Many people are familiar with simple, stress, and compound bone breaks. However, fewer may understand the characteristics of greenstick fractures. While a simple or compound break typically entails a complete separation of bone, a greenstick fracture may not involve a clean break. Instead, the bone suffers only a partial crack. Like other types of fractures, though, a greenstick fracture requires professional assessment and treatment by an orthopedic doctor.
Why Greenstick Fractures Happen
Fully developed bones can generally tolerate many pounds of pressure, though they are made of rigid tissues. That is why they might snap in response to extreme force. A greenstick fracture often occurs because the bone has not yet developed its normally rigid structure. If a bone is still young and flexible, it is more apt to bend to pressure and suffer cracks rather than total breaks.
What Symptoms They Produce
The warning signs of a bone break, greenstick or otherwise, can be similar. A person who has suffered a greenstick fracture may not be able to place weight on the bone without feeling pain. The injury area may also be tender to the touch or noticeably swollen. Because children are common sufferers of greenstick fractures, parents should monitor their conditions carefully should they experience a traumatic accident. A hard fall on an arm or leg may result in a greenstick fracture. In some cases, though, discomfort may be minimal, making it more difficult to determine if medical attention is necessary.
How Orthopedists Treat Greenstick Fractures
If any warning signs of a greenstick fracture present, immediate orthopedic treatment is mandatory, as a broken bone that does not receive appropriate care may heal in a deformed manner. After assessing the nature of the injury, an orthopedic doctor may recommend several recovery strategies. Rest is key so that no additional pressure is placed upon the healing bone. Isolating the bone in a cast may be likewise necessary to ensure proper alignment and bone fusion.
Are you experiencing the symptoms of a greenstick fracture? Then visit the orthopedic experts at Able Orthopedic & Sports Medicine in Forest Hills. For more information on our orthopedic services, or to make an appointment, call (718) 690-9520.