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A fracture is a bone break.

Fractures may be described by the extent to which the bone has shattered:

  • incomplete or 'greenstick' - not fully broken through but with a pattern resembling the outer splintering of a green stick when it is bent. Usually found in children.
  • complete - broken cleanly into two pieces
  • multiple - broken into more than two pieces
  • comminuted - shattered into several bits
  • transverse, oblique or spiral

In addition a fracture may be:

  • simple or closed - where no fragment has penetrated the skin
  • open or compound - where the skin has been pierced by a bone fragment, even if the bone has returned under the skin

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