What are the bones

Broken bones

Broken bone (Fracture): Although the structure of the bones ensures great stability under normal loads, bones are at considerable risk from injuries in the event of an accident. By far the most common area affected is the radius near the wrist, followed immediately by the collarbone. Strong violence often leads to dislocated, so displaced fractions with sometimes considerable gap between the fracture surfaces. Where the bone is only covered by a thin layer of skin, such as B. on the shin, the sharp edges often step outward through the skin and turn the injury into one open fracture. If the bone breaks into more than two parts, there is also evidence of strong violence. If there are 3–6 pieces (fragments) there is one Multi-fragment fracture before, if there are more than six one Comminuted fracture.

Sometimes a bone fracture occurs without an accident. From one pathological fracture the doctor speaks if a bone breaks under a relatively low load, e.g. B. when striking an obstacle lightly, when moving violently or when getting up from a sitting position. The cause here is often an osteoporosis, which leads to a thinning and weakening of the bone structure. In other cases there are pathological fractures at weak points in the bone, which are caused by pathological changes, e.g. B. a cyst or a tumor arise. A Fatigue fracture on the other hand, develops when the bone is permanently overloaded. A well-known example is the marching fracture of a metatarsal bone, a typical "side effect" of forced military marches.

Special fracture forms occur in childhood and adolescence. At Bulge fractures and Greenwood quarries (Greenwood fractures) the still soft, flexible bone does not break through completely, but is indented or only broken on one side - like a flexible, green branch.

Leading complaints

Whether a bone is broken can often be determined without an X-ray. So there is sure to be a broken bone, if

  • The affected bone is abnormally mobile, i.e. it can move in a place where there is no joint
  • Due to the displacement of the bone fragments, a grinding, scratching or rubbing can be heard or felt (bone rubbing, crepitation)
  • There is a visible "kink", i.e. an axial misalignment of the bone
  • Protruding bones or fragments of bones in a wound are visible (open bone fracture, open fracture).

Compared to these sure bone fracture sign (certain signs of fracture) are pain, swelling, bruises and restricted mobility in the fracture area as well as relieving the affected part of the body unsafe fracture signs (unsafe fracture signs). Although they are usually present in the case of a broken bone, they are often also found in a simple bruise or sprain.

Your pharmacy recommends

The treatment of broken bones has to take a back seat to immediate life-saving measures.

If the injured person shows signs of a broken bone (even if it is unsafe), the break point must not be moved more than is absolutely necessary. Otherwise there is a risk of expansion of the soft tissue damage and vascular injuries from bone parts. Spinal injuries are particularly at risk. Is a quick transport, e.g. B. to rescue from the danger zone, unavoidable, the posture of the injured person should remain unchanged as possible by z. B. is lifted and carried by as many helpers as possible.

Only if spinal injuries have been ruled out is the injured person to be positioned comfortably, in the shock position if there is a risk of shock and in a stable lateral position if unconscious. If the emergency doctor is already on the way to the scene of the accident, it is better to wait for his arrival.

If an emergency doctor is not available, broken arms and hands can be treated with a triangular towel as a makeshift solution. It is tied around the neck to create a loop in which the arm is immobilized. In the event of a broken leg, it is advisable to pad the broken leg with tightly rolled items of clothing, blankets, pillows or the like until medical treatment is available.

That's what the doctor does

In the case of displaced bone fractures, therapy begins with bringing the bone fragments into their normal position. The Facility The doctor achieves (repositioning) through controlled pull and pressure, but sometimes only as part of an operation.

Then is a Immobilization (Fixation) of the affected region is required. Depending on the shape of the fracture, it is done conservatively, usually using a (plastic) plaster of paris, or surgically using osteosynthesis. Inadequate equipment, inadequate immobilization, poor bone circulation, or infections often result in healing being severely delayed or not occurring at all. A connective tissue scar then forms between the bone fragments False joint (Pseudarthrosis). Since this condition is painful, it usually requires (renewed) surgery.

The healing of a broken bone takes between four weeks for broken fingers and up to three and a half months for femoral neck fractures. First there is a bruise in which connective tissue cells sprout. They form an initially connective tissue scar that is then transformed into cartilage tissue. This scar, called a callus, bridges the fracture gap and restores the continuity of the bone. However, the bone is only fully resilient if the callus is completely mineralized and ossified in the following months with the help of special bone cells.
Georg Thieme Verlag, Stuttgart

Complementary medicine

Complementary medicine also supports the healing process of broken bones. This includes in particular magnetic therapy, which is now becoming more and more common in conventional medicine. a. acupuncture and homeopathy, which recommends individually tailored constitutional therapy, are used for broken bones that heal poorly. While the positive effects of magnetic therapy on the metabolism of bone cells and bone growth have been well researched and have since been proven, acupuncture and homeopathy v. a. on numerous positive experience reports - here study results are still pending.


Dr. med. Arne Schäffler, Dr. med. Michael Bendall, Dr. med. Siegfried Locher, Dr. Shepherd Martin, Dr. med. Werner Zirngibl in: Gesundheit heute, edited by Dr. med. Arne Schäffler. Trias, Stuttgart, 3rd edition (2014). Revision and update: Dr. med. Sonja Kempinski | last changed on at 15:12

Important note: This article has been written according to scientific standards and has been checked by medical professionals. The information communicated in this article can in no way replace professional advice in your pharmacy. The content cannot and must not be used to make independent diagnoses or to start therapy.