If you think you have broken a bone (fracture), seek prompt medical attention. It’s important to treat a fracture as soon as possible to ensure proper healing. Fractures are classified into one or more of these categories:
The broken bone pierces the skin. This is a serious condition that requires immediate, aggressive treatment to decrease the risk of infection.
The skin remains unbroken.
The bone fragments on each side of the break aren’t aligned, which may require surgery for complete healing.
The bone is broken into pieces, which may require surgery for complete healing.
The bone cracks but doesn’t break all the way through — similar to what happens when you try to break a green stick of wood. Most broken bones in children are greenstick fractures because a child’s bones are more flexible than those of an adult.
One side of the bone is compressed, which causes the other side to bend or buckle. This type of fracture is more common in children.