Lesser Known Symptoms of Fractures

A flying leap off a trampoline, a fall on the ice, or a collision on the playing field — these are all common scenarios where a fracture can occur, and they’re usually fairly obvious. Some breaks, however, develop over time or they’re quite small, and they don’t present the same obvious symptoms that the above scenarios do.

To help you better understand the more subtle signs that you may have a fracture, Dr. Timothy Wilson and our team pulled together the following information to help guide you.

Stress fractures

These types of fractures are quite small, which is why they’re also called hairline fractures, and they develop over time and after repeated stresses. Most stress fractures occur in your feet, which contain 26 bones each, and bear all of the weight of your body.

As a stress fracture develops, you may not feel anything at first, but as the break increases in size or another one develops, you may notice pain, especially when you’re on your feet. This pain typically goes away when you’re at rest and off your feet. 

You may also notice tenderness to the touch in the area and slight swelling, which can, again, come and go with activity.

Different types of fracture pain

It’s hard to talk about fractures without referring to the pain, which is hardly a lesser known symptom of a fracture. The manner in which this pain presents itself, however, may make it difficult for you to assess whether there’s a problem, especially with stable fractures (the broken bones still line up).

For example, perhaps you take a tumble and you stretch your wrists out to break the fall. The immediate pain that comes with the impact may fade away, leading you to believe you dodged a bullet. After this severe pain, however, you may not notice a more subtle pain afterward that comes when you hold your wrist in a certain position or you use your wrist in a way that tweaks the fracture.

Anytime you’ve been in a situation that might lead to injury, it’s important to remain vigilant and listen to your body in the days following the event. The pain may be dull and come and go, leading you to believe that there’s no fracture.

Our recommendation is that any time you have nagging pain, or even mild discomfort, it’s always worth having us check you out so that we can get to the bottom of the problem.

Swelling, stiffness, and bruising

Other signs that you may have incurred a fracture are swelling, increasing stiffness, and surface bruising. If you have a very tender area that hurts when you press on it, there’s something going on inside and it could be a small fracture.

If you’re experiencing any of the above, it’s important that you seek our help as soon as possible. Untreated fractures may not heal properly, which can leave the area vulnerable to refracturing, as well as arthritis. And, if nothing else, we might find that you don’t have a fracture, which provides you with valuable peace of mind going forward.

For expert fracture care, contact our office in Lexington, Kentucky.

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