

Dr. Daniel C. Eby

Orthopedic Surgery & Sports Medicine

Fractures are breaks in the bone that can occur throughout your body. A bone can break in various ways. For example, the bone may break in a straight line, a spiral, or even diagonally. Often, patients will experience associated bruising and swelling.

Causes and Risk Factors

Healthy bones are important. Good nutrition, staying active, and avoiding dangerous situations are the best ways to prevent fractures. Most commonly there are injuries that cause a fracture. In patients over 50, women, some medications, and those with a history of cancer have a higher risk of having weak or brittle bones.

The strength of our bones is important and directly impacts the chances of having a fracture. Some athletes may be more likely to develop stress fractures from activity repetition. Runners are especially susceptible to this type of fracture.


Symptoms are most often pain, bruising, and swelling around an injury.


Often, X-rays suffice to diagnose a fracture. In some cases, further imaging is necessary. Stress fractures, in particular, present a challenge and may need an ultrasound examination or MRI imaging.

Treatments and Recommended Imaging

Typical treatment involves rest, ice, elevating the injury over the heart, and protecting the fracture. We can protect the bone with splinting, casting, or specialty braces. We advise protecting the fracture site for 6 to 8 weeks to ensure healing takes place.

Some fractures require more intensive protection, which may mean surgery. Surgeries vary as widely as fractures. The surgery will be based upon your specific needs and injury, provider recommendation, and your health.


McMahon, Patrick J., and Harry B. Skinner. Current Diagnosis & Treatment in Orthopedics. 6th ed., McGraw-Hill Medical, 2021.