Doctor assessing a break vs. fracture

When it comes to injuries and care, one commonly asked question is what is the difference between a bone break and a fracture? At St. Joseph’s/Candler Urgent Care, we’re committed to helping you understand these terms and receive the appropriate care for your injury. Learn more about break vs. fracture, complex and simple fractures, and tips for choosing between an urgent care or ER with this quick guide.

Is There a Difference Between a Bone Break vs. a Fracture?

Contrary to popular belief, there is no real difference between a “break” and a “fracture.” Both terms essentially mean the same thing. However, the difference comes from the type of break or fracture: simple or complex. This difference can determine the severity of the injury and the type of care a patient will need.

Understanding Simple and Complex Fractures

A simple fracture, also known as a closed fracture, is when the bone breaks without piercing the skin. On the other hand, a complex fracture occurs when the bone breaks into multiple pieces and/or pierces through the skin. It’s critical to understand that the treatment approach for these two types of fractures will differ significantly.

Treating Simple Fractures at St. Joseph’s/Candler Urgent Care

At St. Joseph’s/Candler Urgent Care, we’re equipped to diagnose and treat simple fractures and sprains. Our facility offers on-site digital X-ray capabilities, allowing for accurate and prompt diagnosis. Once a simple fracture is identified, our experienced team can provide appropriate treatment, including casting or splinting, pain management, and follow-up care instructions.

Why Complex Fractures Require Emergency Room Treatment

While St. Joseph’s/Candler Urgent Care is capable of handling simple fractures, complex fractures require a visit to the emergency room. These injuries often involve more severe damage. Complex fractures may include bone exposure, deep lacerations, and/or potential damage to arteries and nerves. Such situations call for immediate surgical intervention, which can only be provided at an ER.

In addition, complex fractures may require specialized imaging techniques such as CT scans or MRIs, which are only available in emergency departments. These advanced imaging methods allow doctors to accurately assess the extent of the injury and determine the best course of treatment. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to repair the fracture and prevent long-term damage.

Do You Need Fast, Effective Care for a Simple Fracture or Sprain?

Ultimately, when it comes to a break vs. fracture, it’s important to understand that these terms are essentially interchangeable. The real question comes from whether the fracture is simple or complex in nature. For simple fractures and sprains, St. Joseph’s/Candler Urgent Care is your go-to solution with convenient, cost-effective services provided by a highly skilled medical team. However, for complex fractures, immediate emergency room treatment is required. Remember, understanding these differences can help ensure you get the right care when you need it most.

If you have suffered an injury in which there are no protruding bones, or if the bones do not appear to have been broken into several pieces, check-in at the Joseph’s/Candler Urgent Care nearest you. If you are experiencing a health emergency, Emergency Care Services at St. Joseph’s/Candler can provide crucial support for all types of health problems, including critical and potentially life-threatening conditions. We are dedicated to providing the fast, effective, and affordable care you deserve.