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WellStar Locations
Note: All hospitals have Emergency Rooms unless otherwise noted.
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Call 911 for immediate medical attention of a fracture, or broken bone, if you see:

  • Limb or joint appears deformed.
  • The broken limb is bluish.
  • The broken bone is in the neck.
  • The broken limb is bleeding.
  • Bone is sticking through the skin.
  • The broken bone is in the head or back.

Fractures Overview

A fracture – also known as a broken bone – is typically caused by some sort of traumatic mishap – a fall from a ladder or skateboard, a violent collision on the football field, an automobile accident. In some cases – a broken toe – fractures don’t even demand a trip to the doctor. In other cases – a broken hip – treatment of a fracture may require surgery and hospitalization.

There are two major types of fractures, or broken bones. When the bone is broken, but doesn’t break through that skin, it is called a closed or simple fracture. If the bone is broken and cuts through the skin, it is called an open or compound fracture.


  • Severe pain
  • Swelling
  • Tenderness
  • Deformity of the affected limb

Risk Factors

  • Osteoporosis, a condition found in older adults that causes the bones to become more brittle
  • High-speed sports activities such as football, snow skiing, skating and hockey sometimes involve falls that lead to fractures
  • Poor nutrition. A lack of calcium and vitamin D early in life increases the risk of fractures, or broken bones.