Breaking a bone can be very painful. Although it is very important to seek medical attention immediately, there are some things a person can do to make sure the break doesn’t get worse.
There are many different types of fractures, and each type comes with a different complication. A complete fracture is when the bone breaks all the way through, as opposed to an open fracture which only breaks partially through the bone. A single fracture is a clean break with only one fracture line, while a comminuted fracture can have multiple fracture lines and might even have bone chips break off.
If a person is unresponsive, 911 should be contacted immediately. Emergency services should also be contacted if the bone has pierced the skin or if there is heavy bleeding. Another sign of an emergency is if the extremity of the injured limb, such as a toe or finger, is numb or bluish at the tip, or if even gentle pressure and movement causes immense pain. Always call for an ambulance if a head, spine, or pelvic injury is suspected.
While waiting for medical help, certain actions can be taken. Be sure to stop any bleeding caused by the injury. Immobilize the wounded area so that the injury is not further damaged. Apply ice to the area to limit the swelling and to help relieve the pain. Once the person gets to a hospital, a doctor or surgeon will assess the damage and come up with a treatment plan.