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Urgent Care

Come to Southcoast Health with Broken Bones in Southeastern MA & RI

Bones are strong and can bend somewhat in response to pressure. But, when the pressure exceeds a bone’s ability to withstand it, the bone can break or fracture. Each year, about six million Americans will break a bone.

If you’re not sure if it’s a break, a sprain or something more serious, come to your nearest Southcoast Health Urgent Care Center location  for fast and effective medical care across southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

Types of Fractures

There are many different types of fractures, including:

  • Complete fracture, when a bone breaks in two pieces
  • Comminuted fracture, when a bone is crushed or breaks in three or more pieces
  • Compound or “open” fracture, when a fracture breaks the skin; bone fragments may stick out through the skin
  • Stable fracture, when bone pieces line up or are barely out of place
  • Displaced fracture, when bone pieces do not line up and are out of place
  • Stress or “hairline” fracture, when a bone is cracked but not broken all the way
  • Transverse fracture, a horizontal break across the bone
  • Oblique fracture, an angled break across the bone

Most broken bones are a temporary inconvenience and heal without problems over several weeks. Some are more serious and require lengthy healing and rehabilitation.

Broken Bone Symptoms

Common symptoms of a broken bone include:

  • Bruising
  • Deformity
  • Difficulty moving the injured area or bearing weight
  • Hearing a snap or grinding noise during the injury
  • Pain or tenderness
  • Swelling

Treatment Options at Southcoast Health Urgent Care Center

The basic principle of treating any broken bone is the same — put the pieces back into position and keep them there while the bone heals. For some fractures, this is a simple process; however, sometimes surgery is necessary.

Here are our common options for treating broken bones:

  • A splint involves using a long strip of rigid material to reset and immobilize the bone, giving it time to heal.
  • Cast immobilization holds a broken bone in place and protects the affected area while it heals.
  • External fixation is surgery to place metal pins or screws in the pieces of bone. The pins or screws connect to a metal bar on the outside of the skin. This fixation system holds the pieces of bone in place while they heal.
  • Open reduction and internal fixation is surgery to reposition the bone pieces and hold them together with metal pins, screws or plates on the surface of the bone.
  • Traction repositions bone pieces using a gentle pulling action.

You may need to schedule an appointment with a specialist to undergo external fixation, open reduction or internal fixation or traction.

For fractures that involve major joints, such as the hip or shoulder, joint replacement may be part of your treatment plan.

Patients come to Southcoast Health Urgent Care Center in Dartmouth, Fairhaven, Fall River, Lakeville, Seekonk and Wareham, MA as well as Middletown, RI for efficient treatment for broken bones and more.