Types of Fractures

A fracture is a partial or complete break in the bone. When a fracture occurs, it is classified as either open or closed:

  • open fracture (Also called compound fracture.) - the bone exits and is visible through the skin, or a deep wound that exposes the bone through the skin.
  • closed fracture (Also called simple fracture.) - the bone is broken, but the skin is intact.

Fractures have a variety of names. Below is a listing of the common types that may occur:

  • greenstick - incomplete fracture. The broken bone is not completely separated.
Illustration of greenstick fracture
  • transverse - the break is in a straight line across the bone.
Illustration of greenstick fracture
  • spiral - the break spirals around the bone; common in a twisting injury.
Illustration of greenstick fracture
  • oblique - diagonal break across the bone.
Illustration of greenstick fracture
  • compression - the bone is crushed, causing the broken bone to be wider or flatter in appearance.
Illustration of greenstick fracture

Click here to view the
Online Resources of Orthopaedic Center

Call 877-RES-INFO for Nurse Advice, Doctor Referrals or Class Registration Monday - Friday 8 am to 8 pm • Weekends 8 am to 4:30pm
 
Topic Index