A fracture occurs when a bone is broken. There are many types of fractures which occur after an accident. Common fractures include shoulder (humerus), leg (tibia), wrist, spinal fracture of a vertebrae (example C4-5), or foot fractures (metatarsal). Treatment for a fracture usually consists of emergency medical attention by an ambulance which brings the patient to the hospital for immediate care. X-rays are used to diagnosis the fracture or to rule it out if a bone is bruised or otherwise damaged but not broken. Casts either soft or hard can be applied to the fracture site.
When a fracture is serious and unlikely to heal by itself, a doctor needs to perform surgery to repair the fracture. Such procedures may be called open reduction with internal fixation meaning the doctor needs to place hardware such as plates or pins into the body to secure the fracture and prevent rebreaking.