A fracture is an injury that occurs when there is more pressure on a bone than it can handle, causing it to break. This usually occurs due to trauma, such as a car accident or slip and fall.
Bones receive good blood flow and usually heal well and completely. Nevertheless, fractures can range in severity. Different types of fractures may require more extensive treatment than others, possibly including surgery.
Stable versus displaced fractures
According to OrthoInfo, a stable fracture is one in which the fragments of the bone remain close to their anatomic position. This is a complete fracture, but the broken ends line up with one another, making this an easier fracture to treat.
A displaced fracture is one in which one or both of the bone fragments gets out of anatomic alignment. This results in a gap between the two fragments. This type of fracture needs reduction, which is the medical term for putting the two fragments back into anatomic position so that they can grow back together and the bone can heal. Depending on the degree of displacement, the fracture may require an open reduction, which is a surgical procedure.
Open versus closed fractures
A closed fracture is an injury that does not break the surface of the skin. According to the Cleveland Clinic, an open fracture is one that occurs with a break in the skin. Sometimes one of the broken bone fragments may stick out. Also called a compound fracture, an open fracture is a potentially dangerous situation that puts the patient at risk for infection.
An open fracture is a type of displaced fracture. However, displaced fractures can be either open or closed.