A fracture is a severance of the bone (or cartilage) due to mechanical forces which exceed the bone’s ability to withstand them. Fractures may appear for different reasons:
- A normal bone subject to sharp overwhelming force, usually due to traumatic injury
- Weakened bone due to a focal lesion (e.g. metastasis or bone cyst), also known as a pathological fracture.
- A weakened bone due to metabolic anomalies (e.g. osteoporosis) or more rarely genetic anomalies (e.g. osteogenesis imperfecta). Due to insufficiency fractures.
- Subjection of the body to continuous and unusual pressure (e.g. running), leading to microfractures and possibly to macroscopic damage (fatigue fractures).
Together, the insufficiency and fatigue fractures are often grouped as stress factors.
Clinical characteristics vary depending on the cause of injury, the nature and level of the patient’s awareness. These are:
- Loss of function
- Muscle spasms
- Muscle atrophy
- Unusual movements
- Restriction in joint movement
Physiotherapy identifies the main cause of the problem and helps in selecting the right treatment methods. The treatment used depends largely on issues identified during your first consultation.