Chipped Bone

All About A Chipped Bone

Most people think that a chipped bone is not as severe as a fractured bone but this is not true. A chipped bone is a type of fracture and this means that a piece of bone has been completely separated from the rest of the main bone. Some of the most common places on the body where this type of broken bone can be seen are on the elbow, ankle hand and shin. There is little fat or tissue that surrounds the bones in these areas and this is why they are more open to this type of injury.

Usually a chipped bone occurs after an injury to the area and when an object or physical force is stronger than the bone itself. The force can hit the bone at a specific angle and this can cause the bone separation. This condition is seen in people who have experienced a trauma like an auto accident, a fall or sharp blow to the area.

Elderly people are at a higher risk to have an injury of this type. They have a tendency to have weaker bones and they can also suffer from osteoporosis and decreased muscle mass.  They are more likely to have severe injuries after accidents and they can suffer with infection related illnesses more often. People who are born with bone conditions that are congenital are also at a higher risk for a chipped bone injury.

The symptoms of a chipped bone include Bruising, swelling and pain. There can also be an inability to move the limb. Bleeding under the skin is sometimes seen as well as numbness in the area of the injury.

An injury like this isn’t considered dangerous but there are certain complications that can develop after the injury that can cause further problems. The pieces of bone can move away from the injury site and do damage to other areas. Bone fragments can harm tiny blood vessels and nearby tissues surrounding the chip. These fragments can do even more damage by causing blood clots and swelling and if the cells and tissue lose their blood supply, it can cause permanent damage or even kill the surrounding tissue. A bone fragment can also sever arteries or nerves that run along side of the bone. If the injury isn’t addressed quickly, it can result in a permanent disability. If the soft tissues are damaged, the healing time is significantly longer.

The healthy cells surrounding the injury start to divide rapidly to form new tissue around the chipped bone. New bone is produced from this new tissue and it eventually can heal the bone. But this only occurs when the proper medical attention has been given to the sufferer and the bone is allowed to set and fully heal.

There are 2 types of fractures and they are an open or closed fracture. A closed fracture means that the bone has not punctured or protruded from the skin. An open fracture is much harder to treat because the bone has been forced out of the skin. In this case, a doctor will have to not only set the bone but he will also have to worry about the possibility of an infection.

There are a few good ways to know if you have a chipped bone or any other type of fracture. They include hearing a loud snap after the injury, different lengths in bone shape, a grating sensation while trying to move the injured limb and numbness and tingling in the area.

The best thing you can do to take care of a fracture is to see the doctor immediately. He can diagnose the situation and rule out any dangerous complications.