Registered Nurse (RN)
Musculoskeletal Basics
Types of Fractures

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Types of Fractures

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Types of Fractures

Typewriter with Fractured-bones
Fractures can be classified in various ways, as either displaced or nondisplaced; open or closed; complete or incomplete or according to the direction of the fracture line. Understanding the difference between the different types of fractures is important in order to provide proper care.
Nun-dice with Nondisplaced fracture

The bone is still in alignment and the periosteum is intact. Examples are transverse, spiral, or greenstick.

Dice with Displaced fracture

The two ends of the bones are separated from each other. Examples are comminuted and oblique.

Incomplete fracture

The fracture occurs across the bone shaft, but the bone is still in one piece and may be due to a bending or crushing force applied to the bone.

Complete fracture

This type of break is completely through the bone.

Closed fracture

The skin remains intact. Used to be called simple fracture.

Open fracture

The skin is broken and bone and soft tissue can be seen. Used to be called compound fracture.

Direction of Fracture Line
Directions of Fracture Lines

This relates to the direction of the fracture, which can be linear, oblique, transverse, longitudinal, and spiral.


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