Not all Fractures are the Same

Did you hear the breaking news that breaks down the details of the latest celebrity break-up? It seems like such a simple word, but “break” and its variations have come to take on many forms and connotations in our language. Even a broken bone is not always a simple as a plain snap.

The type of fracture that extends throughout the bone, separating it into more than one piece, can have different classifications. A bone that simply breaks and doesn’t otherwise shift is called stable, while one that shifts out of position is known as a displaced fracture. If that piece of bone manages to shift in a way that breaks the skin, it’s an open fracture. Otherwise, it’s closed.

Even what might be considered a general “broken foot” can have different names. A Lisfranc injury can be a fracture of one or more bones in the middle of the foot that can be highly destabilizing (and it’s named after a surgeon in Napoleon’s army, in case you were interested). A Jones fracture takes place in a specific area along the fifth metatarsal, beneath the little toe, and can cut off blood supply in that section. This one was named for a surgeon who discovered the injury after he got it while dancing.

Does it really matter what a broken foot or broken ankle is specifically called? Most likely not to you if you’re suffering from one! But when it comes to a podiatrist, properly identifying each different type of break is the key to knowing the best form of treatment to provide. Dr. Kevin Powers has these names down pat. If you suffer from a suspected fracture, rest and ice your injury immediately and give our Bloomington office a call at (812) 333-4422.