Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Destiny. Destiny Wonders, “What are broken bones?” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Destiny!
After a lot of hard work doing chores and saving up your money, you finally have enough funds to buy that brand-new skateboard you've had your eye on for months. You convince your parents to take you to the store and now, at last, it's in your hands.
As the car pulls into the driveway, it barely comes to a stop before you leap out, throw your new board down, and jump on for your first ride. You feel the wind in your hair. The sun warms your skin. All is right with the world…until you hit the curb.
You momentarily recognize that you're no longer standing on your board before you topple head over heels onto the pavement. You hear a loud "crack!" and feel pain in your arm as you land in a heap of bruised and scraped limbs.
When you come to your senses, you stand up and realize without looking that your arm is broken. You feel the pain like a deep throb. Then you look and the strange angle of your arm confirms your fears.
Ouch! Have you ever broken a bone? Breaking a bone is never fun. It can be quite painful. Accidents happen, though, especially if you play a lot of sports. Broken bones are one of the more common medical emergencies that kids will encounter.
When you break a bone, doctors call it a fracture. There are several different types of fractures. A complete fracture occurs when a bone is broken all the way through into two pieces. Greenstick fractures happen when a bone cracks only on one side. If a bone breaks and sticks through the skin, it's called an open fracture.
In addition to pain in the area around the broken bone, you may also feel dizzy or get chills. This happens because breaking a bone is a shock to your entire body. If you suspect you've broken a bone, it's important to seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Doctors will confirm whether or not a bone is broken by taking x-rays. X-rays let doctors see what the bone looks like and, if broken, will help them know how to set it so that it will heal properly.
Most broken bones require a cast, which is a wrapping that consists of special bandages soaked in plaster. A cast hardens to keep the broken bone from moving while it heals.
Depending upon the type of fracture, the bone may heal in as little as a couple of weeks. Larger bones may take as long as a couple of months or more to heal.
Not all fractures require a cast. Some bones are located in places where a cast won't fit. For example, a broken collarbone might require a person to wear a special brace or harness that keeps their shoulders in a certain position to allow the bone to heal.