5 Signs of a Fracture (And What to Do About It)

arm in green cast

There are a lot of broken bones every year in the US. Many of those happen on the job or in the home.

Unfortunately, many people won’t recognize the severity of their injury, and many won’t seek treatment for a fracture because they don’t know what signs of fracture to look for.

Keep reading to learn the 5 signs of bone fracture, and what to do about it if a potential fracture has happened to you.

What is a Bone Fracture?

Fractured bones occur when a bone cracks or is fully broken. These types of injuries are very common, with auto accidents causing many breaks but falls and other accidents in the home being the most common.

Most fractures occur in children’s arms, but people over the age of 65 can experience broken bones quite often, too. In older adults, breaks in the hip, spine, arm and legs are very common. Anyone younger than 20 and older than 65 tend to have the most fractures.

Symptoms of a fractured bone will depend on what bone is affected and what type of fracture has occurred. Stress fractures in the shin, for example, will feel and look different than a fracture in the hip or spine. A fractured shin won’t always have extreme symptoms and sometimes only present with minor swelling.

Signs of Fracture: Bruising

Any trauma to the skin can cause a bruise, but if the area that was injured starts to show a large bruise, that could mean a more serious injury. And if the discoloration comes on quickly, and over a big area, that could mean the bone is leaking blood.


A broken bone will usually swell- a lot. Fluids will leak into surrounding soft tissue, including muscle and fat. Extra fluid buildup will cause swelling and become hard to the touch. So, if you had a trauma to your body and limbs, and you begin to swell, you should see a doctor.


It’s a fancy word for crunchiness. Yeah, ew. If you are injured and the area feels like loose gravel, or makes a crunchy sound, you could have a fracture. That sound is from bits of broken bone rubbing together…and we don’t need to say anything else.

See a doctor at Thibodaux Regional Urgent Care – Houma, right away.


This is probably your best sign that you’ve got a fracture. When your limb is bent in places it shouldn’t be, there’s likely a broken bone in there. And if the bone is protruding from your skin, you definitely have a fracture and possibly a dislocation.

Pain or Numbness

This might seem like a symptom to overlook. After all, most injuries to the body will hurt to some extent. And pain isn’t always an indication of a serious injury, because everyone has a different threshold for pain. But if the pain is severe and you have a difficult time moving, you might have a fracture.

Likewise, if the area goes numb and you have a hard time even feeling your body part, that’s a good indication of a fracture.

Need a Doctor?

This quick guide will give you some idea of what signs of fracture to look for, but if you have an injury and are unsure, please see a doctor. If you’re in need of urgent care, come see us at Thibodaux Regional Urgent Care – Houma. We’ve got you covered.

Read our check list of things to know before you visit us.

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