When Does a Fracture Need a Cast Instead of a Splint or Brace?

When Does a Fracture Need a Cast Instead of a Splint or Brace?

A lot of people think that a fracture and a broken bone are different conditions. However, both terms are interchangeable and are used to describe a crack or break in bone tissue. And that means any type of fracture warrants dedicated care. 

Fortunately, as fracture specialistsour team at Arizona Foot and Ankle Medical Center can help. From our offices in Laveen, Chandler, and Mesa, Arizona, we can X-ray your injury, and if you have a fracture, we can provide the care you need to ensure it heals properly. 

Types of fractures

You can break your bone in a number of ways. Specifically, the main types of fractures include:

Clearly, the severity of your fracture depends on the type you’ve sustained. A hairline or stable fracture is generally going to be easier to heal than a comminuted fracture, for example. 

Getting the care your injury needs starts with getting an X-ray. This allows us to see what’s going on with your bone. With the X-ray, we can see what type of fracture you have to apply the right type of care. 

Symptoms of fractures

Before you get treatment, you first need to know that something’s wrong. In some cases — as with a compound fracture — that’s extremely clear. But many people ignore the signs of more minor fractures, thinking they’re normal aches and pains.

Make an appointment with our team if you have any of these symptoms and they don’t go away:

You don’t necessarily have to have a notable injury to fracture a bone. Hairline fractures develop because of repeated stress on the bone, which means even simply walking can be to blame. All told, if you have pain in a limb that doesn’t resolve, don’t hesitate to talk to us so we can figure out what’s going on.

Treating fractures

If we do determine that your bone is fractured, we tailor a care plan for you. Generally, that centers around immobilizing the area. This allows the bone to maintain the proper alignment so it can heal.

To decide between a brace, splint, or cast, we look at two things:

Even a major fracture in one of your middle toes can generally be immobilized by splinting it to the adjacent toes, for example. But even a minor fracture in your ankle might require a cast, because that’s such a hard part of your body to keep from moving.

Ultimately, our team talks with you about your options before we choose an immobilization treatment. While helping you heal is our first priority, we also understand that you likely have a preference. Together, we arrive at the right option for you.

From there, we work with you to ensure the fracture heals properly. 

If you suspect you might have any type of fracture, don’t wait to seek care. Book an appointment online or over the phone with Arizona Foot and Ankle Medical Center today.

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