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Fractures: who are the most susceptible groups?


Fractures: a common issue at all ages

Bone fractures are very common among people of all ages, although they most often occur in children, elderly, post-menopausal women and athletes. This is not surprising when considering that the leading causes of bone fractures are:

1- Falls (which occur more frequently in children and old people), as well as other traumatic injuries such as car accidents and sports injuries;

2- Osteoporosis, which is a bone disease characterized by bone thinness and fragility, mainly affecting people older than 70 years of age and post-menopausal women;

3- Bone overuse, which can lead to the so-called stress fractures, occurring most often in athletes as a result of chronic repeated small injuries to bones.

Close and Open Fractures

Fractures greatly vary in severity and can be classified in different ways. A first classification divides fractures into "closed" and "open fractures". A closed fracture is a bone fracture in which the skin overlying the broken bone remains intact, while an open fracture is characterized by the disruption of the overlying skin, resulting in the communication of the fracture site with the external environment. Open fractures are usually more serious than closed fractures, since they are particularly susceptible to infection from environmental pathogens. Fractures can be also classified into complete or incomplete: a complete fracture occurs when a bone is broken into two pieces, while an incomplete fracture occurs when a bone cracks but does not entirely break into separate pieces.

Regardless of these classifications, all fractures are accompanied by local swelling, intense pain, as well as by limited or no mobility of the injured body part. So they always require medical care, beyond the first aid intervention aimed at stopping any bleeding, immobilizing the injured area and relieving pain.

Treatment* of Fractures

The primary goal of fracture treatment is to promote the natural bone healing process by realigning the bone fragments and immobilizing them in the correct position until the bone has healed.

There are many techniques to treat fractures, including cast immobilization, internal fixation (in which special screws and plates are directly applied to bone fragments to hold them together) and external fixation (in which metal pins are placed into the broken bone on both sides of the fracture and fixed to one or more metal bars outside the skin).

 Although all these methods are effective in treating fractures and give excellent results, the specific treatment method used will depend on the severity, type (closed or open) and location  of the fracture, as well as on the condition and needs of the patient.

It is also important to remember that, to restore completely the normal function of the fractured bone, medical or surgical treatment has to be combined with an exercise or physical therapy program, which has to be continued even after the bone has healed (generally six weeks).


Most people, and especially those who are particularly susceptible or likely to suffer from fractures, should have the cost of medical or surgical treatment covered by an appropriate health insurance plan.

 International Health Cover is a Global International Medical Insurance advisor. We  offer unbiased free advice to help you choose over a wide range of International Medical Insurance plans.

Please do not hesitate to request a free quotation. You can also contact one of our highly trained staff member.

*Always seek professional medical advise from a qualified doctor before undergoing any treatment.