5 Crucial Signs of a Broken Bone and What to Do Next

signs of a broken bone

From falling off a bicycle to falling down the stairs, broken bones can be extremely painful and take quite a long time to heal.

If you’ve recently done a number on yourself or you’re just generally accident prone, how do you know if you’ve actually broken a bone?

Around 6 million people break a bone in the United States every year. So, what are the signs of a broken bone and if you have one, what should you do next? Read on for some crucial signs you may have a fracture and what you should do next.

1. Extreme Bruising

You can get a bruise just about any time your body tissue undergoes any type of injury or trauma. But signs of a bone fracture will indicate this in a much more severe way.

Look for dark purple bruises that tend to appear almost immediately after the injury. If the area of bruising is large, it indicates that it’s much deeper than just below the surface.

Large areas of the skin that are bruised often indicate that potentially, the injury has gone bone-deep.

2. Unusual Tenderness

After the initial shock of hurting yourself, does the area of your skin feel extremely tender? Tenderness of the skin is a big indicator that there’s some kind of underlying injury.

We’re not just talking a little bit of uncomfortableness here – extreme and unusual tenderness will often feel overly painful and might even make you want to cringe or jump out of your skin. Even the slightest touch could have you screaming in pain.

3. A Deformed Look 

If your arms, legs, or ankles have a strange appearance to them, it’s possible you’ve broken a bone in a serious way. When your extremities appear to bend in ways they normally shouldn’t, that’s a serious red flag.

Bones sticking out of the skin are even more obvious, and in cases like this, you should be taken to the emergency room or urgent care center immediately for assessment and treatment.

4. Swelling is Abundant

Whenever you get injured, the body’s natural reaction is to swell up in order to protect your internal organs. Blood begins to leak into areas of the body where there is soft tissue such as under the skin and muscles.

After an injury, if the swelling seems extreme, it could be a serious sign of a broken bone. 

You may experience swelling after a twisted ankle or a muscle sprain, but any time your body swells, you should seek the assistance of a medical professional to be safe.

5. What to do When You Experience Signs of a Broken Bone

If you have hurt yourself and are dealing with any of the previous signs and symptoms, it’s essential that you get help immediately. Don’t move unless you absolutely have to because this can cause the fracture to get worse and the pain to intensify.

Have a friend or family member take you to see a doctor so they can perform x-rays and confirm that the bone is or is not broken to provide you with the proper treatment that will allow your body to heal.

Knowing the Signs is Your Best Defense

Now that you’re aware of the signs of a broken bone, you’ll be better equipped to deal with it if it happens.

Always get medical attention if you’re ever in doubt so you can take the proper precautions and heal safely.

From tenderness and burning feelings to bruising and swelling, these signs are your body’s way of indicating there’s a serious problem.

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