Fragility Fractures

What Are Fragility Fractures?

Fragility fractures are broken bones, or fractures, that happen following a low trauma event. Examples of low trauma events would be falls from a standing height or less. Fragility fractures are thought of most commonly in older adults but can occur in any age group, especially if that person has osteoporosis.

What Causes Fragility Fractures?

Fractures in general are caused when a high degree of force is placed on a bone. With fragility fractures, the bone breaks, or fractures, with a low degree of force that you would not expect to cause a fracture. This can occur if someone has less dense, or strong, bones or if the quality of their bones is poor.

What Are Signs & Symptoms of a Fragility Fracture?

  • Noticeable deformity of the limb
  • Pain and swelling at injured site
  • Unable to bear weight on injured limb
  • High amount of pain for the injury that happened

How Is a Fragility Fracture Diagnosed?

If there is concern for a fragility fracture, your child should be evaluated by your primary care provider or an urgent care or emergency room, depending on your level of worry and amount of pain or deformity. A radiograph or x-ray will need to be done to look for the fracture.

How Is a Fragility Fracture Treated?

Fragility fractures are treated in similar ways to routine fractures, usually with a cast or a splint for a period of time. The main way to prevent future fragility fractures is to treat the underlying cause of the weak bones or osteoporosis.

What Are the Long-Term Effects of Fragility Fractures?

Decreased strength due to loss of muscle and bone strength during healing process and decreased mobility are some of the common long-term effects. If someone does not have good mobility and then has a fragility fracture, they may not be able to return to their previous level of mobility following the fracture.

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