How to Know if a Bone Is Broken

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Your child has just had a fall playing soccer–and their wrist is swollen and isn’t looking good. If you’re wondering how to know if a bone is broken, this is a great question and something all parents need to know.

Children can be injured easily, but parents need to work out the extent of their injury so they know what medical care to seek out. Broken bones can happen at any time, with the most common bones to break including the collarbone, arm, wrist, hip, and ankle.

If you’re worried about an injury to yourself or your child, keep reading to learn more about identifying broken bones.

Know the Symptoms of a Bone Fracture

To take appropriate action, it helps to know the signs of a broken bone. The most obvious symptoms are pain, bruising, and swelling in the area of the injury.

The pain will usually start immediately after the injury and you may even hear a cracking or snapping sound in severe cases. Sometimes, the area near the injury might feel ‘crunchy’, if the bone has fractured into multiple small pieces—this is known by doctors as crepitus.

If you experience these symptoms, it could mean a broken bone—but not necessarily. As always, seeking medical care is the only way to know for sure. And, if you suspect any injury to your spine, head, or back, don’t take the risk—get to the hospital right away, as further movement can cause serious injury or even paralysis.

Rest and Take Care

Sometimes, it’s really hard to be sure if you have a broken bone in the foot, for example, or a sprained ankle, or even just a bad bruise. In these cases, avoid putting weight onto the injured leg and rest as much as possible.

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Walking around can make the injury worse, so try to avoid walking and use a crutch if needed. If you can’t put weight on the leg or foot at all, this could indicate a break.

Seek Medical Attention

The best way to know if a bone is broken is to seek medical attention. An urgent care doctor can perform a physical exam and an x-ray, which will allow a doctor to look at the injury and see if there are any breaks.

Then, they can set the break, give you a cast, or perform other treatment as needed. Yes, medical care can be expensive, but you might be able to find a free or low-cost clinic, depending on your insurance coverage.

Learn How to Know If a Bone is Broken So You Can Look After Your Health

Know that you know more about how to know if a bone is broken or not, stay safe out there! Parents should definitely make note of the symptoms above, as kids can injure themselves easily when playing or exercising.

If you do suspect an injury, visit your doctor as soon as you can—then, you and the kids can get back to living a healthy, happy life!

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