You’re jumping on your friend’s trampoline when – ouch! – the two of you collide and you land on the ground. When you stand up, you feel a sharp pain in your leg. You look down and notice that your leg is at an odd angle. Yep, you’ve got a broken leg.
- Broken bones are very common in childhood, especially for kids who play sports. They hurt, but they’re not usually serious.
- Doctors call a broken bone a fracture. There are several different kinds of fractures. A fracture that breaks the skin is called an open fracture. One that breaks only one side of the bone is known as a greenstick fracture. And a complete fracture breaks the bone all the way through.
- When you break a bone, you’ll probably feel a sharp, deep pain. You might also feel cold, dizzy, or nauseous because the injury is causing a shock to your whole body. It’s important to get to a doctor right away.
- Your doctor will take an x-ray of the injury. The x-ray will show a picture of your bones, allowing the doctor to know exactly what type of break it is – and how to fix it.
- Usually when a bone is broken, your doctor will place it in a cast to keep it still so it can heal. A cast is made by wrapping the bone in bandages covered with plaster. In some cases, you might wear a sling instead of a cast.
- Depending on the break and a persons age, bones usually heal in a few weeks but some fractures can take up to 10 weeks.
Questions and Answers
Question: Are some people more prone to broken bones than others?
Answer: People who don’t get enough calcium are more likely to get broken bones, according to researchers in Rochester, Minnesota. Doctors recommend eating three servings of dairy each day. If you’re lactose intolerant, look for lactose-free milk or eat other calcium-rich foods, such as salmon, almonds, or fortified cereal.
People who are less active are also more likely to break bones. Getting plenty of exercise builds the muscles and tendons that protect bones.
Wondering what to do if you get a broken bone? Here’s a handy checklist.